California: Legislative Session Update

Gun Rights

Friday, April 26th marks the deadline for when all bills must advance from their first chamber policy committee if a fiscal committee referral is required.  Bills that have not passed out of their policy committee by this deadline will be considered dead for the 2024 legislative session. 

The following bills have received a committee vote and are advancing in the legislature:

Senate Bill 53 prohibits firearm possession in the home unless the firearms are stored in a locked box or safe that is approved by the Department of Justice and renders them inaccessible to anyone other than the owner. SB 53 ignores the U.S. Supreme Court decision in D.C v. Heller which argued that storage requirements that prevent gun owners from easily accessing their firearms are unconstitutional. SB 53 passed the Senate on January 29th and has been transmitted to the Assembly.

Senate Bill 1038 requires that lost and stolen firearms be reported to local law enforcement within 48 hours from the time the owner or possessor knew or should have known the firearms have been lost or stolen. SB 1038 significantly shortens the existing reporting timeframe of five days and revictimizes the victim of a crime should they not meet this reporting burden in the aftermath of a burglary or theft. SB 1038 passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 10th.

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Senate Bill 1253 prohibits an individual in California from possessing a firearm without a valid Firearm Safety Card. Existing law requires individuals in California to obtain a Firearm Safety Card to purchase or receive a firearm, however SB 1253 amends this law to prohibit otherwise law-abiding individuals from possessing a firearm unless they obtain and continue to possess a Firearm Safety Card, with a renewal required every five years.  In order to renew the Firearm Safety Card, individuals would be required to pass a written test and pay a corresponding fee.  SB 1253 passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee and has been scheduled for a public hearing in the Appropriations Committee on April 29th.

Assembly Bill 2917 expands upon California’s existing Gun Violence Protective Order to allow the court to also consider “threats” directed towards a group or location when deciding whether to issue the order. If issued, Gun Violence Protective Orders result in a five year firearm prohibition, subject to indefinite renewals. These so-called “red flag” orders deprive citizens of their fundamental rights and property without due process safeguards and a clear evidentiary basis. AB 2917 passed out of the Senate Public Safety Committee on April 24th.

The following bills have been amended or have not yet received a Committee vote:

Senate Bill 1160, as introduced, would have required individuals to annually reregister their firearms with the California Department of Justice and pay undetermined fees or face penalties of up to $1000. This bill was amended in committee and now deals with increased penalties for open carry violations if the individual in possession of the handgun is not listed with the Department of Justice as the owner.

Assembly Bill 3067, as introduced, would have mandated homeowner and rental insurance companies to ask applicants how many firearms are in their home, and where and how they are stored. AB 3067 would have also allowed homeowner insurance companies to report this information to the Department of Insurance and California Legislature. This bill was amended by the author and now deals with Interscholastic athletics.

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