On March 19, the California Department of Justice (DOJ) held its planned public hearing regarding proposed regulations for the implementation of Assembly Bill 857 (the so-called “ghost gun” bill). Signed into law in 2016 as part of the other “Gunmageddon” bills, AB 857 will drastically change the way in which law-abiding individuals can make home-built firearms by first requiring them to apply for and receive a DOJ-approved serial number that must then be engraved onto the firearm. What’s more, individuals who already lawfully own firearms without a serial number will also be required to obtain and engrave a DOJ-approved serial number for most firearms not already registered with DOJ.
As with most of the recently enacted changes to California’s firearm laws, the legislature left it to DOJ to enact necessary regulations for AB 857’s implementation. Unfortunately, the proposed regulations for AB 857 are riddled with serious errors and inconsistencies that, if enacted, would impose confusing and onerous requirements on California gun owners. In short, they fail to provide adequate guidance, fail to appropriately define certain terms, improperly narrow statutory exceptions, and impose unjustified costs on gun owners.
In response, NRA and CRPA attorneys submitted a letter of comment highlighting the many problems with the proposed regulations. But the proposed regulations are so defective that should DOJ make any changes, they will likely be substantial enough to warrant a second 45-day public comment period. This would mean DOJ would be unlikely to meet the July 1, 2018, deadline when the law takes effect.
At this time, it remains to be seen if DOJ will be making any changes as a result of NRA and CRPA’s comments. But rest assured, NRA and CRPA are monitoring the proposal and will notify our members of any developments.
NRA and CRPA will soon host a webinar regarding the recent changes to California law as a result of AB 857 and DOJ’s regulations if they are enacted.
Continue to check your inbox and the California Stand and Fight web page for updates on issues impacting your Second Amendment rights and hunting heritage in California.