Re: Jail time should be 5 years
She is a naturalized citizen and should have little difficulty getting a firearm safety certificate after taking a basic NRA safety course or equivalent. They've never asked me here in SoCal what the purpose of the purchase was so I'm going to flag your statement "buying a pistol for personal protection is not allowed" as totally false especially since I was using "pistol" to mean "generic firearm" which could easily be a shotgun, featureless AR, revolver, etc. but more often than not folks go for a 9, .380, or .40.
It would also be fairly easy as part of the moving out step to move to a less restrictive state or county and get a concealed carry license as Kali law basically lets the county sheriff decide and some are pretty much "shall issue" (I understand Ventura [PDF] has recently adopted this policy at least until Peruta is finally sorted) as opposed to the "won't issue" of LA, Frisco, etc. Oddly Bernie's Vermont, one of the bluest of blue states has had constitutional concealed carry longer than all(?) the rest but that assumes she likes snow, maple syrup, and cows. Don't get me wrong, Vermont is a beautiful state if you can afford the taxes which are likely lower than Kalifornia and there's nothing wrong with snow, maple syrup, and cows.