California restricts access to single-shot handguns

July 21, 2014

guns222California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law Friday that bans the sale of single-shot handguns that gun owners can alter into automatic weapons. [Huffington Post]

State firearms laws previously restricted the sale of handguns that can be converted into automatic weapons, but an exception existed for single-shot pistols. As a result, dealers were selling thousands of modified weapons each year that did not contain a required safety feature that indicates when a bullet is chambered.

“This is a significant step to protect the integrity of the safe handgun law in California,” said Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, who authored the bill. “This exception has been increasingly used by those who wish to circumvent (the law).”

The National Rifle Association and the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees opposed the legislation.

The NRA said the new law will eliminate Californians’ ability to purchase handguns that are commonly owned elsewhere in the country. A Cal-FFL spokesman said Sacramento politicians passed the law while ignoring the Constitution and acting with blatant hostility toward Second Amendment civil rights.


It was wrong to use the single-shot exemption to legally transfer firearms in CA. But as others point out the real problem is the ludicrous (and illegal) “approved handgun roster” here in California.

With the current “microstamping law” (Google it) which impacts said “roster”, almost no new semi-automatic handguns will be allowed to be distributed into CA. That’s very wrong.

The fight for gun-rights in CA is intensifying…

Kevin Rice

How is it wrong to do something that is specifically legal?


Because many of the “conversations” (presuming they were actually done in a physical sense) yielded firearms that were unusable until they were “converted back” to their original configuration, which they always were — often before leaving the receiving gun shop.

Kevin Rice

No court could find wronghood where an individual carefully complied with the statutory language written by the Legislature, and neither do I.



If the pistols remained single shot (and I suspect not a single one did) then the spirit of the law would have been upheld. As it was, the law was truly being used as a way to circumvent other hideous laws.

Kevin Rice

Plenty of people have been cited or fined unfairly according to the “spirit of the law”. A near myth. Are we to memorize two sets of law and follow both? No. If one complies with the law they have committed no wrong. If the Legislature had meant something different, they had the ability to enact something different. Citizens can only act on what is written, not second guess. And that is what the courts will enforce. Anything else is unconstitutionally vague (a legal term everyone should look up).


Come on people we don’t need guns. Everything we need will be provided by the government. If you need protection just call the police. We don’t need to hunt the government will just provide us with meat that they have processed for our consumption. What a perfect society it will be when we no longer have guns. Of course criminal will still have guns so our taxes will have to go up by about 10000% to provide for the standing army in every town except for the border.


“When seconds count, law enforcement is only minutes away.”


Ain’t it the truth!

Kevin Rice

Thanks for providing compelling reasons to carry arms.


Good reasons to carry.

Noodly Appendages

Zaphod, what your list is, is called the fallacy of dramatic instance. I could postsomething about the 100,000,000 or so gun owners who did NOT lose their temper today.


thats nice thanks for sharing, I shared a search result for shootings in various states you know fresh stuff that actually happened “news”.


They might become semi-automatic. Get the story right, automatic weapons are machine guns. California’s gun safety law is a way to restrict the amount of guns that are available to the citizens of the state. States rights cannot trample our Constitution.


“amount” of guns? Think you might mean “number”/


This is the second post on this topic where you have adopted the role of “Grammar Nazi.” Do you understand that these posts are more on the order of conversations than a thesis? Yes, it is nice when someone takes the time and trouble to use the English language properly. However, as long as the error does not render the post incomprehensible or induce a significant likelihood of misinterpretation, it really shouldn’t matter that much.


No Nazi. An observer of how writing coincides with intelligence and thought.


Silently “observing” is one thing. Popping-off to bring attention to oneself is quite another and it has absolutely nothing to do with “intelligence and thought.”


There is more to this law than what has been presented… but thats for the courts to decide.

Its sad to listen to some of the folks in the legislator as many have little understanding of the mechanics of such devices. I do wonder how folks can think this is going to make the world better even in the long run.

Jorge Estrada

Let’s not forget the nudist media, as in we can see everything you got, where privacy is no longer automatic but must be requested. How about our legislator tackling that one?


“legislator”? Think you might mean “legislature”?


This law revolves around requiring pistols to have an indicator that shows that a round is in the chamber. How the hell does this stop crime?

Another law that is ill conceived by our dufus governor and backed by the moron de Leon as a means to stop idiots from committing terrible acts of violence.


No, it does not. This law revolves around not allowing people to temporarily modify semi-auto pistols so they may be legally transferred in CA under the single shot exemption.

Kevin Rice

Still not quite correct. This amendment eliminates the exemption for single shot handguns whether or not they are ever modified temporarily or permanently.


I would guess that this is more in the line of the fine-tuning of a product safety law with the intent being to prevent some of the more clueless and careless gun owners from accidentally shooting themselves or someone else. I would consider it to be roughly the same as outlawing the sale of cars without some sort of automatic warning system for when you are to close to another vehicle for safety. (I wouldn’t be surprised to see that law proposed for new vehicles within 10 years.)

Will that work? Maybe to some degree but I wouldn’t bet on it. Is it a threat to the right of individuals to own guns? Not directly, but it sets a bad precedent for nibbling away at legitimate gun owner rights. Will it be enforceable? Maybe with legitimate California firearms dealers but not much with private citizens who will simply go out-of-state to get what they want or buy one on the black market.


Here’s the deal: Everyone should know everything about everything. If they do not it is

their own damned fault.

GUN-owners should be able to do whatever they can get away with.

After all, this is NRA country.

There should be no law restricting anyone from doing anything and no person deserves

protection from being ignorant

Theo P. Neustic

Don’t fret, our very own Fruit Fly may have bigger things in his mind than trampling the Constitution just in California: “One Democrat who knows a thing or two about insurgent campaigns, former senator Gary Hart of Colorado, said he intends to huddle with California Gov. Jerry Brown at their upcoming Yale Law School reunion (Class of 1964) to chat about the possibility of Brown running for the White House.”


Are you calling your Governor a fruit?

Or a fly?

Go ahead and bare your silly bum to the world.


I could only hope that is true. Jerry Brown is far from perfect but is still a LOT better than Hilary. And since the GOP insists on nominating vocal corporate socialists and/or those with rigid adherence to almost all right wing talking points, they are unlikely to get enough votes from moderates to elect their candidate. I don’t agree with his positions on gun control but I don’t think it is a high priority with him and I do think that he is less corrupt and less likely to get us into unwinnable wars and other foreign commitments that will benefit only multi-national corporations.


There is no such thing as “corporate socialism”. Oxymoron. As for actual socialism,

police and fire protection, Social Security and Medicare are all examples of Socialism.

It exists in the USA today and is not inherently an evil thing (other than to wingnuts).


too big to fail


I find much in agreement here. Especially the observation about ‘corporate socialism’.

Fact is there are different kinds of socialism: the good kind and the bad ( or unnecessary ) kind.

Example of the ‘good’ kind that help the broader range of individuals would be Social Security, that allows the elderly and infirm to live in relative dignity. We no longer have poor farms or debtors prisons, and SS the major reason why.

For the ‘bad socialism’, one need only look to agriculture subsidies that now funnel Billion$ to huge, profit-making agri-business; and not to the small, dust-bowl farmers that they were initially targeted to help.

As for Brown vs. Hillary ? 2016 is still two years away, and I’m not convinced either one will be a candidate. Not many other names mentioned on the horizon, so I’m keeping my options open.


Let me clarify…closing this “loophole” as was just done is not what we should be concentrating on. The REAL problem is the stupid LIST in the first place. We need to work on getting THAT law overturned.


It is already Constitutionally fragile under Interstate Commerce laws. The Supreme Courts ‘…of common use….’ language in Heller & McDonald will come into play also.

There is zero Constitutionally supported underpinnings to this law, so it will fail eventually as it works its way through the courts. Just a matter of time.

Jorge Estrada

Is California exempt from Federal Law? Why does California appear to be it’s own country? If you ask any State Agency about their activities, they will be quick to explain their need to comply with Federal Laws but as it affects the public, it seems that California has it’s own rules.


But, what about “states rights” …. ?



Come on now, that’s not fair! That only applies when the Feds enforce national laws that affect the likes of the Bundy’s of the country and not the the other way around.


But, what about “the peoples rights”….?



Again! Come on now! That’s really not fair!!!! The right to own a massive clip, semi-automatic firearm with absolutely no sane controls in place because you may realize the one in millions chance it may have to be used to “protect” oneself always will trump the right of the common citizens absolute right to walk the streets of this country, or doing business somewhere, or even in the “safety” of their own home without the worry of that weapon being used to mow them down!

I have an idea though; make it a federal law you have to be insured to own a firearm. Insurance that will be pricey and contingent on you being able to provide proof you are “able” to safely handle said firearm. And no, not the individual being insured, but the each individual firearm in the person “arsenal”. I’m a gun owner and I sign on for that TODAY!


Hey! There you go! Great idea!

Let’s also bring back the poll tax. No sense in having elderly, poor, minorities, homeless, etc be able to afford to exercise their Civil Rights.

How very progressive of you. You need to brainstorm some more ideas on how economically oppress the exercise of Civil Rights.


Not a tax, insurance, not the same. We make business insure, we make vehicle insurance mandatory, we make anything that has some inherent risk of harming others insure, why not gun ownership?

Again, you talk of the “oppression of your civil rights” while ignoring the rights that have been violated of those injured and killed, and their families by-the-way, by gun owners and/or their guns. Those killed, and their families, will never have those rights restored and those injured will never, ever, have them restored to a point of confidence they had before being shot (I speak from personal experience in that area).

In the last year it was studied, 2010, it was estimated that gun violence in the form of medical costs cost the American tax payers over $350 Million Dollars (The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) concluded that nonfatal gun injuries and gun-related deaths ultimately cost the U.S. $5.6 billion in medical spending every year. That number goes up to $64.6 billion when accounting for lost productivity due to the injuries). And what of the cost burden passed on to those individuals, and their families, of those wounded or God forbid killed? Again, your civil rights trump any rights they should have, right?

So, why wouldn’t any stuck-in-the-mud conservative not want a viable way to lesson his or her tax burden?

Sometimes being a progressive minded individual means taking a look backwards and realizing the steps you’ve taken haven’t taken you anywhere, and might even have caused backsliding, and reevaluating what it is you thought would work. Conservatives have a hard time with this one though; ’cause ultimately an admission of being wrong would take place, and God forbid we know that ain’t possible from that side of the fence!


What are you even talking about? You do realize that you can’t buy insurance to cover a criminal act, right? Or are you talking about accidents? Because accident insurance for owning a gun would be very cheap, since guns are rarely involved in accidental deaths. In fact, from an accidental death perspective, it is more dangerous to have a bathtub in your home than a firearm (according to the anti-gun National Safety Council).

So, both of your presumptions about insurance are wrong. Would you like to try again?


Sure, insure the guns/owners! Why not? Insure against any injury, death (outside of proven personal protection) or property loss directly related to that firearm. If the gun was stolen then a proper and timely reporting process would be followed to take responsibility from the registered owner. Insure them to the hilt! Make it a federal program much like flood insurance is, another way of raising revenues for the country. If the firearm is not registered and insured then confiscate it. Period! Make it mandatory at the time of purchase, 6 months of coverage in advance.

The criminal act? Make it so in regards to firearms, period! Any harm, physical or monetary, caused by the insured firearm in the hands of the registered owner, or outside if not reported stolen, the insurance pays the damages.

I’ll let someone with a better grasp of the in-and-outs of this speak:

Robert Frank, at Cornell University:

“Gun ownership, even in the hands of responsible people, increases the risk of death and serious injury to others. In cases involving multiple deaths, few gun owners could afford to compensate victims’ families for their losses, just as most automobile owners couldn’t afford to compensate the families of accident victims. With automobiles, we require all vehicle owners to carry liability insurance. A similar approach would help with firearms.”

“Nothing in the constitution grants people the right to expose others to serious risk without compensation. Insurance sellers are skillful at estimating the risks posed by drivers with specific characteristics, and we could expect them to be similarly skillful at assessing the risks posed by gun owners. Requiring liability insurance isn’t a total solution to the problem of excessive risk, either for autos or for guns. But in both cases, it’s a positive step.”

Just my opinion….


A lot of what Mr. Frank spewed out at Cornell is pure bull manure. It’s not supported by the facts. Sorry about that.


Examples? The bull manure you spew is more repugnant! Backed by facts or not, it still stinks as long as you, and the gun right, ignore the civil rights that are ignored, trampled on and ultimately “killed” every time someone is injured or killed by one of your sporting goods! You are sorry, no doubt about that….


GoneBabyGone Less about other commenters, much less.

“The bull manure you spew” No, stop it.

? or !


“no sane controls” – are you saying that the thousands of gun control laws already on the books across the US are insane? I guess we do agree on something. I’m for revoking most of them, as it appears are you, since you seem to be saying they make no sense. I’ll let Diane Feinstein know you stand with the NRA on this one.


Twisted? You betcha! But isn’t that the way most conservatives try and win a debate anyway. Let Ms. Feinstein, and the NRA, know anything you wish as I don’t support either…