California Senate Bill 1160

Bill Title: Firearms: annual registration of firearms.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2024-02-21 – Referred to Com. on PUB S

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2023–2024 REGULAR SESSION, Introduced February 14, 2024 by Senator Portantino

Executive Summary:

SB 1160 is a proposed California bill that would require all firearms in the state (except those specifically exempted) to be annually registered with the Department of Justice. Key points:

  • Firearm owners would have to annually register each firearm they own
  • Owners would pay an annual fee for each registered firearm
  • The fees would fund the administration and enforcement of the firearm registry
  • The DOJ would establish and maintain the firearm registry system
  • Registration info would be available to other law enforcement agencies
  • Registration would not be proof of lawful ownership or right to possess the firearm
  • Possession of an unregistered firearm would be an infraction (minor violation)
  • The bill states no state reimbursement to local agencies would be required

Bill Text

SECTION 1. Division 4.7 (commencing with Section 25285) is added to Title 4 of Part 6 of the Penal Code, to read:
DIVISION 4.7. Annual Registration of Firearms

  1. As used in this division, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms have the following meanings:
    (a) “Antique firearm” has the same meaning as in Section 921(a)(16) of Title 18 of the United States Code.
    (b) “Department” means the Department of Justice.
    (c) “Firearm” has the same meaning as in subdivision (a) of Section 16520.
  2. (a) Except as specifically exempted in Section 25288, every firearm that is kept in this state shall be annually registered with the department by the owner of that firearm as required in this division.
    (b) Annual registration shall be accomplished in a manner and form prescribed by the department.
    (c) Annual registration shall include the payment of an initial or renewal registration fee in an amount determined by the department.
    (d) The department shall establish and collect the original and annual renewal fees for firearm registration required by this division. These fees shall not exceed the amount necessary to cover the costs incurred in the administration and enforcement of this division. The department shall annually adjust these fees as necessary.
    (e) Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be placed in the Firearm Registration Account which is hereby established. Moneys in this account shall be continuously appropriated to the department for the sole use of the administration and enforcement of this division.
  3. (a) Any person choosing not to register a firearm they own may surrender the firearm to any local law enforcement agency.
    (b) A firearm surrendered pursuant to this section shall, for purposes of this part, be deemed a nuisance and is subject to the provisions of Sections 18000 and 18005.
  4. The following firearms are exempted from the registration required by this division:
    (a) Any firearm owned by any department or agency of the state or of any political subdivision thereof, that employs any peace officer as described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2. This exemption does not include any firearm personally owned by any peace officer employed by these entities.
    (b) Any firearm owned by any department or agency of the federal government. This exemption does not include any firearm personally owned by any employee or appointee of these entities.
    (c) Any firearm owned by the Armed Forces of the United States, California National Guard, or California State Guard. This exemption does not include any firearm personally owned by a member of these entities.
    (d) Any antique firearm.
  5. (a) The department shall, by no later than April 1, 2025, establish and maintain a system for the annual registration of firearms held in the state.
    (b) The form and manner of registration shall be determined by the department.
    (c) The department shall make reasonable efforts to notify firearms dealers, firearm owners of record, and the general public of the registration requirement.
    (d) The department may enact regulations to carry out the provisions of this division.
  6. The department shall establish the Registered Firearm File, a searchable database of registered firearms that shall be made available through the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System for legitimate law enforcement purposes.
  7. Commencing on July 1, 2025, any person who owns, possesses, or has custody or control over any firearm subject to registration pursuant to this division that is not currently registered is guilty of an infraction punishable by a fine of one thousand dollars ($1,000).
  8. Pursuant to Section 926 of Title 18 of United States Code, the department shall not use any records described in that section for the establishment, maintenance, or enforcement of the system of firearm registration established by this division.
  9. Registration pursuant to this division shall not be deemed evidence either that the registrant is legally permitted to own or possess a firearm or is the legal owner of the registered firearm.
    SEC. 2. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.

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