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Governor Brown Signs AB1964 Gun Law

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Sacramento, Calif. - Governor Jerry Brown signed AB1964, legislation that will close a loophole that has allowed gun dealers to skirt California law and sell handguns without safety features. This legislation was a top priority of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

The law will go into effect on January 1, 2015.

The new law will ensure that handguns purchased through a dealer in California meet all safety and firing tests as mandated by the state's "Unsafe Handgun" law. The existing law requires handguns sold and manufactured in California be determined to be "safe" by the California Department of Justice. This includes having child safety features like loaded chamber indicators and magazine disconnects, meeting specified firing and drop safety tests, and containing microstamping technology that puts intentional marks on bullet casings to help solve gun crimes.

"Gun dealers in California have been skirting the law and selling handguns without child safety features, putting profits over the safety of Californians," said Nick and Amanda Wilcox, legislation & policy chairs of the California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "We applaud Governor Brown and the California legislature for taking action to make new handguns sold in the state safer."

Since 2010, there has been an explosion of semi-automatic handguns being modified into single-shot handguns to get around California's "Unsafe Handgun" law, thereby eroding the law's intent. For example, in 2013, more than 18,000 of these altered weapons were purchased in the state, up from just 1,100 in 2009, according to the bill's author, Assemblymember Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento).

"Safety should not be an option or an upgrade when it comes to firearms. The Unsafe Handgun Act was passed in 1999 to make sure all handguns were safety compliant. Today the Governor restored the intent of the original law by making new handguns safer," added Nick and Amanda Wilcox.