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Criminal Attorney
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Is a flare gun considered a firearm

Resolved Question:

Is a flare gun considered a firearm?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Criminal Attorney replied 7 years ago.

Good Afternoon,


Thanks for choosing Just Answer.


What state are you in?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Expert:  Criminal Attorney replied 7 years ago.

A flare gun can be considered a firearm in CA, but generally it is not a firearm.


Here is an excerpt from a handbook of Firearm laws in CA, which was published by the California Attorney General:



A flaregun is any loaded or unloaded rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or

similar device designed primarily for emergency or distress-signaling purposes. (Penal

Code § 12031.1.) Because a flaregun is not designed to be used as a weapon, generally it

is not considered a firearm as defined in Penal Code sections 12001(a) and (b). However,

the following prohibitions also apply to flareguns:

  • prohibitions against carrying concealed firearms (Penal Code § 12025.); and
  • prohibitions against carrying loaded firearms in public. (Penal Code § 12031.)

NOTE: Pursuant to Penal Code section 12031.1, a person may lawfully store a loaded or

unloaded flaregun aboard a vessel or aircraft. A person may also possess a loaded or

unloaded flaregun while in or traveling to and from a permitted hunting area, if the

individual is carrying a valid California hunting permit or license.



I hope this has been helpful. Please let me know if you need more information.




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