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Legal Resources | Penal Code |  PC  12285, 12285.000  

Assault Weapons; .50 BMG rifle   

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(a) (1) Any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon, as defined in Section 12276, prior to June 1, 1989, shall register the firearm by January 1, 1991, and any person who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to the date it was specified as an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.5 shall register the firearm within 90 days with the Department of Justice pursuant to those procedures that the department may establish. Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12280, any person who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to the date it was defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.1, and which was not specified as an assault weapon under Section 12276 or 12276.5, shall register the firearm within one year of the effective date of Section 12276.1, with the department pursuant to those procedures that the department may establish. The registration shall contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the full name, address, date of birth, and thumbprint of the owner, and any other information that the department may deem appropriate. The department may charge a fee for registration of up to twenty dollars ($20) per person but not to exceed the actual processing costs of the department. After the department establishes fees sufficient to reimburse the department for processing costs, fees charged shall increase at a rate not to exceed the legislatively approved annual cost-of-living adjustment for the department's budget or as otherwise increased through the Budget Act. The fees shall be deposited into the Dealers' Record of Sale Special Account.

(2) Except as provided in subdivision (a) of Section 12280, any person who lawfully possesses any .50 BMG rifle prior to January 1, 2005, that is not specified as an assault weapon under Section 12276 or 12276.5 or defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.1, shall register the .50 BMG rifle with the department no later than April 30, 2006, pursuant to those procedures that the department may establish. The registration shall contain a description of the firearm that identifies it uniquely, including all identification marks, the full name, address, date of birth, and thumbprint of the owner, and any other information that the department may deem appropriate. The department may charge a fee for registration of twenty-five dollars ($25) per person to cover the actual processing and public education campaign costs of the department. The fees shall be deposited into the Dealers' Record of Sale Special Account. Data-processing costs associated with modifying the department's data system to accommodate .50 caliber BMG rifles shall not be paid from the Dealers Record of Sale Special Account.

(b) (1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), no assault weapon possessed pursuant to this section may be sold or transferred on or after January 1, 1990, to anyone within this state other than to a licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290, or as provided in Section 12288. Any person who (A) obtains title to an assault weapon registered under this section or that was possessed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 12280 by bequest or intestate succession, or (B) lawfully possessed a firearm subsequently declared to be an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.5, or subsequently defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.1, shall, within 90 days, render the weapon permanently inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer, obtain a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2, or remove the weapon from this state. A person who lawfully possessed a firearm that was subsequently declared to be an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.5 may alternatively register the firearm within 90 days of the declaration issued pursuant to subdivision (f) of Section 12276.5.

(2) A person moving into this state, otherwise in lawful possession of an assault weapon, shall do one of the following:

(A) Prior to bringing the assault weapon into this state, that person shall first obtain a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2.

(B) The person shall cause the assault weapon to be delivered to a licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290, in this state in accordance with Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. If the person obtains a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2, the dealer shall redeliver that assault weapon to the person. If the licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290, is prohibited from delivering the assault weapon to a person pursuant to this paragraph, the dealer shall possess or dispose of the assault weapon as allowed by this chapter.

(3) Except as provided in paragraph (4), no .50 BMG rifle possessed pursuant to this section may be sold or transferred on or after January 1, 2005, to anyone within this state other than to a licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290, or as provided in Section 12288. Any person who obtains title to a . 50 BMG rifle registered under this section or that was possessed pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (f) of Section 12280 by bequest or intestate succession shall, within 180 days of receipt, render the weapon permanently inoperable, sell the weapon to a licensed gun dealer, obtain a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2, or remove the weapon from this state.

(4) A person moving into this state, otherwise in lawful possession of a .50 BMG rifle, shall do one of the following:

(A) Prior to bringing the .50 BMG rifle into this state, that person shall first obtain a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2.

(B) The person shall cause the .50 BMG rifle to be delivered to a licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290 in this state in accordance with Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto. If the person obtains a permit from the Department of Justice in the same manner as specified in Article 3 (commencing with Section 12230) of Chapter 2, the dealer shall redeliver that .50 BMG rifle to the person. If the licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290 is prohibited from delivering the . 50 caliber BMG rifle to a person pursuant to this paragraph, the dealer shall dispose of the .50 BMG rifle as allowed by this chapter.

(c) A person who has registered an assault weapon or registered a .50 BMG rifle under this section may possess it only under any of the following conditions unless a permit allowing additional uses is first obtained under Section 12286:

(1) At that person's residence, place of business, or other property owned by that person, or on property owned by another with the owner's express permission.

(2) While on the premises of a target range of a public or private club or organization organized for the purpose of practicing shooting at targets.

(3) While on a target range that holds a regulatory or business license for the purpose of practicing shooting at that target range.

(4) While on the premises of a shooting club which is licensed pursuant to the Fish and Game Code.

(5) While attending any exhibition, display, or educational project which is about firearms and which is sponsored by, conducted under the auspices of, or approved by a law enforcement agency or a nationally or state recognized entity that fosters proficiency in, or promotes education about, firearms.

(6) While on publicly owned land if the possession and use of a firearm described in Section 12276, 12276.1, 12276.5, or 12278, is specifically permitted by the managing agency of the land.

(7) While transporting the assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle between any of the places mentioned in this subdivision, or to any licensed gun dealer, as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 12290, for servicing or repair pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 12290, if the assault weapon is transported as required by Section 12026.1.

(d) No person who is under the age of 18 years, and no person who is prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm may register or possess an assault weapon or .50 BMG rifle.

(e) The department's registration procedures shall provide the option of joint registration for assault weapons or .50 BMG rifle owned by family members residing in the same household.

(f) For 90 days following January 1, 1992, a forgiveness period shall exist to allow persons specified in subdivision (b) of Section 12280 to register with the Department of Justice assault weapons that they lawfully possessed prior to June 1, 1989.

(g) (1) Any person who registered a firearm as an assault weapon pursuant to the provisions of law in effect prior to January 1, 2000, where the assault weapon is thereafter defined as an assault weapon pursuant to Section 12276.1, shall be deemed to have registered the weapon for purposes of this chapter and shall not be required to reregister the weapon pursuant to this section.

(2) Any person who legally registered a firearm as an assault weapon pursuant to the provisions of law in effect prior to January 1, 2005, where the assault weapon is thereafter defined as a .50 caliber BMG rifle pursuant to Section 12278, shall be deemed to have registered the weapon for purposes of this chapter and shall not be required to reregister the weapon pursuant to this section.

(h) Any person who registers his or her assault weapon during the 90-day forgiveness period described in subdivision (f), and any person whose registration form was received by the Department of Justice after January 1, 1991, and who was issued a temporary registration prior to the end of the forgiveness period, shall not be charged with a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 12280, if law enforcement becomes aware of that violation only as a result of the registration of the assault weapon. This subdivision shall have no effect upon persons charged with a violation of subdivision (b) of Section 12280 of the Penal Code prior to January 1, 1992, provided that law enforcement was aware of the violation before the weapon was registered.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 698, Sec. 25.)