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Tipsheet

Happy New Year! Here Are a Few Key Gun Control Laws Going Into Effect Throughout The Year

As the saying goes, "Near Year, new you," the same thing can be applied to gun laws: "New Year, new rules." And, in this case, there are some new gun control laws you should be aware of. 

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On the Federal Level

The newly-announced bump stock ban is one that is sure to impact Americans across the nation. Beginning Mar. 21, it is illegal to own or possess a bump stock. If you're caught with one, you can face a $250,000 fine and 10 years in prison. There is no grandfathering in of the regulation.

Things may change between now and then because multiple lawsuits have been filed by various pro-gun groups challenging the constitutionality of the regulation. 

Washington State

All eyes have been on Washington State over the past year as Washingtonians considered adding stricter gun control laws. Specifically, gun rights advocates fought against i-1639, a ballot initiative that passed in November with 60 percent of the vote.

As of Jan. 1, i-1639 is in effect and these are the changes that are taking place:

• The age a person can legally purchase a rifle is no longer 18. The law raised the age to 21.
• An "enhanced background check system similar to what is used for handguns" is now being used for rifle purchased.
• A person is required to complete a firearms safety training course before purchasing a firearm.
• Gun owners are required to secure their firearms with a trigger lock or by storing them in a gun safe. Those who fail to lock their guns up can be charged with gross misdemeanor or felony “community endangerment” crimes for allowing children or prohibited people to have access to firearms. 

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California

The other gun control state everyone references, is California. And yes, even harsher restrictions are coming to those of you in the Golden State.

As of Jan. 1, Californians:

• Have to go through a federal firearms licensee (FFL) to purchase ammo.
• Cannot purchase ammunition in another state and drive it back to California.
• In some jurisdictions are not allowed to open carry an unloaded long gun.

Beginning July 1, Californians will:
• Be required to undergo background checks for all ammunition purchases.
• Have to ship all ammo ordered online or via catalog to an FFL.

The process for background checks for ammo purchases still remains a mystery. Various ideas have been floated around, including obtaining 

New Jersey

Beginning on Sept. 1, Extreme Risk Protective Orders, also known as "red flag laws" go into effect. Anyone who is deemed a risk to themselves or others by the court can have their firearms confiscated. Family members and law enforcement are able to petition the court to make the designation.

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