Here’s a rundown of what each of the bills passed in 2016 that will affect California gun owners and builders.
(AB 857) Firearm identifying information: This bill would, commencing July 1, 2018, and subject to exceptions, require a person who manufactures or assembles a firearm to first apply to the department for a unique serial number or other identifying mark, as provided. The bill would, by January 1, 2019, and subject to exceptions, require any person who, as of July 1, 2018, owns a firearm that does not bear a serial number to likewise apply to the department for a unique serial number or other mark of identification. The bill would, except as provided, prohibit the sale or transfer of ownership of a firearm manufactured or assembled pursuant to these provisions. The bill would prohibit a person from aiding in the manufacture or assembly of a firearm by a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm. The bill would make a violation of these provisions a misdemeanor. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
(SB 880 & AB 1135) Bullet button ban: California already bans the sale of rifles that have detachable magazines—where pushing a button with a finger can dislodge the weapon’s magazine. Gun manufacturers have instead added “bullet buttons,” which still allow the magazine to slide out, but require the tip of a bullet or another pointed object to access it. The bill includes weapons with “bullet buttons” in the detachable magazine ban. Those who currently own one or purchase one before Jan 1 2017, have the following year to re-register their firearm with the Department of Justice. However, those who take the necessary steps to modify their rifles so that they do not have a detachable magazine may remove themselves from this issue.
(SB 1446) Ban possession of high-capacity magazines: Effective July 1st, 2017, Owners of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds would have to sell them out of state or to licensed firearms dealers, turn them over to police, or destroy them within a year. The state already bans the sale of these magazines, but supporters of the bill say they remain too prevalent and easy for criminals to obtain. Opponents say these types of magazines are used for sport shooting. The bill exempts retired law enforcement officers from the ban.
(AB 1511) Gun lending: Parents, children, grand children, spouses and domestic partners could loan guns to each other, but not to anyone else, under this bill. Currently, California allows “person who are personally known to each other” to lend weapons for less than 30 days.
(AB 1695) Falsely reporting lost or stolen guns: The bill would make it a misdemeanor to falsely report a gun as stolen and also ban the person who reports it from buying another firearm for 10 years. Supporters of the bill say it’s an effort to stop people who sell guns on the black market, after buying them legally and then reporting the weapons stolen.
(SB 1235) Ammo sales: Ammunition sellers would need licenses and buyers would be entered into a state database for background checks, under this bill. Supporters say ammunition sales are essentially unregulated, and this measures will fix that. Opponents argue it will add bureaucracy and cost, but won’t reduce violent crime, because criminals will buy ammo on the black market. This law goes into effect in 2019 and some small gun shop owners will have time to figure out the logistics as they are concerned the technology required for the data-base will be costly and potentially put them out of business