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New Gun Laws for 2018 You Should Know

As we move into 2018, there have been many new changes to gun restriction laws that have come into effect. It is essential to stay abreast of the unique issues that have taken shape so that we can remain compliant with the law. Many gun owners are confused by the new regulations that have gone into effect as of January 1. The confusion stems from open court cases, and changing deadlines. To highlight the critical changes that have happened, we will go through them one by one.

Are Assault Rifles Still Legal to Own?

The short answer is yes. However, you can no longer purchase an assault rifle in California. If you currently own one you will also need to register each firearm. In 2016, laws were passed to ban guns with bullet buttons, This code then cemented what the definition of an assault weapon was. “ California now defines an “assault weapon” as any semi-automatic, centerfire rifle or semi-automatic pistol that lacks a fixed magazine and has one of some features that include a protruding pistol grip or a folding or telescoping stock. “ reported by the Sacramento Bee.

While gun enthusiasts won’t be able to purchase an assault rifle, as long as you register ones owned, you will stay compliant. The deadline for assault rifle registration has been pushed back to June 30, 2018.

Changes Regarding Ammunition and Magazines

For the moment you can still own a detachable magazine containing more than ten rounds. There was a ban that came up, where owners were to dispose of any detachable magazines that held more than ten rounds but was quickly challenged by the gun rights groups. There are two pending court cases at the moment that is challenging the ban on ownership of these magazines. For now, you can still own them.

New to 2018, as of January 1 is the ban on having ammunition delivered to your home. Purchasing ammo online and in a catalog is still legal. However, you must have it sent to a licensed vendor. In an attempt to collect off gun owners, you will also have to pay a processing fee to the authorized vendor. Another cost won’t come as a big surprise to many in California, especially those who reside in Sacramento because there have already been restrictions on the direct mailing of ammo to a residence. The ban on direct mailing doesn’t apply to reloading supplies such as empty cartridges. In addition to the immediate mailing ban, it will also be illegal to bring ammunition in from other states.

Background checks for purchasing or transferring ammunition won’t go into effect until July 2019. When purchasing ammo, it is unlikely you will have to buy a permit. A 50$ permit was a provision in the 2016 legislature Proposition 63, but that same year Gov. Jerry Brown override the license. Instead, gun owners that wish to purchase ammunition will pay a $1.00 state fee for the background check when the law goes into effect. The good news is, there is no restriction on the amount of ammo a person can purchase.

Is There a Change to Open-Carry of Long Guns?

In 2017, there was a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown that has made it a misdemeanor to openly carry a long gun that is unloaded in areas of the county that are unincorporated. This law went into effect Jan. 1. However, it only applies to county supervisors that have prohibited firing weapons. For the counties that don’t have shooting bans, which is most of them, the prohibition won’t apply.


“Here are the new California gun laws that take effect in 2018.” The Sacramento Bee, 17 Dec. 2017,

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