California gun owners have finally gotten a bit of good news regarding their state’s ridiculously restrictive firearms laws.
Former Attorney General Kamala Harris’s “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” regulations were withdrawn by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra’s Department of Justice Bureau of Firearms.
These regulations were part of the “Gunpocalypse” legislation signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown last year, and essentially reclassified all semi-automatic weapons with “evil features” and mag locking compliance devices (aka “Bullet Button”) into “assault weapons.” It also prevented them from being transferred or sold after the beginning of 2017.
The Firearms Policy Coalition was kind enough to break down exactly what this means for the average citizen.
The statutes that were added or changed by AB 1135 and SB 880 are still in effect. The withdrawal of the regulations does not mean the underlying laws have been repealed (i.e, the ban on the sale or transfer of “Bullet Button Assault Weapons” is still in effect).
All lawfully possessed “Bullet-Button Assault Weapons” must be registered before January 1, 2018. However, with DOJ having now withdrawn their proposed regulations (many of which had no legal basis or were just an attempt to “sneak in” new laws), it is not clear when the registration process will be finalized or when the DOJ will open up the registration system. Unless the Legislature passes a new bill, the statutory deadline will not change.
The DOJ is also being accused of not allowing people to register their “Bullet-Button Assault Rifles” in accordance with the law, meaning that those who do own firearms that fall under these specifications will face criminal liability.
While some may celebrate this as a minor victory for the Second Amendment, keep in mind that future regulations could be significantly worse than what Harris proposed.