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Doj’s “Important Notice” Regarding Single-Shot Pistols And California’s “Roster Of Handguns Certified For Sale”

November 15, 2018

INFORMATION BULLETIN

Originally intended to restrict the sale of certain handguns commonly known as “Saturday Night Specials,” California’s “unsafe handgun” restriction instead serves as a complete bar to all modern handgun designs. While some gun owners were able to avoid this restriction by purchasing single-shot handguns and then converting them after purchase to a semi-automatic action, California’s legislature has since made it more difficult to do so. And recently, the California Department of Justice issued an “Important Notice” warning firearm dealers and gun owners that modifying a pistol acquired pursuant to an exception to California’s “unsafe handgun” restrictions may constitute “manufacturing” and thus violate California law.

CRPA’s information bulletin explains how, in the context of federal and state law, DOJ’s “Important Notice” directly contradicts ATF rulings regarding “manufacturing” as applied to certain “drop-in” firearm modifications, nor does it provide any guidance on how to comply with California’s “unsafe handgun” restrictions. But as explained in CRPA’s bulletin, gun owners and dealers should still exercise caution when making alterations to any handgun acquired through an exception to California’s “unsafe handgun” restriction.

INFORMATION BULLETIN

Originally intended to restrict the sale of certain handguns commonly known as “Saturday Night Specials,” California’s “unsafe handgun” restriction instead serves as a complete bar to all modern handgun designs. While some gun owners were able to avoid this restriction by purchasing single-shot handguns and then converting them after purchase to a semi-automatic action, California’s legislature has since made it more difficult to do so. And recently, the California Department of Justice issued an “Important Notice” warning firearm dealers and gun owners that modifying a pistol acquired pursuant to an exception to California’s “unsafe handgun” restrictions may constitute “manufacturing” and thus violate California law.

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