The Slow Boil Handgun Ban in California

Image at GerbrandDefense, not in CA, but metaphorically illustrative

Hat tip to TFB for pointing this one out and publishing on it, but the ‘De-Certification’ of handguns in California continues their slow crushing process to ban handguns altogether, and they are getting away with it under their micro-stamping requirement.

Now, not every De-Certified handgun (list here) has been de-certified for the same reason, there are a multitude or reasons including some legitimate (ish) ones for why a handgun would be removed. The model might not exist anymore, the manufacturer might not either, and this does not prevent them from being privately transferred as I understand it.

As of January 1, 2001, no handgun may be manufactured within California, imported into California for sale, lent, given, kept for sale, or offered/exposed for sale unless that handgun model has passed firing, safety, and drop tests and is certified for sale in California by the Department of Justice. Private party transfers, curio/relic handguns, certain single-action revolvers, and pawn/consignment returns are exempt from this requirement.CA AG Website

California has to approve every single retail available model of handgun, this is at the expense of the manufacturers to maintain. And since the microstamping requirement came to be implemented in 2013, by our current Vice President. New handgun model flow to California essentially stopped.

Current models already approved were/are maintained as sellable, but that is a challenging process. Any improvement made or any change made to the handgun requires recertification. Change the shape of your magazine release? Re-certify. Make the striker out of a better steel? Re-certify. Upgrade a part materially to increase its function or endurance. You guessed it, re-certify.

Once a handgun drops off the list through entropy and/or attrition it cannot be sold commercially anymore. CA Compliant is a dying breed, and the political elites of CA are fine with that. It was their goal all along, and they will parrot the entire time that their stacked supreme court said it doesn’t violate the Second Amendment.

“Impossibility can occasionally excuse noncompliance with a statute. But impossibility does not authorize a court to go beyond interpreting a statute and simply invalidate it.” – Supreme Court of California

Basically the Supreme Court played the skip card in UNO and said that just because this law is impossible to comply with doesn’t mean it is unconstitutional, but it might excuse not following the law… might. But that wasn’t what this case was about, obviously. Humans flying under their biologically granted own power is impossible, but certainly not unconstitutional.

They passed the buck to SCOTUS, who may deliver a favorable ruling… eventually. California’s own courts may strike the law down if forced, but only when the approved handgun list is actually at or near zero in order to demonstrate numerically it is in violation of the Second Amendment. There are still 805 certified models as of current. So obviously [sarc] this isn’t a violation of the Californians’ right to a handgun, they can still get 805 of them brand new. No infringement whatsoever, none to be found. Being entirely cut off from new handguns by an impossible to comply with, but not unconstitutional, law is just a weird anomaly and totally not the intention of the gun controllers who actively want to ban firearm ownership. Call it a gun law loophole that just happens to ban handguns bit by bit.

What does this mean right now?

Well right now it means that, for example, a new in box or used Walther P99 QPQ cannot be sold any longer. If you have one already, you’re okay, but you couldn’t go find a new or used one at a store. It doesn’t matter anymore that it was approved, it is not any longer and cannot be sold. Sorry to anyone who had one on the shelf.

This isn’t nearly as concerning outside of CA, we can get new handguns like the new PDP instead of the old P99. California can’t, they rely on older models for their whole commercial stock and have done so for a few years now. They may be New-in-Box (NIB), but they are old models and even if the model hasn’t changed but was upgraded in some way, that CA compliant design hasn’t been upgraded.

For example, the list of Walther’s you can buy are all .22 caliber, and the P1 (a P38 variant), that is it. FN’s, two 10 round variants of the Five-seveN, that’s it. Glocks appear to be stuck on Gen3’s. Beretta has nothing newer than the PX4’s. And the sad list goes on. As these models entropy and it isn’t worth the company’s time to keep producing them, or renew their certifications for dead products to serve an actively hostile state, these too will drop off the list.

Not a good state…

Keith Finch
Keith is the former Editor-in-Chief of GAT Marketing Agency, Inc. He got told there was a mountain of other things that needed doing, so he does those now and writes here when he can. A USMC Infantry Veteran and Small Arms and Artillery Technician, Keith covers the evolving training and technology from across the shooting industry. Teaching since 2009, he covers local concealed carry courses, intermediate and advanced rifle courses, handgun, red dot handgun, bullpups, AKs, and home defense courses for civilians, military client requests, and law enforcement client requests.