California’s New Gun Laws

December 7, 2016

State legislation and voters have approved a ballot initiative, 2016 saw the passage of sweeping new gun regulations throughout California. Together, these new laws will host restrictions for California’s, from where you can purchase your ammunition to how you secure your firearms, and who can borrow them.

These new restrictions take effect at the starting January 1, 2017, continuing throughout the next two years. Here’s your quick guide to new gun laws in California.

Dates in which California gun laws take effect.

Deadline to place a serial number on any unmarked firearm possessed after July 1, 2018,

Theft and/or loss reporting
When it becomes a crime to falsely report a firearm has been lost or stolen Jan. 1
Start date for requirement that theft or loss of a firearm must be reported to law enforcement within five days July 1
Lending Your firearm
When it becomes illegal, with limited exceptions, to loan guns to anyone outside of immediate family members Jan. 1
Large-capacity magazine restrictions
When it becomes illegal, with limited exceptions, to possess magazines capable of holding more than ten (10) rounds July 1
Assault weapon restrictions
Start date for the new definition of “assault weapon” Jan. 1
Deadline to register a newly designated assault weapon with the state Dec. 31, 2017
Restrictions on home-built “ghost guns” and guns without serial numbers
Start date for requirement that you get state permission before manufacturing or assembling a firearm July 1, 2018
Dec. 31, 2018
Ammunition restrictions
Start date for requirement that ammunition 2018, or transfers be conducted through a licensed ammunition vendor Jan. 1, 2018
When you no longer can import ammunition bought outside the state without first shipping it to a licensed vendor Jan. 1, 2018
Start date for requirement that Californians undergo background checks to buy ammunition July 1, 2019
Handgun storage law
Start date for requirement that handguns be stored in a locked container or locked trunk when left in an unattended vehicle Jan. 1

Sources: Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Legislative Analyst’s Office, California legal codes.