California Legislature Moves to Ban Millions of Common Firearms

California Legislature Moves to Ban Millions of Common Firearms

California Legislature Moves to Ban Millions of Common Firearms

The California legislature is back in session, and politicians are wasting no time seeking media attention by introducing ill-conceived gun bans that would ban millions of commonly owned firearms.

On January 14, 2016, Assembly Member David Chiu introduced AB 1663 (coauthored by Members Levine and Ting and backed by current California Attorney General and U.S. Senate candidate Kamala Harris). Immediately thereafter Assembly members Levine and Ting introduced AB 1664 (coauthored by Assembly Member Chiu).

Not to be outdone by the Assembly, State Senators Hall and Glazer introduced a similar bill, SB 880, on Friday, January 15, 2016 in the California Senate.

AB 1663 (which is a retread of vetoed SB-374 from 2013) will turn all “semiautomatic centerfire rifle[s] that do not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds” into “assault weapons.” Generally speaking, if you have a semiautomatic centerfire rifle and you can remove the magazine by pushing the magazine release button or your rifle has a “bullet button,” the rifle will be considered to be an “assault weapon” and you will be required to register the rifle as an “assault weapon” with the California Department of Justice. (A “bullet button” is a magazine disconnect locking device that replaces or covers the standard magazine release mechanism. The device forces a shooter to use a tool to remove the magazine. Under current law, the use of a “bullet button” prevents certain firearms from being classified as “assault weapons.”)

AB 1664 and SB 880 do roughly the same thing. They either redefine or rephrase the current definition of “assault weapon” to include firearms that are affixed with a “bullet button.”