Skip to main content
Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Find a Lawyer

More Options

What to Know About California's New Gun Laws

By Ephrat Livni, Esq. on July 05, 2016 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Just ahead of Independence Day weekend, California's governor addressed the pressing issue of gun ownership. He signed six gun control bills and vetoed five measures, including one that would have allowed people to petition courts for a temporary restraining order on gun ownership for seemingly dangerous coworkers.

The legislation, initiated after the San Bernardino shooting, reached Governor Jerry Brown's desk just the day before he acted, reports the Los Angeles Times. The bills moved quickly after last month's mass shooting in a Miami nightclub. Gun ownership advocates called the measures draconian, although the governor also vetoed certain limits on gun owners.

Balancing Act

Governor Brown made it a point to say that he was protecting all citizens, including law-abiding gun owners, when he signed six control measures into law and vetoed five proposals. Californian gun owners will have to show ID and undergo background checks for ammunition purchases, for example. But colleagues still can't petition the courts to take away the gun of a creepy coworker who seems dangerous.

The governor approved restrictions on loaning guns among family members with no background checks, but he did not sign into law a measure that would require reporting lost or stolen guns within five days. Similarly, Californians will not be limited to only one rifle or shotgun purchase per month, but they can't possess ammunition magazines holding more than ten bullets. Thus, a balance between personal freedom and general safety is achieved, or so believes the governor.

"My goal in signing these bills is to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners," Brown wrote. But some did not feel that the governor found the appropriate balance.

Law and Disorder

The National Rifle Association was not happy. Its Institute for Legislative Action's California spokesperson, Amy Huber, told the Los Angeles Times, "Governor Jerry Brown today signed a Draconian gun control package that turns California's law-abiding gun owners into second-class citizens. The governor and legislature exploited a terrorist attack to push these measures through even though the state's already restrictive laws did nothing to stop the attack in San Bernardino."

Meanwhile, about 50 gun activists gathered to publicly protest the new laws on Saturday, reports the Sacramento Bee. They say they may not follow them. The protest was meant to prevent passage of the laws, but activists were taken by surprise when the governor signed the bills just before the Fourth of July.


If you have been accused of a crime call a lawyer. Many criminal defense attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee and will be happy to assess your case.

Related Resources:

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:
Copied to clipboard