California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a slew of anti-gun bills, leading to lawsuits being filed by some of the top gun rights organizations in the state and country.
The record number of signed anti-gun bills addresses almost every facet of gun ownership. None bigger than Senate Bill 2 (SB 2), which is a copy of New York’s Concealed Carry Improvement Act (CCIA). Gun groups like Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) have already filed suit, attacking the new law as a slap in the face of the Bruen decision.
The first bill Gov. Newsom signed was Assembly Bill 28 (AB 28). AB 28 adds a state-level 11% excise tax on guns and ammunition. The extra funds will help fund the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program, established with $2.4 million of taxpayers’ money via Assembly Bill 762 (AB 762), which the Governor also signed into law.
The CalVIP Grant Program will award grants to private organizations for “violence intervention and prevention.” Many worry that the bill will become a slush fund from anti-gun organizations. Giffords and other anti-gun groups praised the bill, leading many to believe these groups would use the grants as revenue streams.
Assembly Bill 92 (AB 92) would ban people from owning body armor if they are prohibited from possessing firearms. Any prohibited person found with body armor would be charged with a misdemeanor. If the person was convicted of a violent felony and is caught with body armor, they can be convicted of a felony and sent to prison for up to three years.
A second bill also deals with body armor. Assembly Bill 301 (AB 301) would consider the acquisition of body armor as evidence in an ex parte red flag hearing. This bill further demonizes body armor and expands red flag laws.
Assembly Bill 97 (AB 97) deals with unserialized firearms. The bill requires the California Department of Justice (DOJ) to collect data on guns lacking state or federal serial numbers. These numbers will include crime and arrest data, and the California DOJ must present a report on the data.
The first of two bills introduced by a Republican is Assembly Bill 355 (AB 355). This law added an exemption from the loan of a so-called “assault weapon” and “high capacity” to people training to be law enforcement officers when under the direct supervision of a firearms trainer.
The second Republican bill is Assembly Bill 724 (AB 724). This new law deals with firearms training tests. Right now, the test is only offered in English and Spanish. The law adds Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Dari, and Armenian languages.
Assembly Bill 455 (AB 455) would allow the prosecution to request that the court prevent someone sentenced to “pretrial diversion from owning or possessing a firearm because they are a danger to themselves or others until they successfully complete diversion or their firearm rights are restored.”
Assembly Bill 574 (AB 574) requires that gun dealers ask and record that the buyer of a firearm has confirmed the possession of all their guns within the last 30 days. This law makes potential gun buyers inventory their firearms whenever they purchase a new one.
Assembly Bill 725 (AB 725) expands the requirement to report stolen firearms to certain “pre-curser” parts. These include frames and receivers, even if unserialized.
Assembly Bill 734 (AB 734) amends the law to require a defendant not in custody to surrender their firearms to law enforcement within 48 hours. The probation officer must provide a report on the surrender of firearms to the prosecuting attorney. Also, this bill removes law enforcement authorization to sell relinquished firearms. The guns must now be destroyed.
The Automated Firearms System (AFS) is a California system that law enforcement uses to enter information about stolen, lost, or held guns for safekeeping. Assembly Bill 734 (AB 734) now requires police to enter guns recovered at domestic violence incidents into the system.
Assembly Bill 1089 (AB 1089) deals with what California calls “ghost guns.” The law bans 3D printers and CNC machines primarily used for making guns. This bill was designed to attack the Ghost Gunner by Defense Distributed. Anyone who uses a 3D printer or CNC to make a gun will require a state license. The law also allows civil action against anyone distributing 3D printing gun files such as g-code or STL files.
Another bill could see gun buyers waiting a month before being able to take home their guns. Assembly Bill 1406 (AB 1406) will allow the state to delay a transfer for up to 30 days. The bill also requires FFLs to confiscate any firearm that comes up stolen, which could put the FFL in danger.
Assembly Bill 1420 (AB 1420) authorizes the California DOJ to inspect and issue fines to gun stores. The bill also will make public any violations of a gun store. Brady and other anti-gun groups have lobbied for this change on a federal level. Brady even offers a legal class that teaches lawyers how to sue gun stores using violations to get around the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) protections. The new law will also require a buyer to hand over their email address when buying a gun.
California has a one handgun a month law on the books. There is an exception for buying a privately owned firearm. Assembly Bill 1483 (AB 1483) amends the law to remove the exemption for private sales.
Assembly Bill 1587 (AB 1587) requires payment processors operating in California to use merchant codes for gun stores. The merchant codes were established by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and caused outrage when introduced. The law allows California to file civil actions such as fines to force companies into compliance.
The next bill will require training classes to hand out anti-gun propaganda and require gun stores to hand out propaganda when selling a firearm. Assembly Bill 1598 (AB 1598) was initially written to include the benefits of owning a gun, but that requirement was changed through the amendment process.
“This bill would require the department, at the next regularly scheduled update of the test, to update the items the test covers to include the reasons for and risks of owning a firearm and bringing a firearm into the home, including the increased risk of death to someone in the household by suicide, homicide, or unintentional injury, and current law as it relates to eligibility to own or possess a firearm, gun violence restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, and privately manufactured firearms,” the new law reads.
Senate Bill 421 (SB 421) is a law that requires new annual training for FFLs and employees. The training is set to start in 2026. The course materials are not yet available to the public, but the amount of topics covered is massive. Each firearm store employee must pass the test with 70% or greater.
Senate Bill 368 (SB 368) requires FFLs to store firearms for people in crisis. The dealer can charge a reasonable fee for the service but cannot opt-out. The new law also forbids gun raffles or any game that is mostly chance from awarding a gun. Non-profits are exempt.
Another bill, Senate Bill (SB 417), would change the wording of the signs placed in gun stores. The change will increase the size of the signs.
The final bill, Senate Bill 452 (SB 452), signed into law, requires micro-stamping for pistols sold after January 1, 2028. Micro-stamping is currently something that does not work. If micro-stamping becomes a reality, the law will make removing micro-stamping capabilities from a handgun illegal.
The bills are now all signed, and the first lawsuits are being filed. Although only SB 2 is being challenged, other cases targeting the other laws are being prepared.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist; he has written about firearms and interviewed people of all walks of life. Mr. Crump lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.