California Pols Call for "Emergency" Ban on Magazines

California Pols Call for "Emergency" Ban on Magazines
photo from guns.comweb photo

This report from The Trubunist says that on December 15, the state proposed a new "emergency" ban on what are considered "high-capacity" magazines in the state, that being any magazine that holds more than 10 rounds.

This post from NRA-ILA says included in the announcement are changes to the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a "large-capacity magazine permit," new regulations addressing so-called "large-capacity" magazine conversion kits, new regulations on how individuals must "permanently alter" a magazine to accept no more than 10 rounds. It also includes new regulations regarding the transfer and possession of multi-tube shotgun designs, like the Kel-Tec KSG.

Because the regulations have been submitted under California's emergency rulemaking process, they could become effective in just 17 days, the story says.

"Under these rules, an original Henry rifle—from 1860, mind you—would be required to have six dummy rounds permanently riveted into its magazine tube to limit its original capacity of 16 rounds."

The magazine capacity mandates are part of a package of laws recently passed in the state, under which gun owners would have had until July 2017 to sort out their newly illegal magazines, until these "emergency" regulations were introduced.

"There are likely hundreds of thousands of large-capacity magazines in California at this time," said DOJ's finding of emergency, according to guns.com. "In recent years, there has been an increase in these types of firearms on the market. The Department therefore expects many gun owners to be affected by the new ban."

“Existing law prohibits the sale, gift, and loan of a large-capacity magazine. A violation of this prohibition is punishable as a misdemeanor with specified penalties, or as a felony. The new law goes further and provides that possession of large-capacity magazines by a non exempt person is an infraction punishable by a fine not to exceed $100 for the first offense, by a fine not to exceed $250 for the second offense, and by a fine not to exceed $500 for the third or subsequent offense, regardless of the date the magazine was acquired. The law requires a person in lawful possession of a large-capacity magazine prior to July 1, 2017, to dispose of the magazine as provided. By creating a new crime, this law imposes a state-mandated local program.”

So what does this mean for the many California gun owners who have 10-round+ mags?

Within the next few weeks, they will have to take one of several courses of action to remain in full compliance with the law and avoid potential fines, if the proposal is approved.

The proposal says owners can remove the magazines from the state (mail them to a buddy in Arizona?), sell them to a dealer with a Large Capacity Magazine Permit (which allows them to sell high-cap mags to law enforcement while keeping detailed records), turn them into authorities for no reimbursement, or modify them permanently to accept no more than 10 rounds.

And there are details on how to modify them, according to guns.com:

  • Those with a box magazine would have to insert a block limiting the capacity and either rivet, epoxy or weld the barrier in place as well as the floor plate so that it could not be removed.

  • Drum magazines would have to be opened, loaded with epoxied dummy rounds to allow space for just 10 live cartridges, and then sealed permanently.

  • Tubular magazines on all but lever-action or .22-caliber rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds would likewise be plugged with dummy rounds, which would be riveted into place.

  • Shotgun owners would need to base their capacity on 2.75-inch shells and some models that use multiple magazine tubes– such as the Kel Tec KSG and SRM Arms Model 1216 revolving shotgun– would be exempted.

Under these rules, an original Henry rifle—from 1860, mind you—would be required to have six dummy rounds permanently riveted into its magazine tube to limit its original capacity of 16 rounds.

Fines for non-compliance are as much as $100 for a first offense and up to $500 for repeated offenses, the proposal says.

The process for emergency rulemaking in California requires the state Justice Department to hold a five-day public commenting period, which is expected to begin as soon as Wednesday, the story says.

What all this legalese doesn't say is how these rules will in any way force criminals in possession of high-capacity magazines, who had fully intended on keeping them beyond July, to surrender them. In the end, the only people affected will be law-abiding gun owners.

The NRA-ILA says Second Amendment rights organizations are working to address the situation:

“We are currently reviewing the proposed regulations and will be providing a detailed analysis of their effect shortly. In the meantime, we encourage all of our members to participate in the rule-making process by submitting their comments during the 5-day public comment period, expected to begin on December 21.

“Currently, the NRA and CRPA are still awaiting the DOJ's proposed regulations that will accompany SB 880 and AB 1135, which redefine the definition of an "assault weapon" in California. The NRA and CRPA have submitted a letter about DOJ's failure to act in a timely manner for this process.”

“In addition to monitoring the new regulations that are being proposed by the DOJ, NRA and CRPA attorneys are preparing multiple lawsuits to undo the Gunmageddon bill package and Proposition 63. If successful, these new burdensome regulation proposals will be moot.”