Thursday afternoon, a group of California Senate Democrats rolled out a legislative package that would create what would likely be the tightest gun regulation system in the nation, ranging from sweeping prohibitions on semi-automatic rifles to restrictions on guns in the home. The proposal consists of ten points:
1. Ban all semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines. California’s assault weapons ban only restricts the possession of semi-automatic rifles that accept detachable magazines if they have an additional, “military-style” feature like flash suppressors. The new laws would tighten this law by banning all such rifles regardless of external features.
2. Ban possession of high-capacity magazines. California law bans the transfer, not possession, of magazines that can hold over ten bullets. This allows people wanting to skirt the law to buy the constituent parts and make the magazines themselves. The new law would close that loophole.
3. Ban “bullet button” conversion kits. State law defines “detachable magazines” as, in part, magazines that can be released “without the use of a tool.” Bullet button kits allow magazines to be released quickly by pressing a bullet into them, thus creating an end-around the intent of the assault weapons ban. The new provisions would ban such kits.
4. Bans shotgun-rifle combinations. It would ban this class of class of weapon.
5. Universal registration of all guns. The law would create “ownership records consistently across-the-board, ensuring all firearms are recorded” so that the background check system can prevent criminals from getting guns.
6. Background checks on ammunition. This provision requires a “full and complete” background check on ammunition sales, “building on” laws existing in Los Angeles and Sacramento.
7. Regulating gun loans. The legislators propose setting up an as-yet undefined regulatory system for the loan, as opposed to sale, of guns.
8. Prevent prohibited individuals from living in homes with guns. California’s Armed Persons Prohibition (APP) database lists people who can’t legally own weapons (as a consequence of criminal or mental health records) under state law. This addition would prevent people on the list from living in a house that has a gun.
9. Cracking down on people who can’t own guns legally but do anyway. Currently, 19,700 people who are on the APP list own guns. Police estimate that these people own roughly 39,000 firearms. This new law would authorize additional funding to enforce the law in this area.
10. Required safety training for handgun owners. People with concealed carry permits are required under California (and many other) state laws to pass a mandatory safety and firearm instruction course. This provision would require all handgun owners, regardless of permit status, to undergo a similar process.