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New stricter California gun laws to take effect in 2018

 

SACRAMENTO (KRON) -- With the New Year just days away, new state-wide gun laws will go into effect.

Beginning Jan. 1, criminals must give up their guns when they are convicted of a serious crime.

Gun dealers will need to get a certificate of eligibility from the California Department of Justice to verify they passed a background check.

And online ammunition purchases will be shipped to a licensed vendor for transactions, meaning they will no longer ship to a buyer's home.

The new laws are provisions of Proposition 63, which was passed by voters last year.

Here is a full list:

Important new gun laws will come into effect in California on January 1, 2018, pursuant to Proposition 63, which was coauthored by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom and the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and subsequently approved by voters on November 2016's statewide ballot.

"The only thing that has become more predictable than another horrific shooting is the moral cowardice that follows from the NRA-backed politicians in Washington," said California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, who co-authored Proposition 63. "But here in California, we defeated the NRA and passed Proposition 63, a series of commonsense gun violence prevention measures that will make our communities safer. Significantly, it means we finally have a process in place to ensure that dangerous, convicted criminals are forced to get rid of their guns."

The Proposition 63 provisions coming into effect on January 1, 2018 are new laws for convicted criminals to turn over their firearms and tighter controls for internet ammunition sales, and are detailed below:

1. Criminal Relinquishment of Firearms:

Beginning on January 1, 2018, Proposition 63 introduces and implements a clear, mandatory, and enforceable process for criminal offenders to give up their firearms upon their conviction.

Until now, a major gap in California law is that the state has no mechanism to ensure that individuals who have been convicted of a serious criminal offense -including domestic violence crimes- actually turn over possession of their firearms upon conviction.

According to the California Department of Justice (DOJ), thousands of such individuals illegally retain possession of firearms every year. More than 7,700 armed prohibited persons ("APPS") were added to this database in 2014, of which at least 42%-more than 3,200 people-were individuals who illegally retained firearms after a new criminal conviction.

Instead of implementing a standard, enforceable process that proactively ensures prohibited offenders give up their firearms prior to sentencing in a criminal case, California currently requires teams of law enforcement officers to go door-to-door to recover convicted criminals' weapons. This process imposes an extraordinary manpower and financial burden on law enforcement, and in many cases proves too little too late to prevent prohibited offenders from using firearms to perpetrate violence in California.

Proposition 63, beginning on January 1, 2018, implements a clear, mandatory, and enforceable process for the relinquishment of firearms by prohibited criminal offenders. It provides by far the most detailed, comprehensive, and enforceable state law anywhere in the country to proactively ensure that prohibited criminal offenders comply with existing law and relinquish their firearms after conviction.

Defendants convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes, such as felonies, or misdemeanors involving violence, domestic abuse, or illegal weapon use, must provide proof that they sold or transferred their firearms within specified time periods after conviction. Probation officers and courts must verify that the defendant complied with this requirement before final disposition of the defendant's case and shall take further enforcement action to recover firearms from offenders who fail to do so.

2. AMMUNITION SALES

Beginning on January 1, 2018, Proposition 63, ammunition sales must be conducted by or processed through licensed vendors. It will serve to prevent certain convicted criminals from purchasing ammunition once the new law for background checks for ammunition sales come online in July 2019.

Sales of ammunition by unlicensed individuals must be processed through a licensed ammunition vendor, in a manner similar to private party firearms transactions, and ammunition obtained over the Internet or from out of state must be initially shipped to a licensed ammunition vendor for physical delivery to the purchaser pursuant to a background check.

It means that, beginning January 1, 2018, online or catalogue ammunition purchases will need to be shipped to a licensed vendor for transaction, instead of having ammunition directly to the home. It expands throughout California similar local ordinances prohibiting direct mail of ammunition, already in place in some California cities.

The license requirements apply to individuals who sell more than 500 rounds of ammunition in any month. Those vendors must obtain an ammunition vendor license and conduct ammunition sales only at specified business locations. It means gun dealers must obtain a DOJ certificate of eligibility from employees who handle ammunition, verifying that they passed a background check.

PROPOSITION 63 IMPLEMENTATION TO DATE

November 9, 2016

Ammunition:

It became illegal for a person to sell or transfer ammunition to a straw purchaser with knowledge or cause to believe that the straw purchaser would subsequently provide that ammunition to a prohibited person.

Gun dealers must now report the theft or loss of ammunition to local law enforcement, in addition to firearm thefts/losses.

Firearm Theft:

The theft of a firearm can be charged as a felony, no matter the firearm's market value.

Individuals convicted of misdemeanor firearm theft are prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm for 10 years after conviction.

July 1, 2017

Lost/Stolen Firearms:

Firearm owners must notify local law enforcement regarding the theft or loss of a firearm within five days after the owner discovered or reasonably should have discovered the theft or loss.

Ammunition Seller Licensing:

DOJ started accepting applications for ammunition vendor licenses; licensed gun dealers automatically considered licensed ammunition vendors.

Ammunition vendors must report the theft/loss of ammunition to law enforcement and obtain a DOJ certificate of eligibility from employees who handle ammunition, verifying that they passed a background check.

Strengthening Federal Background Checks

DOJ is required to continue sharing records with the FBI containing the name, date of birth, and physical description of individuals who become legally prohibited from possessing a firearm,

DOJ is required to continue to maintain its own state-run background check systems so that firearm background checks in California examine both the FBI's records and California's more comprehensive databases.

January 1, 2018

Firearm Relinquishment:

Defendants convicted of firearm-prohibiting crimes, such as felonies, or misdemeanors involving violence, domestic abuse, or illegal weapon use, must provide proof that they sold or transferred their firearms within specified time periods after conviction; probation officers and courts must verify that the defendant complied with this requirement before final disposition of the defendant's case and shall take further enforcement action to recover firearms from offenders who fail to do so.

Gun Dealers:

Gun dealers must obtain a DOJ certificate of eligibility from employees who handle ammunition, verifying that they passed a background check.

Ammunition:

Individuals who sell more than 500 rounds of ammunition in any month must obtain an ammunition vendor license and conduct ammunition sales only at specified business locations.

Subject to certain exceptions, ammunition sales must be conducted by or processed through licensed vendors. Sales of ammunition by unlicensed individuals must be processed through a licensed ammunition vendor, in a manner similar to private party firearms transactions, and ammunition obtained over the Internet or from out of state must be initially shipped to a licensed ammunition vendor for physical delivery to the purchaser pursuant to a background check.

Non-sale transfers of ammunition must occur either in a face-to-face transaction or through a licensed vendor.

July 1, 2019

Ammunition Sale Records and Background Checks:

Ammunition vendors must record, maintain, and submit ammunition sale records to DOJ, in a manner similar to dealer's records of sales (DROS) for firearms purchases.

Before selling or transferring ammunition, ammunition vendors must first conduct a background check to verify that the person receiving the ammunition is a lawful purchaser.

LARGE-CAPACITY MAGAZINES

Possession of large capacity magazines (LCMs) that hold more than 10 rounds was scheduled to become prohibited on and after July 1, 2017. Individuals who own previously grandfathered magazines must dispose of their magazines as specified.

This Proposition 63 provision is currently subject to litigation. Additional information on the status of this lawsuit can be found at: http://ltg.ca.gov/news.2017.10.20_Proposition63CourtBrief.html

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