On September 26, 2023, Governor Newsom signed into law two bills impacting federal firearm licensees (“FFL”) in California. The first bill, SB-417,sets forth specific warnings that all FFLs must “conspicuously post within the licensed premises.” The warnings, which must be posted “in block letters not less than one inch in height,” concern the safe storage of firearms and the potential criminal consequences of leaving a firearm “where a minor is likely to access it.” The required warnings also include language concerning the risks associated with “discharging firearms in poorly ventilated areas,” and California law prohibiting any person from making an “application to purchase more than one firearm within any 3-day period.” There is an additional requirement to post information about a suicide crisis lifeline.  The new signage requirements set forth by SB-417 become effective on January 1, 2024.

The second bill, SB-452,directs the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to investigate and determine the viability of microstamping technology for firearms. “Microstamping” is defined as a “microscopic array of characters that may be used to identify the specific serial number of a firearm from spent cartridge casings discharged by that firearm.” The law directs the California DOJ to determine the viability of microstamping technology by January 1, 2026, and then to determine whether microstamping components at “commercially reasonable prices are available from licensees” by January 1, 2027. If the California DOJ determines that microstamping is technologically viable and available at “reasonable prices,” then the law will prohibit the sale or transfer of semiautomatic pistols without microstamping technology after January 1, 2028.This law is modeled after a similar law that was passed in New York, Senate Bill S4116A,in June 2022. There are currently no semiautomatic pistols on the commercial market that incorporate microstamping technology and some firearm manufacturers argue that the concept is not viable.

The California State Senate introduced another bill, SB 8, which would require firearm owners in California to obtain liability insurance “specifically covering losses or damages resulting from any negligent or accidental use of that firearm. . .” This bill is currently being reviewed by the Senate Insurance Committee and has not yet been approved.

Renzulli Law Firm, nationally recognized as one of the premier law firms in the country serving the Firearms Industry, is monitoring legislative developments affecting the industry and publishing regular updates which are available by e-mail and on the Firm’s website.  Any questions you may have about these developments should be directed to [email protected].

Our firearms legislation updates are available here. Additional information about the Firm’s litigation, counseling and consulting services for the Firearms Industry is available here.