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Jul 01 2016

BREAKING: CA Passes Sweeping New Gun Control Package

new gun control california

Thursday, California lawmakers approved a sweeping package of 12 new gun control bills and sent them to Governor Jerry Brown, who is scheduled to leave for Europe today. Lawmakers expedited the bills to his desk in hopes he would sign them before leaving. If signed into law, California’s gun owners can now expect new gun bans, registration requirements, and a database of ammunition purchasers.

The new gun control package is as follows:

Ammo sales (SB 1235): Creates new restrictions around the purchase and sale of ammunition, requiring both buyers and sellers to hold special licenses. Also creates a transaction fee for every ammo purchase and a statewide database of all ammunition purchases. A similar bill was submitted in 2013 and resurfaced again in 2014.

Ban possession of high-capacity magazines (SB 1446): Creates a “new crime” for possessing a magazine over 10 rounds and requires all such magazines to be handed over to either law enforcement or an FFL. Law enforcement is excluded from these requirements

Bullet button ban (SB 880/AB 1135): California has already banned rifles with detachable magazines, which pushed gun manufacturers to create the “bullet button” – a device which requires a tool to remove an otherwise fixed magazine. Both SB880 and AB1135 add “bullet buttons” to the list of evil assault weapon features and requires any firearm with such a device to be registered with the Department of Justice. The registration fee will also be increased.

One rifle per month (AB 1674): Limits rifle purchases to only one per month. California already has a similar bill for handguns.

Gun lending (AB 1511): Current California law allows people “who are personally known to each other” to lend each other firearms through an FFL. This bill limits gun loans to “spouse or registered domestic partner, or to a parent, child, sibling, grandparent, or grandchild, related as specified” for no more than 30 days and requires the loaned firearm to then be registered to that person.

Guns with some assembly required (AB 857/AB 1673): AB 1673 redefines “firearm” to also include the receiver or frame of a firearm, and therefore requiring all frame and receiver purchases to be made through an FFL and include a background check. AB 857 requires all firearms and firearm parts to be issued a distinct serial number by the Department of Justice.

Gun restraining orders (AB 2607): California already allows family members and police officers to petition for a gun restraining order to prevent someone from owning firearms for 21 days. This bill extends the ability to petition for a gun violence restraining order to coworkers, employers, teachers, other school personnel, and mental health professionals. Gun violence restraining orders may be extended for up to one year and may be renewed multiple times.

Falsely reporting lost or stolen guns (AB 1695): Current law labels falsely reporting a lost or stolen firearm as a misdemeanor; this bill would prohibit anyone convicted of this misdemeanor from possessing a firearm for 10 years.

Failure to report lost or stolen guns (SB 894): Institutes fines and possible imprisonment for gun owners who do not report a firearm lost or stolen within five days.

Punishment for theft (AB 1176): Amends current law to classify firearm theft as grand theft, punishable by imprisonment and a 10 year possession ban. Also classifies concealing, withholding, or receiving a stolen firearm, or aiding in the theft, concealment, etc., of a firearm, as a crime punishable by either misdemeanor or felony charges.

No news yet of which of these bills will be signed into law. Governor Brown has stated that he does plan to sign several, if not all, of the bills. He is expected to make those decisions sometime today. Many of these bills mirror provisions that Lt Governor Gavin Newsom is petitioning to include on the November ballot, so a veto today does not mean these bills will not be instituted tomorrow.

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