18 new CA Gun Laws that take effect in 2024 and beyond

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In response to firearm violence, state lawmakers have worked to impose more gun laws. Here’s a rundown of what to expect in 2024 and beyond.

Toni McAllister | Patch

More than 42,000 people died of gun violence in the United States during 2023. The Dec. 29 figure comes from the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization that touts itself as an independent data collection and research institute with no affiliation to any advocacy group.

The Golden State was not spared firearm deaths over the last year, according to GVA. California saw its share of suicides, mass shootings, homicides and accidental gun deaths involving all ages, races and genders. In response to firearm violence, state lawmakers have worked to impose more gun laws. Here’s a rundown of what to expect in 2024 and beyond. Senate Bill 2 signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on Sept. 26 featured control measures, including restricting licensed gun holders from carrying their firearms in many “sensitive” public places such as bars, churches, parks, public events, stadiums, casinos, financial institutions, medical facilities, on public transportation, and other spaces.

However, the law will not go into full effect on Jan. 1 as scheduled. On Dec. 20, U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney issued an order to stop the ban on licensed gun carrying in sensitive places. California Attorney General Rob Bonta is appealing the judge’s order. “Guns in sensitive public places do not make our communities safer, but rather the opposite,” Bonta said following the judge’s order. “More guns in more sensitive places makes the public less safe; the data supports it. I have directed my team to file an appeal to overturn this decision. We believe the court got this wrong … .” Assembly Bill 28 was approved by the governor in September and takes effect July 1. It establishes an excise tax on licensed firearms dealers, firearms manufacturers, and ammunition vendors to fund programs that address the causes and harms of gun violence.

Two laws were approved in 2023 that address body armor and guns. Assembly Bill 301 allows courts to consider the acquisition of body armor as a determining factor in issuing gun violence restraining orders. Additionally, Assembly Bill 92 prohibits a person from purchasing or possessing body armor if state law prevents them from possessing a firearm.

Assembly Bill 1089 is a crackdown on manufacturers that are fueling the ghost gun market. The new law approved by the governor in September paves the way for legal action to be taken against a firearm manufacturer that distributes digital instructions on how to make a firearm, or that violates provisions relating to the use, sale, marketing, advertising, transfer, possession, purchase, or receipt of a computer numerical control milling machine or three-dimensional printer that has the sole or primary function of manufacturing firearms.

The law also allows a person harmed by this type of manufacturer to seek injunctive relief, compensatory or statutory damages, punitive damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and other appropriate relief. The law also authorizes the state Attorney General, a county counsel, or a city attorney to seek a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation, as well as injunctive relief sufficient to prevent a manufacturer and any other defendant from further violating the law.

Assembly Bill 1587 requires financial institutions that facilitate debit/credit card transactions to create a merchant category code for firearms merchants. Financial institutions must comply with the new law by July 1. Assembly Bill 97 is another new law intended to crack down on ghost guns. It requires the Department of Justice to report data on arrests and prosecutions of specified misdemeanor offenses related to firearms lacking valid state or federal serial numbers. Beginning July 1, Assembly Bill 455 allows court orders to prohibit a defendant who is participating in mental health diversion from owning or possessing a firearm because they are a danger to themselves or others.

Approved by the governor in September, Assembly Bill 574 requires gun buyers to verify on the dealer record of sale whether they have, within the past 30 days, checked and confirmed possession of all firearms they currently own or possess. Assembly Bill 732 requires those convicted of felony or specified misdemeanor offenses to relinquish all firearms within 48 hours of conviction if they remain out of custody. The new law also establishes requirements if firearms are not relinquished.

Senate Bill 241 takes effect July 1, 2026, and requires the Department of Justice to create a firearm-sales training course and certification that firearm dealers and their employees must complete annually. Starting Jan. 1, 2028, Senate Bill 452 prohibits licensed firearm dealers from selling, offering, exchanging, giving, or transferring a semiautomatic pistol unless the pistol has been verified as a microstamping-enabled pistol. Microstamping allows law enforcement officials who recover ballistics at the scene of a shooting to immediately identify the gun(s) used.

The new law also makes it a crime to modify a microstamping-enabled pistol. Senate Bill 417 takes effect Jan. 1 and requires certain signage to be visible inside the premises of a licensed firearms dealer. Signs must contain information about safe gun storage, rules regarding lost and stolen firearms, and information about the national suicide prevention lifeline.

Approved by the governor in September, Assembly Bill 303 requires the state Attorney General to provide local law enforcement agencies with more information from the database known as the Prohibited Armed Persons File, also known as the Armed Prohibited Persons System. Assembly Bill 355 allows the loan and possession of assault weapons to enrollees of police academies, but it prohibits the loaned weapons from leaving training facilities. Starting July 1, 2026, Assembly Bill 725 amends how a firearm is defined to include the frame or receiver of the weapon.

It requires that if these components become lost or stolen, the owner must report it. Approved by the governor in September, Assembly Bill 1406 allows, under certain circumstances, the extension of the existing 10-day waiting period for the transfer or sale of a firearm. The law allows the Department of Justice to request a delay if additional research is required to determine a person’s eligibility to own a firearm. Assembly Bill 1483 clarifies private-party firearm sales, including frames, receivers and precursor parts. Parts of the new law take effect Jan. 1 while others commence Jan. 1, 2025.

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