Assault weapon registration in California is on the rise — up 43 percent in 11 months, to be exact.
This data is being reported after a California adopted a measure to require residents to register assault weapons without fixed magazines by June 30 or face confiscation of their weapon and a year in jail. California banned such weapons, including “bullet button” semiautomatic rifles, in 2016 and requires everyone who owned one before the law was passed to register it with the government for tracking purposes.
Several Californians are suing the state, claiming that the state website where gun owners are required to register their weapon crashed, not allowing them to meet the deadline. The suit seeks to allow gun owners to register their guns after June and recover the costs of the lawsuit, the Los Angeles Times reports.
One of the bill’s co-authors, Assemblyman Marc Levine (D-San Rafael), said the legislation is “a common sense accountability measure to track weapons that can be used for great harm to society.”
The bill was inspired by the deadly terrorist attack in San Bernardino in 2015, which left 14 people dead and a 2013 shooting at Los Angeles International Airport that killed a TSA agent. Both attackers are reported to have used guns with the “bullet button” feature.
In the past 11 months, over 68,000 additional assault weapons have been registered to make the June deadline. Some 157,540 other firearms already had been registered as assault weapons under California’s earlier gun laws.
That means there are at least 225,540 assault weapons on the streets of California. There are surely thousands of others with owners who will not bother to register them, and there are surely thousands of others that will be bought on the black market or smuggled in from other states.
So the bottom line is, does this policy really do anything, or is it just a burden on gun owners?
Gun owners are faced with this reality: Democrats say they do not want to take away guns. They just want to force people to register them, limit magazines, ban certain types of guns, prohibit gun carrying and restrict the amount of ammunition one can purchase. It’s a tough reality for supporters of the Second Amendment.