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Changes to California's Gun Laws

If you own firearms or if you plan to purchase a firearm in the near future, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with California’s gun laws, especially the latest changes in gun legislation. Two new gun laws recently went into effect, which will impact gun owners throughout the state.

Saturday, June 30th was the last day for people who own assault weapons to register their firearms with the California Department of Justice. Under the new legislation, if a firearm has any of the following attributes, it is now classified as an assault weapon:

  • Folding stock
  • Flash suppressor
  • Bullet button
  • Pistol grip

The deadline for gun owners to register qualifying weapons as an assault weapon was Saturday, June 30th at 11:59 p.m. Then, as of Sunday, July 1st, anyone who assembles their own firearm is required by law to apply for a serial number.

According to the Department of Justice’s website: “Commencing July 1, 2018, prior to manufacturing or assembling a firearm, a person shall apply to the Department of Justice (Department) for a unique serial number or other mark of identification.”


Under Section 29180 of the California Penal Code, within 10 days of assembling or manufacturing your own firearm, you must have your unique serial number or other mark of identification provided by the DOJ engraved on the firearm, which shall meet or exceed the requirements for licensed firearms manufacturers and importers.

If the firearm is a handgun, a violation of Sec. 29180 is punishable by:

  • Up to one year in jail,
  • A fine up to $1,000, or by
  • A fine and imprisonment.

For all other firearms, a violation is punishable by up to six months in jail, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000, or by a fine and imprisonment. Each firearm that is in violation of Sec. 29180 is prosecuted as a separate offense.

Related: Past Military Members: Are Your Gun Rights at Risk?

Facing weapons charges in Orange County? Contact the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. to schedule a free case evaluation.