California

Confused over California’s new gun laws? Here’s when they take effect

Gun dealer describes confusion, complexity in California’s new gun laws

California lawmakers and voters passed a slew of new gun and ammunition laws in 2016 that will significantly affect the state’s more than 6 million firearms owners. Gun dealers say the overlapping laws have created confusion.
Up Next
California lawmakers and voters passed a slew of new gun and ammunition laws in 2016 that will significantly affect the state’s more than 6 million firearms owners. Gun dealers say the overlapping laws have created confusion.

Between state legislation and voter-approved ballot initiatives, 2016 saw passage of sweeping new gun regulations in California. Taken together, the new laws will add a host of restrictions for California’s more than 6 million gun owners, from where you buy your ammunition to how you store your guns and who can borrow them.

Some of the new restrictions take effect at the start of 2017. Others are staggered over the next two years. Here’s your guide to California’s new era of gun ownership.

Dates California gun laws take effect

Theft/loss reporting

When it becomes a crime to falsely report a firearm has been lost or stolen

Jan. 1

Start date for requirement that theft or loss of a firearm must be reported to law enforcement within five days

July 1

Lending firearms

When it becomes illegal, with limited exceptions, to loan guns to anyone outside of immediate family members

Jan. 1

Large-capacity magazine restrictions

When it becomes illegal, with limited exceptions, to possess magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds

July 1

Assault weapon restrictions

Start date for the new definition of “assault weapon”

Jan. 1

Deadline to register a newly designated assault weapon with the state

Dec. 31, 2017

Restrictions on home-built “ghost guns” and guns without serial numbers

Start date for requirement that you get state permission before manufacturing or assembling a firearm

July 1, 2018

Deadline to place a serial number on any unmarked firearm possessed after July 1, 2018

Dec. 31, 2018

Ammunition restrictions

Start date for requirement that ammunition sales or transfers be conducted through a licensed ammunition vendor

Jan. 1, 2018

When you no longer can import ammunition bought outside the state without first shipping it to a licensed vendor

Jan. 1, 2018

Start date for requirement that Californians undergo background checks to buy ammunition

July 1, 2019

Handgun storage law

Start date for requirement that handguns be stored in a locked container or locked trunk when left in an unattended vehicle

Jan. 1

Sources: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Legislative Analyst’s Office, California legal codes.

Related stories from Sacramento Bee

  Comments