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New California gun law to close single-shot exemption loophole goes into effect

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Several new California laws aimed at firearm safety go into effect Thursday. Among them is Assembly Bill 1964, which bans the sale of single-shot handguns modified from a semi-automatic rate of fire.

As of Wednesday, gun shops were still able to make these modifications, but once the law goes into effect Jan. 1, 2015, the practice will be restricted to break-top or bolt-action guns only.

“Most people can’t deny H&K makes a great gun,” said Jeff Bregman, owner of American Gun Works in Glendale. “The P30 and the HK45 are great guns. I can’t sell them because they’re not on the California certified list.”

The Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale lists state-approved firearms deemed safe enough for ownership in California. Since the list was implemented in 2001, any handgun not on the list can’t be manufactured or imported into the state. Those guns which manufacturers sought for inclusion have to pass firing, safety and drop tests. Manufacturers must also pay a fee to keep the guns on the list and if payment lapses, the guns automatically drop off the list.

In order to be able to sell those guns, Bregman and other gunsmiths would have to remove the gun’s magazine and magazine catch, put a block in the magazine well and make a modification to the barrel, Bregman told Guns.com.

“Then, of course, after they take the delivery, they leave the store and they bring it back to us and we can put all the parts back in that we took off to make it a single-shot and turn it right back,” Bregman said. “So now they have a semi-automatic pistol in the caliber that they want in the configuration that they want. It also allows people to get that wondrous device called a single-shot AR-15 or AK-47 pistol.”

Bregmen hasn’t done many of those modifications because the labor isn’t worth the money he’d be able to charge.

Although Bregman has been making money off of the modifications, he’s happy to see them go, calling the law “a double-edged sword.”[…]

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