California Democrats Seek to Ban More Semiautomatic Guns as ‘Assault Weapons’

FILE - In this Jan. 16, 2013 file photo, assault weapons and handguns are seen for sale at Capitol City Arms Supply in Springfield, Ill. In a questionnaire for The Associated Press, the four GOP candidates for governor, state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and …
AP/Seth Perlman, File

California Democrats are using Assembly Bill 88 to include more semiautomatic firearms under their current “assault weapons” ban.

The NRA-ILA reported on the push to add new guns to the California “assault weapons” ban, saying, “AB 88 was amended yesterday to include significant policy changes that would expand the definition of “assault weapon” under California’s “Assault Weapons Control Act.”

The amended language of Assembly Bill 88 says:

Existing law generally prohibits the possession or transfer of assault weapons, except for the sale, purchase, importation, or possession of assault weapons by specified individuals, including law enforcement officers. Under existing law, “assault weapon” means, among other things, a semiautomatic centerfire rifle, a semiautomatic shotgun, or a semiautomatic pistol that does not have a fixed magazine and has any one of specified attributes, including, for rifles, a thumbhole stock, and for pistols, a 2nd handgrip.

This bill would expand the definition of “assault weapon” to include a semiautomatic firearm that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, that either does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the attributes currently associated with assault weapons, as specified, that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, or that has an overall length of less than 30 inches.

If the amended language becomes law then currently-legal pistols and shotguns that have certain cosmetic features, but are no more lethal than guns without those features, could be banned in California.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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