Tuesday, January 5, 2016

What Does Obama's New Executive Order Mean for Gun Owners in California?

Cool picture stolen from combatarms.wikia.com

President Obama announced a package of new executive orders today, collectively aimed at reducing gun violence in America.  

One key provision that has attracted a lot of media attention has been Obama's proposal to tighten the so-called "gun show loophole".  Federal law currently requires all gun dealers to conduct background checks before selling firearms to members of the public.  A loophole in the federal rules, however, allows private individuals (non-gun dealers) to sell guns to each other without conducting any checks on the purchaser's eligibility to possess weapons.  

The president cannot simply close this loophole unilaterally, because only Congress can make federal laws.  He can, however, order the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives to redefine who counts as a "gun dealer".  By expanding the definition of "gun dealer", more sellers will now be required to conduct background checks on prospective buyers.  

So what does this new rule mean for gun owners in California?  Absolutely nothing.  California law already requires all private gun sales to be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer (called a "private party transfer").  There is no "gun show loophole" in California.  

If you or a loved one has questions about firearms in California, call us for a free attorney consultation.  (714) 505-2468.  Ask for John.  Thanks for reading.