Californians in possession of rifles outfitted with “bullet buttons” must register their firearms with the state’s Department of Justice by 11:59:59 on June 30th to avoid breaking the law or being forced to disassemble or modify their rifles.
Pro-gun organizations in California have been getting the word out in an attempt to encourage compliance with the law and to help their members navigate the online registration website.
“We strongly urge compliance with the law,” Gun Owners of California said in a recent newsletter. “Remember, we are the law abiding. If we don’t like the laws, rather than break them, we will work diligently to change them – in the courts, legislatively – and through the elections.”
Easier said than done. California has for years been a breeding ground for anti-gun legislation, and their recent prosecution of a man attempting to register his AR-15 may discourage other gun owners from complying with the new mandate.
The law, passed last year by the California legislature, requires that “any person who, from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2016, inclusive, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that does not have a fixed magazine, including those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be readily removed from the firearm with the use of a tool (commonly referred to as a bullet-button) must register the firearm before July 1, 2018.”
Registrations will not be accepted after June 30, which means that gun owners who miss the deadline must either disassemble, destroy, or modify so that it doesn’t fall within California’s definition of an “assault weapon.” If they choose to retain their “assault weapon” without registering it, they risk felony charges and prison time.
Californians wishing to comply with the law must register their firearm in the California Firearms Application Reporting System and be ready to upload the following:
- At least 4 photos of the firearm you intend to register (see sample photos)
- Close-up of the bullet button style magazine on the firearm.
- Stock to barrel (with the firearm lying horizontally on a flat surface).
- Left side of the receiver/frame.
- Right side of the receiver/frame.
- Proof of residency, if submitting a joint registration.
- Military permanent duty station orders indicating assignment within California, if using a military ID to register. Active duty military spouse ID is not acceptable.
Gun Owners of California points out that DOJ websites have been known to malfunction when deadlines approach, so registrants should try to avoid waiting until the last minute.
“Be aware – if there is a problem, it will be the REGISTRANT’S fault – not DOJ’s,” they say.
The registration website says that the customer support center will only be available during normal business hours, but that staff will be answering emails sent to email@example.com until 11:59:59pm on Saturday, June 30.