California has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. State lawmakers added to these already complex regulations during the 2020-2021 legislative sessions.
Understanding these laws are essential if you want to lawfully exercise your right to own a firearm in the state of California. Below, you will find everything you need to know about California’s latest firearms laws. We have also provided some guidance if you find yourself on the wrong side of one of these new laws and require legal counsel.

Laws that are affected:

New Gun Laws for 2020

California legislators took a multi-faceted approach towards gun law revisions in 2020. These new requirements address not only the individual gun owner, but also law enforcement agencies and manufacturers. Both categories of revisions were included to provide a more complete look at California’s new requirements.

Gun Laws for Citizens

One of the biggest changes to California gun laws in 2020 was an expansion of existing gun-violence restraining order legislation. If you are the subject of such an order, then you will be prohibited from buying a firearm for up to five years. This legislation, documented under AB 12, became effective on September 1, 2020.

Contrary to popular belief, these restraining orders are not limited to domestic violence cases. Employers, coworkers, employees, and teachers can all seek gun-violence restraining orders from the court. If granted, law enforcement can remove firearms from the subject of the order. This legislation was documented under AB 61 and also became effective on September 1, 2020.

Another 2020 amendment, known as AB 164, prohibits California residents from purchasing firearms if they are already restricted in another state. For instance, if you were the subject of an injunction or gun violence restraining order in Oregon, these limitations would follow you to California. This provision became effective on January 1st, 2021.

In addition, AB 1493 created a form that facilitates the voluntary surrender of firearms if a person is subject to a restraining order. This also became effective on September 1st, 2020.
As of January 1st, 2021, semiautomatic center-fire rifle sales were limited to residents ages 21 and up. These changes were included as part of SB 61. This bill also limits Californians to the purchase of one semiautomatic center-fire rifle per 30-day period. However, this purchasing restriction does not become effective until July 1, 2021.

One of the most important provisions came as part of SB 172. If an unlocked firearm is removed from your home by a child or prohibited person, you can be charged with a crime. Penalties may include a 10-year ban on gun ownership, in addition to incarceration.

Gun Laws for Law Enforcement and Retailers

Not all new gun laws directly addressed California citizens. Some of them were geared toward changing policies within law enforcement agencies. Others modified the requirements for gun manufacturers.

For instance, AB 339 requires California law enforcement agencies to adopt policies regarding the use and enforcement of gun violence restraining orders. These policies had to be implemented before January 1st, 2021.

In addition, gun manufacturers were required to add suicide warning labels to gun packages. If a gun is being re-sold as used, this responsibility falls on the retailer. The handgun safety test was also modified to address the topic of suicide. All of these provisions were a part of AB 645 and became effective on June 1, 2020.

As part of AB 879, certain gun parts must be sold through a licensed vendor. These provisions are dispersed throughout the years 2023, 2024, and 2025 in order to incrementally restrict parts sales. AB 1297 eliminated the $100 cap on application processing fees. This change was made due to increasing costs to retailers.

Esfandi Law Group

If you or a loved one has been charged with a firearm-related crime, then you need to contact Esfandi Law Group.

Seppi Esfandi is an expert criminal defense attorney with over two decades of experience defending a variety of criminal cases.

Our dedicated team of attorneys will fight for your rights and seek a reduction in charges. We may even be able to get them dropped completely! You can contact us for a free case review. Schedule an appointment for an in-person meeting or submit an online case evaluation form.

Call Us for a FREE Case Review: 949-386‑7400