by Ben Bullard
California residents are lining up to beat a new ban on unregistered shotguns and rifles, as a 2011 law that creates a State registry for long guns is set to go into effect at the start of the new year.
The law basically treats all long guns sold after Jan. 1, 2014 as handguns. It was passed in a legislative session that also saw the revocation of any form of open carry statewide.
Currently, California handgun owners must register their weapons in a statewide database. But starting next week, owners of long guns must do the same.
As 2013 draws to a close, CBS Sacramento reports that California residents are racing to stores in the hope of acquiring long-barreled firearms before the law requires them to join the ranks of registered gun owners:
"Even though the law is at least temporarily boosting his bottom line, Just Guns owner John Deaser isn’t a fan. He says requiring people to register their rifles and shotguns is an unnecessary invasion of privacy.
In the last week of 2013, he says sales of long guns are up 30 to 50 percent."
The new registry ends California gun dealers’ standing practice of destroying the records of their customers as soon as they’ve cleared a background check. It also means that guns currently in existence, including heirloom weapons that have been handed down from one generation of family members to the next, will have to be registered for the first time when they next change hands.
The new State registry will record the make, model and serial number of every firearm owned or purchased in California; and gun owners must voluntarily report any transfer of ownership to the State.