Californians are Refusing to Register their ‘Assault Rifles’
Anti-gunners would love to enact a federal law requiring all owners of firearms to register those firearms. That is especially true of the AR-15 and other military-style rifles, which anti-2A activists assert cause mass shootings and misery across the land. Anti-gunners in California recently enacted a similar law requiring owners of AR-15s and other military-style rifles to register them with the state. Firearms owners, though, mostly are not abiding that law.
So far, only about 25 percent of an estimated 1 million military-style rifles legally owned by Californians have been reported to state officials. California has deemed the civilian AR-15, Ak-47 and similar firearms as “assault rifles” and bans their sale in the state. And while California officials know they can’t ban their citizens from owning them, they are requiring those who own them to register their arms. So far, they mostly aren’t.
California defines an assault rifle as any semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that can accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of several features. Those features include pistol grips and flash suppressors. Owners of such firearms have to register them with California’s Department of Justice. So far, only 225,388 such arms have been registered, leaving the vast majority still unregistered and in unknown hands. That is good for firearms owners, and bad for anti-gunners.
California has the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, including an outright ban on sales of rifle they have deemed to be “assault weapons”. Yet, many of its residents embrace the arms and clearly do not want to give them up.
Most owners of so-called “assault rifles” in California are older, law-abiding white males. A recent survey showed 69 percent of owners of such arms in California are over age 45. The study shows 84 percent are male, and 67 percent are white. The study also shows many who own one “assault rifle” likely own several, plus other firearms.
What California officials fail to realize is that they—nor the rest of the country—are not under siege by older white adult males with semiautomatic arms. Part of the reason for that might be due to the high volume of other arms sold in the state. California, despite its well-deserved reputation as an anti-gun state, comes in third to only Texas and Florida in total number of arms sold. Californians bought nearly 800,000 firearms last year, Texans bought nearly 975,000 arms, and Floridians nearly 874,000 arms.
California remains a state with a very high crime rate that exceeds the national averages for aggravated assaults, robberies, rapes, and murder. Undoubtedly, those rates of violent crime are a big reason why law-abiding Californian gun owners are so reluctant to register their “assault rifles.”
Registering arms opens up the possibility of arms confiscation, and many anti-gunners seeking the Democrat Party’s presidential nomination want to ban those arms. Law-abiding gun owners, though, clearly do not agree with that policy and do not want to surrender their arms. A prior federal ban on “assault rifles” proved ineffective at deterring violent crime – including mass shootings.
Those who own the controversial arms know they do not pose a threat to local communities. Instead, they are one of the most versatile arms ever sold on the civilian market, and enable homeowners and others to protect themselves and their property against criminals and others intend on causing harm. Californians affirm as much with their reluctance to register their versatile sporting rifles that anti-gunners detest.