As previously reported, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) officially submitted regulations regarding newly classified “Bullet Button Assault Weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) for final publication in the California Code of Regulations (CCR). The regulations were submitted to OAL as “File and Print” only, meaning DOJ is claiming that the regulations are expressly exempted by statute from public comment or OAL review. The regular rulemaking process in California requires State agencies to provide at least 45 days for public comment on any regulation. But if OAL accepts DOJ’s position that all of their “assault weapon” regulations are exempt from this ordinary adoption process, the regulations will then be published in the CCR without any opportunity for public comment.
DOJ claims an exemption as a result of specific language in the recently enacted “assault weapon” law regarding the registration process. As enacted, the law requires DOJ to create regulations providing gun owners with the information necessary on how to properly register their bullet-button firearms with DOJ as an “assault weapon.” The law exempts such registration related regulations from the typical rulemaking process, but significantly, only to the extent necessary for the actual registration process.
Contrary to the limits of the OAL exemption contained in the statute itself, the regulations submitted by DOJ to OAL go far beyond what is necessary for the registration process. The regulations actually read like a wish list from the gun ban lobby that DOJ is attempting to shoehorn into the limited exception to the regulatory adoption process actually contained in the law. Included in the regulations DOJ submitted are over 40 new definitions, excessive personal information requirements for registering a firearm, requirements that individuals provide information on where they acquired their firearms, requirements that individuals provide DOJ with photos of their firearms, requirements for serializing firearms built from 80% receivers, expansion of the “assault weapon” definition to bullet-button equipped shotguns, and restrictions on removing the “bullet-button” once the firearm is registered as an “assault weapon.”
In response, today NRA and CRPA’s legal team submitted a joint-letter to DOJ demanding that DOJ withdraw their regulations as a violation of the authority granted under the law. NRA and CRPA’s legal team also submitted a joint-letter to OAL requesting OAL to reject and not officially publish DOJ’s regulations. In the event that DOJ does not adhere to this demand letter, a lawsuit will be promptly filed.
Don’t forget tomorrow, Tuesday January 10 at 12:00 p.m., NRA and CRPA’s legal team will be hosting a free webinar on the recently submitted “Bullet Button Assault Weapon” regulations. You can register for the webinar by clicking here. Submit questions in advance to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are unable to attend the webinar, it will be archived for later viewing.
Be sure to stay tuned to your inbox and www.nraila.org for updates on this issue and many more effecting your rights.