Owners of firearms in California are bracing themselves for new laws that restrict how they can legally own and possess guns. Three of these laws take effect in 2017.

Firearms Loan

Assembly Bill No. 1151 makes it a gun crime for a firearms owner to loan guns to anyone who is not an immediate family member. Under this new law, only specific persons qualify as an immediate family member who must be a:

  • Spouse
  • Registered domestic partner
  • Parent
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Grandparent
  • Grandchild

Other than any of these family members, a registered gun owner must course the loan of a firearm through a licensed firearms dealer or risk a gun crime charge.

Additionally, for the loan to be legal, it must be:

  • For a limited period, not exceeding 30 days
  • Infrequent (not more than 6 times each year)
  • For a lawful purpose

This law took effect on January 1, 2017.

False Reporting of a Lost or Stolen Gun

California also passed Assembly Bill No. 1695 which punishes as a misdemeanor anyone who makes a false report to a police officer that a gun or firearm has been lost or stolen, knowing it to be false. Moreover, anyone who is convicted of this particular gun crime would be disqualified from owning a firearm within 10 years of the conviction. This law is intended to deter the practice of straw firearms purchasers who buy and resell guns to persons who fail or are unable to pass regular background checks in connection with a firearms purchase.

Illegal Possession of Large-Capacity Magazines

California currently punishes the sale or transfer of large-capacity magazines. A new law (Senate Bill No. 1446) now makes it illegal for anyone to possess firearms magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. The actual purpose for the possession of a large-capacity magazine may be raised as a defense in a potential gun crime charge, such as when it is used merely as a prop for a film or motion picture production by a person who holds a special weapons permit. Anyone who is a lawful possessor of a large-capacity magazine before the law takes effect on July 1, 2017 is required to dispose of the magazine.

The new gun crime laws scheduled to take effect in 2017 and others that are lined up for the succeeding years are expected to create a lot of confusion among the millions of gun owners in California. Affected gun owners are advised to consult with an experienced gun crime attorney in Los Angeles to ensure their legal compliance and to avoid potential gun charges.

In Los Angeles, California, the office of David S. Kestenbaum is updated on the latest developments in firearms laws and is prepared to provide strong and effective criminal defenses for persons charged with gun crimes. Call us today at (818) 616-4312 to arrange for a free consultation with one of our approachable criminal defense attorneys.