New California Laws Will Impact Gun Owners in 2018

Gun Law

Legislation taking effect during 2018 will significantly impact gun ownership in California. Proposition 63 took effect in July, but many of its provisions only commence in 2018. Beginning with the New Year, gun owners may no longer drive across state lines carrying ammunition. The new legislation will also affect the sale of ammunition, the reporting of stolen firearms and the surrender of weapons.

Ammunition Purchases

Most residents of California seeking to buy ammunition may only purchases this product from a dealer licensed by the Department of Justice as an ammunition vendor. The law makes an exception for licensed firearms dealers and also for collectors, sworn law enforcement officers, individuals holding federal firearms licenses exempted through the Department of Justice, and the immediate family members, registered domestic partners and spouses of ammunition owners.

Under the new provisions, the term "ammunition" won't include blanks. It will cover loaded cartridges. Gun owners seeking to purchase ammunition must complete this transaction in person. They can also buy ammunition online from a licensed vendor, as long as the vendor provides delivery of the purchase to the customer.

Reporting Stolen Firearms And Surrendering Weapons

In accordance with another provision of Proposition 63 which has already taken effect, gun owners must notify law enforcement about stolen guns. An owner who discovers the theft of a gun has a five-day span of time to report the loss to the police. If a firearms owner fails to take this action, the gun owner risks incurring a fine.

Repeated violations of the new reporting provision may result in fines of $1,000. Additionally, starting on January 1, 2018, individuals convicted of criminal offenses requiring the surrender of firearms must complete the surrender process before the official closure of the criminal court proceeding. Convicted felons who fail to surrender weapons in a timely manner potentially risk serving longer periods of time in jail.

Further Provisions Applying in 2019

Beginning in January, 2019, additional provisions of Proposition 63 will take effect. Ammunitions vendors will carry the responsibility of performing electronic tracking of ammunition sales and transfers. They must submit this data to the Department of Justice for inclusion in a national Ammunition Purchase Record File Database. Also commencing in 2019, anyone purchasing ammunition must submit to a background check.