Legal Dictionary

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Firearm

California gun laws define a firearm as any device designed to be used as a weapon, from which a projectile is discharged or expelled through a barrel by the force of an explosion or other form of combustion. (California Penal Code Section 12001). Under California law, a firearm does not need to be in working order if it was designed to shoot and appears capable of shooting. A firearm does not need to be loaded. Examples of firearms include pistols, handguns, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns.