By the end of month June, a bunch of military-style semi-automatic rifles was suspected during a buyback program are displayed at Los Angeles police headquarters.
The 2016 law bans sales of semi-automatic assault rifles equipped with “bullet buttons,” which have detachable magazines that enable quick replacement of ammunition and requires old ones to be registered with the California Department of Justice by the end of June. The mandate should allow law enforcement to better track the weapons. Assault weapons registered in California have increased by 43% under a new law that expanded the types of firearms gun owners must log with the state. Californians have applied to register 68,848 additional assault weapons in the last 11 months to comply with a state law enacted following the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino.
Firearm registration helps law enforcement determine when assault weapons are in the hands of people ineligible to own them because they have been convicted of a crime or diagnosed with a serious mental illness, said Amanda Wilcox, policy chairwoman of the California chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.
“Registration is a common sense accountability measure to track weapons that can be used for great harm to society,” said Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), who co-authored the law.
Gun owners caught with unregistered “bullet button” rifles face up to a year in jail and confiscation of the firearm. “Many will not have heard about the new law, and many others will believe their rifles are already registered since they filled out the government’s paperwork when purchasing them,” said Sean Brady, an attorney who represents the National Rifle Assn. and the California Rifle & Pistol Assn.
“If someone legally acquired a bullet button weapon when they are allowed and then they subsequently become prohibited, we want to make sure that they are disarmed,” said Wilcox, whose daughter was killed by gun violence. “We have concerns with registration because we don’t see that it serves any legitimate law enforcement purpose,” Paredes said.