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California Will Raise Rifle, Shotgun-Buying Age to 21

By Christopher Coble, Esq. on October 02, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Last week California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill raising the minimum age to buy rifles and shotguns in the state to 21. The new law brings statutes regulating those firearms in line with state restrictions on handguns, which are also limited to those over 21.

Brown also signed other legislation that imposing a lifetime gun ownership ban for people convicted of domestic violence or deemed mentally dangerous, and increasing access to court orders that could disarm dangerous gun owners.

New Golden State Gun Laws

Here's a look at the new legislation:

  • Assembly Bill 1968: Imposes a lifetime gun ownership ban on a person who has been taken into custody as a danger to him or herself or others twice in one year. Those banned could petition to regain their rights, but the law prohibits mental health institution personnel from filling the petition form out for them;
  • Assembly Bill 3129: Prohibits a person convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence from ever possessing a firearm;
  • Senate Bill 1200: Broadens the scope of existing "gun violence restraining orders" to include ammunition and the magazines that store and feed the bullets into the weapon; and
  • Assembly Bill 2526: Allows police in the field can get approval for such restraining orders from a judge by phone if the situation warrants.

"As a dad and senator, I am very grateful to Governor Brown for his leadership in signing this important bill," Senator Anthony J. Portantino, who introduced the age limit legislation, said in a statement. "I was determined to help California respond appropriately to the tragic events our country has recently faced on high school campuses."

Limiting the Limits

But the governor didn't sign off on all the proposed bills expanding California's already strict gun control laws. Brown vetoed a bill aimed at limiting the number of rifle and shotguns that could be legally purchased in a month, and another that would have banned gun shows.

Still, gun control laws can be complicated. Contact an experienced attorney if you have any questions.

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