Pro-gun advocates note there are exceptions to the new 21-year-old minimum age threshold and warn of possible legal action.
Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown signed off on SB 1100, a measure backed by state Democrats to raise the age for all gun sales in California to 21, eliminating the ability of those between 18 and 20 to buy shotguns and rifles. The California Rifle and Pistol Association warns that the law, slated to kick in on Jan.1, 2019, is limited in scope.
“Gun owners should be aware that the bill only prohibits dealers from selling or transferring firearms to folks under 21,” said the group in an alert. “Even if you are under 21 years of age you are not prohibited from owning or possessing a long gun. You just can’t go buy one because the dealer is prohibited from selling it to you.”
Besides carve-outs for law enforcement and members of the military, the law still protects the right of those over the age of 18 with a valid California hunting license to purchase rifles and shotguns. The CRPA, California’s NRA state affiliate, also noted that the national gun rights group is involved in a lawsuit against the state of Florida over a similar age increase adopted in March. While state officials in the Sunshine State are fighting to defend their new law, the NRA is confident the matter could make it to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“A favorable decision there, or even in the Florida appeals court, would have precedential effect on similar laws — like SB 1100,” notes CPRA, saying they are also considering filing a lawsuit against California’s new restrictions.