California Legislators Approve Ban on All Self-Loading Centerfire Rifles with Detachable Magazines — Bill Goes to Governor
Yesterday (August 10th), the California Assembly, on a 44-31 vote, approved SB 374, which bans the sale (or transfer) of ALL semi-automatic centerfire rifles that can accept a detachable magazine of any kind (no matter what the capacity). Californians who possess such rifles would be required to register them with the State, for a fee, prior to January 1, 2015. Since SB 374 has already passed the California State Senate, this bill, after conforming amendments in the Senate, is expected to go to Governor Jerry Brown for signature within a few weeks.
The scope of SB 374 is sweeping. It bans all self-loading centerfire rifles capable of using a detachable magazine, regardless of magazine capacity (or placement). The operative language of SB 374 with respect to magazines is an awkward double-negative. But the intent is clear — if a semi-auto centerfire rifle can accept a detachable magazine AT ALL, it is banned:
SECTION 1. Section 30515 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
30515. (a) Notwithstanding Section 30510, “assault weapon” also means any of the following:
(1) A semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds.
The way we interpret this, a semi-automatic with ANY kind of detachable magazine (even a one-rounder) would be banned. This would outlaw a wide variety of commonly-used hunting rifles fitted with flush-mounted 3-, and 4-round ‘pop-out’ magazines. This would outlaw the classic Remington 750 deer rifle, for example. It would outlaw M1 Garands which have an 8-round en bloc clip. And if you already own an M1 Garand, you would have to register it with the state government. (Under other legislation in the works in Sacramento, all ‘bullet button’ ARs would also be banned.)
Other observers read SB 374 the way we do — that it bans any and all centerfire rifles that can take a detachable magazine (of any capacity). Ammoland states that SB 374 will “eliminate the future sale, purchase, manufacture, importation and possession of semi-automatic rifles that can accept detachable magazines. No more mini-14s, no more ARs, no more M1s, and say goodbye to your Remington 750 for deer hunting. [T]he goal is clear – if it is a rifle and has a detachable magazine, then forget about owning one.”
|California Legislative Counsel’s Digest
SB 374, as amended, Steinberg. Firearms: assault weapons.
Existing law regulates the sale, carrying, and control of firearms, including assault weapons, and requires assault weapons to be registered with the Department of Justice. Violation of these provisions is a crime. Existing law defines a semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and other specified features and a semiautomatic weapon that has a fixed magazine with a capacity to accept 10 or more rounds as an assault weapon.
This bill would, instead, classify a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that does not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no more than 10 rounds as an assault weapon. The bill would require a person who, between Jan. 1, 2001, and Dec. 31, 2013, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, and who, on or after Januarry 1, 2014, possesses that firearm, to register the firearm by July 1, 2015. By expanding the definition of a crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
- Semi-Auto Ban Vetoed in California, But Lead Ammo Ban Approved
- California SB249 Would Outlaw Mag-Equipped Semi-Auto Rifles
- New York State Mandatory Registration Program Starts Today
- eBay Eases Restrictions on Gun Parts Allowed for Sale or Auction
- U.S. Senator D. Feinstein to Sponsor New “Assault Weapons Ban”