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Gun Shows Regulated Concerning Ghost Guns in California: AB 2552

California has taken significant steps to regulate gun shows in an effort to address concerns surrounding ghost guns. Assembly Bill 2552 (Stats. 2022, Ch. 696) has been passed to amend several sections of the California Penal Code, including PC 27240, 27245, 27305, 27310, and 27350.

These amendments aim to enhance existing regulations, impose stricter penalties for violations, and provide additional oversight by the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Provisions Under existing Law

Under existing law, gun shows in California are subject to regulation, and certain personnel involved in the shows must possess a certificate of eligibility issued by the DOJ. Additionally, specific notices must be displayed at public entrances and in parking lots.

Violations of these requirements, among others, are considered misdemeanors and result in ineligibility for a certificate of eligibility for a period of one year.

Further Obligations Introduced by AB 2552

AB 2552 builds upon these regulations by introducing further obligations for gun show organizers and vendors.

  1. The bill requires additional notices to be prominently displayed at each public entrance of the gun show. These notices are intended to provide attendees with important information about the sale and possession of firearms.
  2. The bill also doubles the maximum fines for violations of gun show regulations and other requirements.
  3. Furthermore, it extends the period of ineligibility for a certificate of eligibility from one year to two years for individuals found in violation.
  4. One significant addition made by AB 2552 is the requirement for vendors at gun shows to make written certifications. In addition to existing certifications, vendors must now certify that they will not display, possess, or offer for sale any unserialized frame or receiver, including unfinished frames or receivers, as well as any handgun conversion kits. Violations of these certifications, along with other requirements, can result in fines, suspension from participating as a vendor for a year, and potential misdemeanor charges.
  5. To ensure compliance with applicable state and federal laws, the DOJ is granted authority to inspect specified persons and businesses participating in gun shows. AB 2552 extends this authority to include firearm precursor part vendors participating in gun shows. This expansion aims to address concerns related to the sale of ghost gun components at these events.
  6. Beginning on July 1, 2023, AB 2552 mandates that the DOJ conduct enforcement and inspections at a minimum of half of all gun shows held in the state. This measure is intended to strengthen oversight and enhance compliance with gun show regulations.
  7. Lastly, the bill requires the DOJ to post certain violations on its internet website. This provision ensures transparency and public access to information regarding gun show violations and enforcement actions taken by the DOJ.

Overall, AB 2552 represents California's commitment to regulating gun shows and addressing the challenges posed by ghost guns. By strengthening regulations, increasing penalties, expanding vendor certifications, and enhancing oversight, the state aims to promote safer and more responsible practices within the gun show community.

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