Local

State releases new assault weapon rules after threat of legal action

The state Department of Justice Thursday released assault weapon registration regulations after Second Amendment groups threatened legal action.
The state Department of Justice Thursday released assault weapon registration regulations after Second Amendment groups threatened legal action. Special to The Bee

Regulations on the ownership and registration of assault weapons in California were released to the public late Thursday after a coalition of Second Amendment proponents threatened legal action against state agencies if the rules were not disclosed.

The regulations, which the California Department of Justice initially said might not be released for 30 days, went online late in the afternoon after attorneys for the coalition threatened to go to court to obtain them. The regulations are part of gun legislation passed in 2016 intended to ban the sale of guns that circumvent a previously passed assault weapon law with reloading devices called “bullet buttons,” and require the registration of semi-automatic, center-fire rifles or pistols that lack a fixed magazine with the state DOJ by January 2018.

The DOJ, through spokesman Chris Moyer, declined comment other than to say Tuesday that the regulations would be released within 30 days.

Brandon Combs, president of the Firearms Policy Coalition, said the release of the document came after attorneys for the coalition were preparing to file a lawsuit to gain access to the reglations. However, he added there may be other legal action by the group.

“Even now, our attorneys are continuing to explore possible legal action. The DOJ and (state) Office of Administrativie Law’s denial of constitutional rights was outrageous and we don’t want to see this kind of obstruction happen again.”

Before the release, Combs said the DOJ sent the documents to the state Office of Administrative Law in “file and print” status in an effort to bypass public comment on the regulations. Combs said this followed a similar action in January when the DOJ ended up pulling the regulations after challenges by gun-rights groups.

  Comments