New Year brings New Gun Laws in California

Governor Brown signed several proposed legislation into law that became effective January 1, 2016. A few of those new laws are being highlighted:

1. SB 178 California Electronic Communications Privacy Act (CalECPA):
CalECPA requires law enforcement to obtain a search warrant before gaining access to your electronic devices such as cellphones or computers to retrieve calls logs, text messages, or emails. Supporters of this new law encourage the ban on warrantless searches for electronics because it has allowed for the law to finally catch up with technology. Supporters of this law include the California Police Chiefs Association, California State Sheriff’s Association, and the California District Attorney Association, along with several technology companies such as Facebook and Google.

2. SB 707 Guns on Campus:
This new law adds to the existing California Gun Free School Zone Act of 1995 that prohibits a person from possessing a gun or ammunition in a school zone without written permission from school officials. However, those who hold a valid carry conceal permit were the exception to the old rule. Now with SB 707 enacted all persons, even those with a valid carry conceal permit, are prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition at any public or private K-12 school and college unless they carry a valid carry conceal permit and have written permission from school officials. Violating this law is a felony and could lead to jail time and/or fines.

3. SB 199 Toy Guns
New law now requires that toy guns such as BB guns or airsoft guns, that look similar to real firearms, have features that make them standout from real firearms. Federal law already requires an orange tip on the barrel of the toy guns but CA law will require fluorescent markers on the toy guns. If the toy gun resembles a handgun then the fluorescent markers should cover the entire trigger guard and pistol grip. If the toy gun resembles a rifle then the fluorescent markers should cover the trigger guard and at least two of the following: pistol grip, buttsock, or magazine clip.

4. AB104 Gun Restraining Orders
Family members and law enforcement officer are able to obtain a Gun Violence Restraining Order from a judge to take away an individual’s firearm if they are a threat to themselves or others. If the judge determines that the individual is at risk and issues the restraining order then law enforcement can remove all firearms and ammunition already owned by the individual and that individual temporarily cannot purchase anymore firearms or ammunition. The individual will have follow procedure set by the judge to get their firearms back.