California Democrats have proposed a new gun legislation that would essentially replace the current registration system in place. The one-time system would reportedly be replaced with an annual registration requirement along with a state-mandated fee.

The New Bill Would Deposit Fees Into Firearm Registry Program Fund

The new bill (which has been referred to as “Bill SB 1160”) would deposit the collected fees into a fund. Multiple reports show that the fund is being used to finance a firearm registry program.

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In addition to the fee, it would also make the possession of an unregistered firearm a punishment infraction. This essentially creates a new local program.

Existing Law Requires Licensed Firearms Dealer To Process Sale Or Transfer

With the existing law, California required licensed firearms dealers to process the sales or transfers of all firearms. Specific information regarding each sale or transfer was then to be recorded by the licensed firearms dealer.

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The law also required that information to then be submitted to the Department of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ would then maintain the information and all pertinent details regarding the firearms registered within California.  

New Bill Requires Every Firearm To Be Annually Registered With Department

Bill SB 1160 would require every firearm throughout California to be registered annually with the department. This bill does not include the firearms that have received a specific exemption.

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Registrants would have to pay an annual fee that would go into the special fund. The funds would be used “for the express purpose of carrying out the administration and enforcement of the firearm registry.”

Bill Requires Department To Make Registration Info Available To Other Agencies

The new bill would require a system of annual firearm registration to be maintained. More importantly, it requires the department to make the registration information easily accessible for other law enforcement agencies.

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According to the Legislative Counsel’s Digest regarding the new bill, it requires “the department to make reasonable efforts to notify firearms dealers, firearm owners, and the general public regarding registration requirements.”

California Has Top Rating For Its Existing Gun Laws

The State of California has already receiving high rankings for its existing gun laws. Even though some may refer to the laws as stringent, others have gone on record to publicly praise and commend the state for enforcing them.

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“Everytown for Gun Safety” has reportedly rated California # 1 when it comes to its enforced gun laws. These laws cover such factors as registration, waiting periods, campus bands, red flag/storage laws, and magazine limits.

California Required DOJ Registration Within 60 Days Of Acquisition

One of the highlights of the stringent gun laws for California is the registration timeline. Most firearms are required to be officially registered with the Department of Justice for the state within 60 days.

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The requirement included rifles, shotguns, handguns, and assault weapons. The registration process itself consisted of personal information submission, firearm detail disclosure, and a background check of the firearm owner.

Waiting Period Required For All Firearm Purchases

There is also a mandatory waiting period enforced for all firearm purchases. It is currently set at 10 days.

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The actual waiting period does not start until the date that the firearm was either purchased or transferred. There are certain exemptions that apply to those who are either trading in a firearm or have a valid Carry Concealed Weapons (CCW) permit.

Firearm Possession Is Banned On Public And Private University Campuses

The State of California has prohibited the possession of any firearms on its university campuses. This includes public and private institutions alike.

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The only ones that are allowed to carry firearms on campus are the law enforcement officers. Other exceptions exist for such facilities and activities as firearm storage areas and shooting ranges.

More Details About The Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs)

There is a series of red flag laws, also referred to as “Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVROs)”, that have also been implemented by the state. These laws allow family members or law enforcement officials to petition the court for the temporary removal of firearms from the people that are deemed threats to others or themselves.

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The GVRO could also provide law enforcement agencies with the ability to confiscate firearms.  It also allows them to prohibit targeted individuals from purchasing or even possessing firearms for a specific period.

Firearms Must Be Store In Secured Location With Limited Access

According to the storage laws enforced by California, a firearm must be stored either with a locking device or within a locked container. It also must be placed in a location that is inaccessible to any individuals that are not properly authorized to use it.

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These storage laws are primarily enforced in family homes where minors are present. However, it can also come in handy where there are other individuals that should not have access to firearms within the residence.

California Also Restricts Magazine Capacity Of Firearms

In addition to the firearm itself, California has also enforced laws that specifically focus on the magazine used within the firearm. For instance, the maximum capacity that is permitted for magazines within a firearm is 10 rounds.

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There are certain exemptions that are considered for those who already owned magazines with high capacities before the specific legislation was enforced. Law enforcement officers are also excluded from this law.

Assault Weapon Restrictions Are Also Enforced By State Law

California has an extensive list of features that have been banned from firearms that would specifically classify those firearms as assault weapons. For instance, these features include such items as a flash suppressor, telescoping stock, and pistol grip.

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Assault weapons that were owned legally before specific legislation dates may also be made subject to registration requirements.

Background Checks Are Required For Ammunition Purchases

Background checks are reportedly not just required when purchasing firearms in California. State law also requires background checks to be processed when purchasing ammunition as well.

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These checks typically verify that the person is eligible to buy ammunition. It is usually conducted through the Automated Firearms System (AFS) of the California Department of Justice.

Open Carry Restrictions Block Firearm Carries In Public Places

California has already prohibited the open carry of any firearm within a public place – including vehicles, sidewalks, and streets. Carrying an unloaded handgun may be allowed in certain circumstances, however.

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Strict regulations apply when those extenuating circumstances are present. Local ordinances may also restrict open carry even further.