California gun owners still can't register assault weapons

California gun owners trying to abide by new California firearms laws have hit a major road block when trying to register assault weapons.

One of the new laws implemented as of Jan. 1 this year expanded the definition of “assault weapon” to mean a “semiautomatic centerfire rifle, or a semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of those specified attributes.” Individuals are now no longer able to purchase weapons that fall under that definition.

The law also requires people who already own firearms now considered assault weapons to register those guns by Jan. 1 of next year. However, CBS Sacramento reported that the website designated for the registry is not yet working, leaving many gun owners anxious and frustrated.

Some say they have been trying to register for months with no success and are concerned that there will be a major rush to get it done right before the deadline if the problems persist.

“They said it would be easily done through the internet, and that they won’t charge you more than $15 and that it was an easy process, but that’s not turned out to be the case,” said John, a Sacramento gun owner.

Instead of an easy process, gun owners are confronted with the following message on the California Department of Justice website:

The ability to register an Assault Weapon pursuant to Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880, is not yet available. Pursuant to AB 1135 and SB 880, Assault Weapon registration regulations must be effective before any registrations can take place. At this time, the regulations are still pending, however they should be effective in the very near future. Please continue to check the Bureau of Firearms website for updates.

Josh Deaser, owner of Just Guns in Sacramento, voiced his frustrations and confusion over the whole situation.

“As we go into the fifth month of the year, nothing is in place, we don’t know what to do what not to do,” Deaser said.

“The plan is there, the procedure is already there from the previous assault weapon ban, so there isn’t a reason why it isn’t set up,” Deaser continued.

Not only has the process been frustrating, but severe penalties lie in wait for those who don’t register their firearms that are now considered assault weapons, a very real concern for many gun owners trying to follow the law.

“The penalties for any gun law infractions are severe, and I don’t want to get close to having any infraction,” John said.

A California Department of Justice spokesman said they are still working on the regulations and will have the process sorted out in time for gun owners to register, but no specific timeframe was offered.

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