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CA Lawmaker Wants Gun Owners to Register Firearms, Pay Fee Every Year
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By Edward Smith
Published 2 months ago on
February 16, 2024

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SB 1160 requires every firearm to be registered yearly with a fee paid by the owner.

Owners of unregistered guns face a $1,000 fine.

Bill author state Sen. Anthony Portantino excels at getting gun control bills passed.


A new California bill would require gun owners to register their firearms annually with the California Department of Justice, paying an annual fee for each gun.

State Sen. Anthony Portantino (D-Burbank) introduced Senate Bill 1160. He says that annual registration would create a gun database in California.

“SB 1160 will give the state better data and help us understand how many firearms are in private hands and who owns them,” Portantino said. “Currently we only have rough estimates on how many firearms are in California. This important step toward registration will also increase accountability and responsible gun ownership as we collectively endeavor to increase public safety.”

Guns used by law enforcement personnel in the line of duty would be exempt from the yearly registration and fee under the bill. However, police officers would have to register and pay the fee for their personnel firearms.

Annual Fee Based on Program Costs

The DOJ would set the annual registration fee for each gun based on the program’s cost. Bill language prohibits the fee to exceed the cost of the program. The bill does not estimate the cost.

Owning an unregistered gun would be considered an infraction under the law punishable by a $1,000 fine.

The database of gun registration would be shared among law enforcement agencies.

“This statute, which requires gun owners to register each firearm annually, is an important tool to remind all citizens of the civic responsibility that comes with owning a firearm,” said attorney Brian Hennigan, who suggested the bill idea to Portantino. Hennigan suggested the bill alongside Loyola Law School Professor Laurie Levenson.

Second Amendment Group Opposes Bill

Gun Owners of California, a frequent legal challenger to the state’s gun laws, called SB 1160 “yet another half-brained scheme to tax our constitutionally protected right” and vowed to defeat the bill.

Portantino’s Success With Gun Bills

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several gun control laws from Portantino.

Portantino also authored the controversial SB 2, which limited where gun owners with concealed-carry permits could take their firearms.

A law from Portantino also raised the minimum age to purchase a gun in California to 21 years old.

Another bill limited how many guns a person without a Federal Firearms License can sell.

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Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

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