California DOJ Withdraws Illegal “Assault Weapon” Regulations After Receiving Critical CRPA & NRA Pre-Litigation Demand Letter

As we previously reported  after the California Department of Justice submitted illegal regulations regarding newly classified “assault weapons” to the Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”) for publication in the California Code of Regulations (CCR), NRA and California Rifle & Pistol Association submitted a joint-letter  to the DOJ explaining the flaws in the regulations and demanding that the illegal regulations be withdrawn or they would ask a court to step in.              

Late on Friday, the DOJ withdrew the problematic regulations from the OAL’s consideration. The regulations will likely be revised by DOJ and resubmitted to OAL.

It is unclear exactly why the DOJ took this action, but the CRPA/NRA legal letter likely prompted the move. The CRPA/NRA letter explains how DOJ lacks the authority to adopt the regulations it sought to adopt in the way it sought to adopt them.

DOJ submitted the now withdrawn “assault weapon” regulations to OAL just before New Year’s Eve as “File and Print” only, meaning DOJ was claiming that the regulations are expressly exempted by statute from public comment or OAL review and should simply be published — as is. DOJ is trying to circumvent the regular rulemaking process in California (i.e., the Administrative Procedures Act (APA)), which requires State agencies to provide at least 45 days for public comment on any regulation. But DOJ wanted the regulations published in the CCR without any opportunity for public comment. In the now withdrawn regulations, DOJ claimed an exemption to the APA as a result of specific language in the recently enacted “assault weapon” statute regarding the registration process.

The law requires DOJ to create regulations for properly registering newly defined “assault weapons,” but only exempts registration related regulations from the typical rulemaking process to the extent necessary for the actual registration process.               

Contrary to the limits of the exemption contained in the statute itself, the regulations submitted by DOJ to OAL went far beyond what is necessary for the registration process. The regulations actually read like a wish list from the gun ban lobby that DOJ was attempting to shoehorn into the limited exception to the regulatory adoption process actually contained in the law.

Fortunately, CRPA and NRA called DOJ on this ploy and DOJ appears to be reconsidering.

Recently the DOJ backed down from pushing their desired regulations about so called “large capacity magazines” when faced with opposition from CRPA/NRA attorneys. Just before New Year’s Eve, the DOJ withdrew its bid to push “emergency regulations” regarding so-called “large-capacity magazines” after receiving a letter from CRPA/NRA attorneys explaining the regulations failed to meet the legal standard for emergency status.

 What happens next with either set of regulations is unclear. DOJ will inevitably have to create some regulations to effectuate the new “assault weapon” law because California law requires newly defined “assault weapons” to be registered before January 1, 2018 under whatever regulations that DOJ ultimately adopts. Now, two months into the new year, we still have no guidance for those who need to register their newly defined “assault weapons” about how to do so. We can expect DOJ to put out new regulations, but when?

To learn more about the requirements of the new 2017 gun laws, view the CRPA/NRA webinars posted at bit.ly/CRPAweb.

Regardless of how this regulatory mess plays out, CRPA and NRA are committed to staying on top of the DOJ and to bringing litigation to end California’s ban on common firearms it misleadingly calls “assault weapons,” and “large capacity magazines,” and to bring multiple other lawsuits that are being prepared. To support that legal effort please donate at bit.ly/CRPAsupport.

You can stay up-to-date on DOJ’s regulations and other important firearm related issues by subscribing to CRPA email alerts.

11 responses to “California DOJ Withdraws Illegal “Assault Weapon” Regulations After Receiving Critical CRPA & NRA Pre-Litigation Demand Letter

  1. We’ll see how much they were cowed by the “pre-litigation letter” when they make their next move.

    IF they follow the law, the tactic can be claimed to have been effective.

    IF they pee all over us with some new form of “file and print” or faux “emergency” regs the effectiveness of the strategy (unless the strategy is really to litigate the underlying legislation) will be called into question as well.

  2. All firearms regulations of a pre-emptory nature, that regulate the legitimate self-governed exersize of the inheirent right of self-defence, is nessesarily and infringement of that inalienable right, and therefore is void on their face. Of course, we have to start to attack the usurpation somewhere in California and the other 49 states, to reign in wild-eyed hysteria and political opportunism in “feels good-does nothing beneficial” legislation.

  3. My summation is worth repaeting:
    All firearms regulations of a pre-emptory nature, that regulate the legitimate self-governed exersize of the inheirent right of individual self-defence, is nessesarily an infringement of that inalienable right, and therefore are void on their face. Of course, we have to start to curtail the usurpation somewhere in California and the other 49 states, to reign in wild-eyed hysteria and political opportunism in “feels good-does nothing beneficial” legislation.

  4. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the work that CRPA does. The only problem I see with this withdrawal is the DOJ coming up with even more restrictive regulations. Something that may include even non-center fire weapons. Keep up the good fight guys, and thanks.

  5. David D.
    If all gun owners in California voted against the Gun Grabbers in Sacramento we wouldn’t be in the mess we are. If all gun owners Joined the CRPA and NRA those people in Sacramento wouldn’t mess with us!

  6. The basic problem is that most pro-gun people are still focusing on the WRONG issue.
    The 2nd amendment isn’t about self defense folks, and you all KNOW that ! AND you all
    know what it’s really about. But nobody wants to say that the Emperor has no clothes !
    Self defense is a God given right. ( and I’m not going to get into a theological argument
    here, so don’t even try)
    WE KNOW why the founding fathers put the 2nd in there ! But the anti’s want to believe
    that our government, or ANY government, is benevolent. Fraid not !
    And our government will do ANYTHING to deflect the people away from the basic
    reason behind the 2nd amendment. Think “false flags”.
    Hey, Hitler never told anybody he was planning on a dictatorship- at the beginning .
    So IMHO, the question is , how do we get people to stop fearing their neighbors and
    start having a healthy dose of at least suspicion; towards the motives of our government.
    Federal, State and Local. Because Power Corrupts !
    And I confess that I don’t have the answer to all that. I’ve been trying and talking to
    people for 50 years, but it doesn’t seem to help.

  7. The NRA and CRPA are doing the work our founding fathers envisioned, but without the violent overthrow Jefferson predicted/expected. Thanks for all the hard work. Personally, I’ve modified my “so-called” assault rifles, and frankly, I’m happy with the results: No bullet button required so faster magazine swaps and the Thorsdens stocks have produced a rifle that, in my opinion, is easy to handle and perhaps even more tactical. Yes, I dislike my rights being dismantled by (respectfully said) ignorant politicians and public, but in the end, we have to continue to support the CRPA and NRA to ensure our second amendments rights are not taken from us as every facist government has done in other countries. Learn our history, there is much to fear from Draconian implementation. Be safe out there and don’t be afraid to speak up as needed: it is not just a right, it is a responsibility of citizenship.

  8. NRA and CRPA – you are awesome, keep pressing down crooks in DOJ. The stunt they were trying to pull of on New Year eve is just unbelievable. Maybe something can be done on Federal level as well to limit or prevent this sort of constitution infringement at the local level. And I would definitely love to see all these useless and arrogant dems kicked out of Sacramento. But I guys it’s just a pipe dream, at least for now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *