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New Firearms Legislation: "Bullet Button" Firearms will be Considered Assault Weapons Effective January 1, 2017
Pursuant to Assembly Bill 1135 (Stats. 2016, ch. 40) and Senate Bill 880 (Stats. 2016, ch. 48) effective January 1, 2017, the definition of assault weapon is revised.
These bills will require that any person who, from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2016, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, as defined in Penal Code section 30515, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool, shall register the firearm before January 1, 2018, but not before the effective date of the regulations adopted by the DOJ.
These bills will also require registrations to be submitted electronically via the Internet utilizing a public-facing application made available by the DOJ. These bills will require the registration to contain specified information, including, but not limited to, a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely and specified information about the registrant. These bills will permit the Department to charge a fee of up to $15 per person for registration through the Internet, not to exceed the reasonable processing costs of the Department to be paid and deposited, as specified, for purposes of the registration program. These bills will require the Department to adopt regulations for the purpose of implementing those provisions and will exempt those regulations from the Administrative Procedure Act. These bills will also make technical and conforming changes.
Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880 also define the meaning of "fixed magazine" to mean an ammunition feeding device contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.
This new legislation closes the "bullet button" loop hole and categorizes "bullet button" firearms as assault weapons.