California Gun Dealers Say Goodbye to Single-Shot Handguns

With a new year comes the rollout of new laws, some favorably to gun rights, others — like California Assembly Bill 1964, which took effect on Jan. 1, 2015 — not so good for gun rights.

Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown back in July of last year, AB 1964 bans the sale of single-shot handguns that can be readily converted to semiautomatic firearms.

AB 1964 was designed to close a loophole that allowed gun dealers to sell handguns not on the state’s Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale.

“This is a significant step to protect the integrity of the safe handgun law in California,” assemblyman Roger Dickinson, the Democrat who authored the bill, told Reuters when the bill was signed. “This exception has been increasingly used by those who wish to circumvent (the law).”

Since California is an ass-backwards state (I know, I lived there for about a decade) with an inherent disdain for the Second Amendment, all firearms must be equipped with certain features, i.e. loaded chamber indicator, and undergo safety testing in a state ballistics lab before they may be added to the roster and sold to the public.

To get around this onerous and Constitutionally dubious requirement, gun shop dealers could convert many coveted firearms into to single-shot guns, typically by modifying the gun with a magazine plug and an extended barrel, as single-shot guns were exempt from the certification process.

Now with AB 1964 in place, the exemption has been tightened to include only break top or bolt action firearms with barrels of at least six inches, among other requirements. Needless to say, gun dealers are no longer be allowed to sell handguns not on the roster.

Yet, that doesn’t mean private buyers and sellers can’t transfer uncertified firearms, as one gun shop manager noted.

“The restriction is not on the purchaser or owner, it’s on the dealer. There is nothing that says you can’t own a handgun not on the approved roster, it says a dealer can’t sell it,” Big Shot store manager Steven Rubert told Fox5 in reference to the impact of AB 1964.

However, AB 1964 is the beginning of what will likely lead to a large scale cessation of firearms being manufactured, imported and sold in California as gun manufacturers have repeatedly expressed their disdain for the certification process and the fees associated with it (That’s correct, manufacturers must pay to have their firearms appear on the roster).

“What it basically means is that we have a shrinking number of guns we are allowed to sell in California,” said Rubert. “There is nothing that makes these guns anymore dangerous to their users or in a defensive situation. It really comes down to will the manufacturers put down the money to have their firearms approved for sale in California.”

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 37 comments… add one }
  • MJB December 8, 2017, 11:43 am

    Trump should send US Marshals in to just take over the State of CA and lock up their governor and lawmakers because of their lack of law enforcement, the circumvention of the constitution and their harboring of fugitives by having illegal “sanctuary cities”. They think they are their own country. Trump needs to pull a Lincoln on them and tell them you either get inline with the US constitution or your state government is null and void.

  • Gary January 14, 2015, 4:56 pm

    We in CA vote pro gun and the 2 faced beaurocrats still outlaw everything. The only way to fix this is to sue the legislature for infringement of rights. Once they find it too expensive to pass laws that please the extreme liberals, they’ll leave us alone. Now, who wants to contribute to my legal fund and i’ll get the ball rolling. It’s sad that even the NRA wrote us off as not worth the fight.

  • tahoejohn January 14, 2015, 4:05 am

    I am a California resident. I have been buying as many handguns as I can for ~5 years now because of the sentiment of the gentleman’s’ post above. The notion of any state government having the right to thwart the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution is socialism. Perhaps all of us should start voting for our American freedoms and stop whining about patriots carrying the torch. Letting all handguns drop off the list is disarmament.

    Unfortunately California’s legislature and others ideals of disarmament are being challenged globally by current events. I wonder if France will change its’ policies now that their police force had to retreat like cowards from 2 idiots with small arms. Our police have AR-15’s, AR-10’s and a Mossberg 500 loaded with slugs; I want to keep it that way.

    Gunny O

  • Chuck January 12, 2015, 10:33 pm

    I live and California and I’m so sick and tired of Pro 2A people whining about all the restrictions in California. The last election on 04 Nov 2014 a 42% voter turn out occurred and MoonBeam (Brown) was re-elected. In 2010 the voter turnout was 60%. Each and every time I’ve voted for candidates who are pro 2A; however, one vote is not enough. California whiners, if you want to win the battle you have to elect the right candidates………this isn’t rocket science. It means you have to get out and vote and encourage like thinkers to do the same. If you want to start to reverse the anti gun process, a smart campaign must be developed. Maybe the NRA, Cal-Guns, could develop synergy with all the Pro 2A organizations and get every gun owner to vote. Try it just once, I bet you’ll find since Boxer is retiring with all PRO 2A gun owners voting you’d have a conservative Senator from California elected, imagine that! Stop whining and start voting.

  • lardog January 12, 2015, 6:42 pm

    There comes a time in everyone’s life you must stand up for what is important to you and your beliefs. With that said the California residents have predominately continued to vote across the board for liberal radical socialist representation. From the State level to the federal level. If you don’t like your second amendment rights stay there they will soon be gone. If you like the second amendment rights you must make a hard choice as the founding fathers did. The founding fathers risk their life and the lives of their family by signing on to the constitution and bill of rights. Yes it is difficult and you will most likely have to move to another state that agrees with your political philosophy. The political left media and the Hollywood hypocrite elite many such as Liam Neeson, Matt Damon, Mark Walberg, Kevin Bacon, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone all continually make movies with guns but are staunch supporters that NO one has the right to own guns. You should also boycott these so called celebrities movies to get the point across.
    I moved and am still a life member of the California Rifle and Pistol Association, NRA and other associations so don’t go there.
    If you decide to stay and fight the system get involved and get others you know involved. You must be willing to spend time and money to fight and support your beliefs. Governor moonbeam ignores even his own laws that he signed. IE. Term limits, Yes I know the fine print.
    This governor along with other elected officials at the federal and state level has disdain for even the officers that protect him night and day. I have been told by several he is rude, impolite, discourteous and has other contempt for the officers.
    Voters must vote out any elected official either party that has served more than two terms. The repeated elected officials do nothing but vote to support their own financial wealth and to those that will help get them re elected.

  • Greg January 12, 2015, 12:02 pm

    Please correct me if I’m wrong (seriously, I don’t live in California) but it sounds like either the manufacturers or the dealers have been constructing “single shot” firearms from popular but unapproved semi-auto handguns like a glock or a springfield XD etc or something not on “the list”. It seems the only purpose of them was to get a functioning good gun into the state and legally sold. It also seems that there is no practical purpose for buying a single shot glock or XD type weapon other than intending to convert it back to a semi-auto with the ability to accept a magazine. I simply can’t imagine standing next to a guy at a range firing one shot, then opening the action to insert another round etc.etc. Also I can’t imagine why someone would carry an overly large firearm for self defense that can only carry one round when there are many others out there smaller that fire one round or even multiple rounds. I understand that each person has his/her preferences, but let’s be honest. The conversion of “single shot” pistols was an end run around a stupid law and I applaud the ingenuity. Are we making the gun industry look dumb or smart by pretending that there is actually a demand for full size “single shot” pistol? Should we simply protest the state’s authority to tell us how people can protect themselves and choose from the weapons available from private manufacturers in the marketplace? Perhaps we are using the medias inability to convey real information about firearms to the pro gun advantage for a change.
    If there is a real use for this weapon, please let me know so I can read a story about the giant loss of a niche market without rolling my eyes.

    • Randall January 12, 2015, 3:10 pm

      I used to own a gun store in Florida. I couldn’t believe how many people came into my store saying they had left the state and came to Fl when Cali did the same thing to the AR. Single shot AR? What’s the point? People either ‘fix’ them, or they move. And I thought Chicago was the most corrupt place in the country… wonder Obummer likes Cali so much, it reminds him of home

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 3:13 pm

      Ya Greg, we Californians defeat these misinformed uneducated liberal democrat laws every time.
      Of course they know nothing about firearms, so they blow it bad when it comes to making laws. (should be the NRA’s job)
      And no your not wrong about SS or SSE. Nobody wants or has a single shot anything, and wishes we could carry even more than 10 rounds.Wait, I take that back, I own an 1959 school district issued Marlin SS bolt ,22. It’s used for decoration.
      My dad was a teacher and brought it home when they stopped teaching youth marksman target shooting in LASD.
      Magazine round limits are why I have tri-mags for my Ruger 10/22, it connects 3-10 rd. mags.
      They wont let us own the 25 rounder, so we’ve defeated them and have 30 rounds in a compact unit. (love that invention)
      We also have magazine connectors on our AK’s and AR’s. We just had to adapt to quick changes with a mag button
      I might go as far as to say, we Californians could probably change a magazine twice as fast as anyone else in the country. LOL
      If only we could focus more on innovation, rather than conforming to liberal law when it comes to fabrication and design.

    • Johnny January 12, 2015, 3:54 pm

      No corrections needed Greg. You hit it on the head. The SSE sales were not to actually own a semi auto handgun to shoot one shot at a time. Simply a loophole left open so us stuck in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornian could own a good functioning firearm just like the rest of America. Boy, the United States used to be a great place to live. And for those that hope we have an earthquake to seperate us from the rest of the country…we’ve been LONG gone from the America we once new for much longer than most think. And as far as not voting…just bitching, not exactly. These are laws that simply get the Governers signature…in the 35yrs I’ve lived in the state I’ve never got to vote on a single issue regarding hunting, shooting sports, gun rights, etc. One day a libtard thinks it’s a good idea…6mo later it’s law. Period! Gotta love Democracy!?!?!?!????????? But, to sum it up: Yes, you’re all right…for an outdoors man, and for those of us that make a living in the outdoors or, as (firearm) instructors and such…yes, this place sucks!!!!!

    • Johnny January 12, 2015, 3:54 pm

      No corrections needed Greg. You hit it on the head. The SSE sales were not to actually own a semi auto handgun to shoot one shot at a time. Simply a loophole left open so us stuck in the Peoples Republic of Kalifornian could own a good functioning firearm just like the rest of America. Boy, the United States used to be a great place to live. And for those that hope we have an earthquake to seperate us from the rest of the country…we’ve been LONG gone from the America we once new for much longer than most think. And as far as not voting…just bitching, not exactly. These are laws that simply get the Governers signature…in the 35yrs I’ve lived in the state I’ve never got to vote on a single issue regarding hunting, shooting sports, gun rights, etc. One day a libtard thinks it’s a good idea…6mo later it’s law. Period! Gotta love Democracy!?!?!?!????????? But, to sum it up: Yes, you’re all right…for an outdoors man, and for those of us that make a living in the outdoors or, as (firearm) instructors and such…yes, this place sucks!!!!!

  • Joseph Tremain January 12, 2015, 11:24 am

    This is a clear violation of the 2nd Amendment, which should be challenged in the Supreme Court by the people and/or by a firearms manufacturer(s). When the 2nd Amendment was created, there were ONLY ‘single-shot’ firearms!!!

    The very existence of the 2nd Amendment is predicated on the existence and REQUIREMENT of single shot firearms.

    This is such an easy case for the Supreme Court to settle, and the clear violation of the Constitution is in fact a criminal act which requires action. The only defense that the state has is that it is banning the ‘sale’, not the possession, but the sale portion of the bill WILL lead to another law banning possession.

    • Larry January 12, 2015, 2:41 pm

      I believe that passing unconstitutional laws are the leftists way of bankrupting the pro Second Amendment faction as it takes lots of money to fight all these BS gun laws being passed by municipalities all across the fruited plain. It’s called rope a dope & running out the clock. They just keep passing one phoney law after another until they have bled dry the pro gun faction of the country. Keep them clean & loaded, my friends.

    • Goldylox May 22, 2016, 1:32 am

      Your governor must be nervous; always looking over his shoulder. Seriously my desperate Californian, the only defense your failed state has is a revolution.

  • Gary Johnson January 12, 2015, 11:18 am

    This is the socialist,s hopes that will flood east and end firearm ownership across our Nation. Without the Second Amendment to the Consitiution, there are no Bill of Rights and then no Constitution. Only the socialist bastards that would destroy this Country. Gov. Jerry Brown has screwed California up more than any Governor so far. He was the Block’s savior. WRONG. His only interest is his own fame. He has destroyed a great state. I know as I was raised in Southern California the the late forties thru the early sixties. It was a great place. Then the greedy politicians took over and directed monies away from where it was needed and started projects that had no need in the State, only for the politician. Now California teeters on the brink of Bankruptcy. Lets here it for ” Liberal Democraps”.

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 2:08 pm

      Gary see’s the truth.
      Wake up America.

    • Gary January 12, 2015, 5:27 pm

      The fact that California keeps re-electing Governor Moonbeam aka Fruitfly Jerry really says a lot unfortunately. You’re right though… the state has become too restrictive, too expensive, too many people walking around with an entitlement mentality, and too many “social justice warriors” running around calling gun owners terrorists and anyone racist who doesn’t happen to agree with their viewpoint on what tolerance should be. As you say, it used to be a great place to live.

  • mrsmith74 January 12, 2015, 9:25 am

    Unfortunately I live in California, what was once the golden state is now the give away state. Don’t want to work we have some free taxpayer money for you. Look up Ex Assemblymen Leeland Yee who helped pass some of these stupid gun laws, then gets caught by the FBI telling gang members they can still have there illegal guns. I can’t wait to leave this sinking ship of a state. California 1st state to go bankrupt, guaranteed.

  • jd January 12, 2015, 8:46 am

    Just hope for the monster earthquake that separates California fro the rest of the country. It can float out to sea and they can start their own nation of morons. between gangs, drugs, illegals, wild fires, earthquakes, mud slides and idiots the state costs the rest of the country to much anyway.

    • BigCali January 12, 2015, 5:00 pm

      Really? This state costs you money? With what, our highest GDP, highest taxes, and the fact that this state takes the least from the feds versus what we give back in our GDP? California has a bigger economy then almost the rest of the United States! Silicone Valley, Stanford, Disney land, Yosemite, these are just a few examples of the landmarks in our fine state. Don’t hate our whole state and throw gasoline on the fire. California needs help, pressure, and money to fight this attack on our second amendment as victories here will surely move through to the rest of the country. Also please remember, Mayor Bloomberg does not live in California…

      • Russ January 12, 2015, 9:03 pm

        The communist want the coastal states to be unarmed 1st.
        Democrats and Socialist appease them and are making it happen.
        Once that’s accomplished, it will make it easier to invade the rest of the U.S.
        They will be wearing blue helmets.

      • Goldylox May 22, 2016, 2:47 am

        It is important to avoid the impulse to cause enmity among members of your failed state. Although, some believe California should be less dependent on water from the mid-west. On a more candid note regarding the collapse of California firearms freedoms: I have lived in socialist countries which have more firearm privileges, (rights ), than even the most friendly states, such as Florida. For instance, Russia affords relatively convenient legal access to firearms throughout the European, (Moscow side), and Eastern Siberian regions of the country. England is actually much better than California. Although, this would be the closest comparison. In some countries, firearm ownership is a legal requirement.

  • bob novak January 12, 2015, 6:57 am

    Drive to downtown Compton, and ask any gang banger on the corner how much these laws affect him, then drive up the street a corner to the next gangs “turf” and ask that guy. Oh wait, forget it, the first dude will blow your head off with a fully automatic Mak10, take your car, you wallet and leave your body for the street cleaners.
    California is all kinds of messed up.

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 8:51 pm

      My friends younger brother and a friend drove down there before.
      They got off the freeway and found the street barricaded. The police do that there to thwart drug traffic.
      So they tried to back up the off ramp and got blocked off by 5 gangsters.
      We never got the full story, but they shot them both in the face with a shotgun and burned them in the vehicle.
      3 got busted, 2 never were caught.
      Better know where your going here in So. CA, and try not to do it at night.
      Oh ya, CC and be good at it.

  • Virgil cooper January 12, 2015, 3:32 am

    Hey steve, it sounds more and more like people in cal. would rather bitch and cry than vote.

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 8:37 pm

      I’m a native born Californian and have been voting Republican from age 18.
      That makes 42 years now and I’ve never missed 1 vote.
      So that makes your comment unfounded and wrong.
      I am getting tired of hearing other states “bitch and cry” about us though.
      Your not helping us or America with putting us down.
      Your just making us want to move and leave the state to them.
      So here I go, 1 more time,———> DEMOCRATS CHEAT THE VOTE!<———-
      And…….You state is next.

  • Steve January 8, 2015, 3:45 pm

    when are the people in California going to wake up and for once stand up for your rights and tell there congress men and that thing you call a congress woman,and we all know whom I’m talking about,to go pound sand,they work for you or have you forgotten that?

    • Charles January 12, 2015, 5:46 am

      I agree about the people Californians have been sending to Congress – both the Senate and the House – but the laws discussed in this column were all passed by the state legislature and signed by the governor(s). The Congresscritters had no active role in their passage.

    • BRASS January 12, 2015, 10:52 am

      It’s not a matter of Californians waking up, enough of them voted for these agendas by voting for politicians that will put them out front as issues to make them happen. Americas most populous state with 35 million people has millions of Second Amendment supporters and patriots, many more than the total population of some smaller states. Unfortunately they also have millions of residents who vote for more gun control, more spending, more taxes, more environmental regulation, more government control in every area of their lives.
      It is the personality of California, California is who its citizens are. They are who they want to be.

      • JohnL January 12, 2015, 2:54 pm

        It s just not that simple. There is a huge amount of ignorance about what is really going on. Propaganda works. The Republican party needs to tighten up and focus on good candidates and a good message. They are doing this but a lot of damage was done with poor messaging. We all have to be careful to do a great job and rise above all the leftist propaganda. The truth will always win out.

        • mtman2 January 14, 2015, 11:56 pm

          Exactly right; -> “FOR A LACK OF KNOWLEDGE MY PEOPLE PERISH”

    • LVPhoto January 12, 2015, 12:44 pm

      This is great!!! get theses guns out of the hands of the law abiding citizens so the criminal will have a terrible time obtaining illegal weapons…..YEH” RIGHT

    • Russ January 12, 2015, 2:04 pm

      Steve, we Californians strongly fight the infringement of our 2 A right.
      I just got through writing a long letter to Moon Beam, I mean Jerry Brown about passing these laws, of which some did and others didn’t get passed.
      I also just got turned down a couple days ago by a Texas company that wouldn’t sell me a pistol because he doesn’t do business with CA.
      Don’t punish us or assume we want these assholes. Nobody I know does.


      I hope that’s clear because I find myself repeating this often.
      If we can’t turn it around, more of us will move out of this state and they win.
      Another state will then become blue (socialism = communism).
      We need the help of the “United States”, because when they’re done with us, your state is next.

      • JohnL. January 12, 2015, 3:01 pm

        I m with you. I have a emailing list of 46!! The issue is that our politicians all come from the same mold! Deaf, dumb and blind! They do not even know what they are voting for!

    • ONTHE WALL January 12, 2015, 3:18 pm

      To all you guys this s strictly BULLSHIT. Any handgun/rifle can be changed to be a semi auto they want to ban and YOU ASSHOLES let it pass. Here is some history. In WWII the USA supplied Philippians who fought against the japs with BOLT ACTION rifles converted to semi-automatic rifles. You can even take single-shot rifles/pistols cut out the bottom of the receiver make it fit some mag and BINGO you have a semi-auto. And yes you other knowledgeable folks even revolvers can be converted to a semi auto. AND BY THE WAY ANYTHING THAT IS SEMI-AUTO CAN BE CONVERTED TO FULL AUTO, ANYTHING. Use your heads to ban this kind of crap. An old NYC law wanted to make any hand gun with a barrel less that 4 inches would be illegal. By the way any of you guys have heard the name Colt Python a beautiful revolver it and almost all other revolvers with 4 inch barrels would be illegal because technically almost all of them measure something like 3.98 inches under a precision caliper, THOSE ACCORDING TO LAW ARE NOT 4 INCH BARRELS.

      • Russ January 12, 2015, 8:18 pm

        Your not comprehending what has been written down here.
        Nobody is allowing these laws to be made that I know of.
        We Republicans and Independents vote.
        In a world of Dicks, Pussys and Assholes, we might be Dicks, but certainly not assholes.
        Get it straight ONTHE WALL, go watch– Team America– a couple more times.

      • Citizen X May 14, 2016, 6:57 pm

        You really don’t have clue what you are babbling do you? What by the way are ‘Phillippians’? Would you be struggling to say “Phillipino’s’ as in people of the Phillipines? You can’t even get a geographical reference in proper context, so shouldn’t be attempting at anything mechanical.

      • Joe March 3, 2017, 12:13 pm

        I would really love to see a revolver converted to an automatic, or even a semi-automatic. You do not have a clue.

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