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California’s New Gun Control Laws – What You Need to Know

On August 28, 2018, the California Senate passed a new gun control law (AB-2888) which permits the requesting of gun restraining orders against individuals who display violent behavior. In addition, with three additional new gun control bills targeting those convicted of domestic violence and/or those placed on involuntary psychiatric holds, substantial changes in California’s gun laws are expected pending the approval of Governor Jerry Brown.

At The Law Office of Amy Chapman, we strive to ensure that our clients understand their legal rights to owning firearms, and how this new legislation may affect them. We’ve outlined the major changes that are set to occur under these four new gun control bills. How will these gun control laws change preexisting laws? Are your rights as a legal gun owner threatened? We hope to address some of your questions and concerns below.

AB-2888 – Gun Restraining Orders

Assembly Bill 2888 amends Sections 18150, 18170 and 18190 of the Penal Code and authorizes a court to issue an ex parte gun violence restraining order against any subject of a petition who poses a significant danger of harm to themselves or to others. These restraining orders can last indefinitely or for a year, and may be renewed through petition.

An immediate family member, employer, coworker, teacher or law enforcement officer may file a petition requesting an ex parte gun violence restraining order from the court. Those who are issued a restraining order under this new gun law are prohibited from having any firearm or ammunition on their person, and are also prohibited from owning, purchasing, possessing, receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition as well.

AB-3129 – Lifetime Gun Ban for Those Convicted of Domestic Violence Misdemeanor

Although federal law imposes a similar lifetime ban for those convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor, California’s existing state law has been much more lenient, only imposing a 10-year firearm ban up until this point. Assembly Bill 3129 amends Section 29805 of the Penal Code and imposes a lifetime ban on firearm possession those convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence offense.

The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%—a chilling statistic that emphasizes the need to ensure the protection of domestic violence victims and survivors. With this new bill, proposed by Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), we share Rubio’s hope in that AB-3129 will help guarantee the safety of domestic violence victims in the long-term.

AB-1968 – Lifetime Gun Bans for Those Placed on Involuntary Psychiatric Hold Twice in a Year

Existing California law states that any person admitted to a designated mental health facility for posing a danger to self or others must not possess a gun for 5 years following release. Assembly Bill 1968 amends, repeals and adds to Section 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code that any person placed on involuntary psychiatric hold twice in a year (due to the risk of harm to self or others) may now face a lifetime ban on owning firearms.

Proposed by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), this bill would also allow patients to petition the court at a later date to have their gun ban lifted upon proving to the court that they intend to own and use a firearm in a “safe and lawful manner.”

AB-2103 – Increased Requirements to Acquiring Carry Concealed Weapon Permits

The requirements for the acquisition of Carry Concealed Weapon (CCW) permits in California have traditionally varied by both city and county law, but most often have granted permits on the grounds of an applicant’s “good moral character” and a general training course—as is the case in Sonoma County.

Assembly Bill 2103 bolsters both local and state requirements to acquire a CCW permit, and would entail that applicants receive at least 8 hours of specializes training on firearm safety, handling and technique. In addition, applicants will be required to pass a live-fire shooting test on a firing range to demonstrate that they can both handle and fire a gun safely.

Contact an Experienced California Firearms Attorney

As long as the Second Amendment stands, guns and firearms will always be at the center of legal reform across both state and federal jurisdictions. These four new bills have already seen some pushback from anti-regulation gun owners, but many more look to them as a way of guaranteeing the safety of as many of our state’s citizens in the long-term as possible.

California’s gun laws are not perfect, but they have provided an example of how effective gun laws can create a safer community for all residents—gun-owners or not. If you have any questions regarding the new changes in firearms law in the state of California, The Law Office of Amy Chapman is happy to provide answers. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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