Law abiding citizens who own assault weapons with “evil features” have big decisions to make in 2017.
James Wright of PRK Arms in Turlock knows his assault weapons. Wright said since SB880 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown, he can’t keep the guns on the shelves. He told us the new law will make people with assault weapons register the gun with the California DOJ and pay a fee.
“It’s a onetime fee for as many as you want to register,” Wright said.
He added that you could also change out the “evil features” for ones that would make it “featureless."
The evil features include a pistol grip, flash hider and a collapsible butt stock.
Ben Scroggins lives in Turlock and owns an AR-15. He thinks the law is paving the way for guns to be illegal all together.
“They are just trying to make it harder and harder, they are trying to take our guns little bit at a time,” Scroggins said.
He has from January 2017 to January 2018 to register his AR-15 or it’s a felony. Scroggins said it isn’t an easy decision and he is to mull it over.
“Umm there are three options right now and registration is third on my list of options,” he admitted.
A risk that he might take to keep the gun in the family. If he registers the gun as is with the “evil features” his family will have to turn it over to the state when he dies.
Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León, D-Los Angeles sponsored the bill. In a statement, he said, "These new laws take common sense steps to keep weapons and ammunition out of the hands of criminals and empower law enforcement to better serve and protect our communities. SB 880 closes a loophole in our assault weapons ban and will prevent weapons used in the San Bernardino terrorist attack from causing such deadly harm in California again."
Despite the lawmakers opinions, Scroggins said he doesn’t think it will deter criminals from committing violent crimes.
“Because by definition criminals don’t obey laws,” Scroggins said.
Officials from the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office told us they do not have any enforcement in mind to check registration. They said they plan on informing the public of the mandatory registration in the beginning of the new year and working on enforcement after.
The last day you can buy an AR-15 with evil features in California is Dec. 21, 2016.