Governor Jerry Brown Signs AB 1964 to Ban Single Shot Exemption

On Friday, July 18, 2014, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 1964, which banned the legal process known as the Single Shot Exemption.


Under current state law, Californians are prohibited from purchasing handguns that do not appear on the Roster of Approved Handguns Certified for Sale. In order to have a handgun added to the Certified List, manufacturers are required to add devices such as magazine disconnects, loaded chamber indicators and micro-stamping features to qualify. 


In the case of magazine disconnects and loaded chamber indicators, these items do nothing to make the handgun safer, but are merely features to comply with political correctness.  In fact, many law enforcement agencies don’t even require these features on their duty firearms.  In the case of micro-stamping (the imprinting of microscopic characters on fired ammunition casings); this is a feature that is not offered by any handgun manufacturer in the world.


These requirements have left Californians with only two choices.  One is to continue to select only from the grandfathered handguns that are on the list (the number of which shrinks every year).  The other option is to purchase a handgun that is not on the list, but has been built as or converted into a single shot pistol (because single shots have been exempted from the torture and political correctness tests) and then converting them to semi-auto at a future time. This is a practice that complied with all laws and has not been prevented by the California Department of Justice – Firearms Bureau.


AB 1964 limits the definition of single shot handgun to break top or bolt action handguns only.


AB 1964 is unnecessary and somewhat pointless.  The conversion of a semi-auto pistol to a single shot pistol by a federally licensed firearms manufacturer is completely legal under both federal and state law.  At that point the pistol ceases to be semi-automatic. When the firearm is sold, sales tax is generated, the firearm becomes registered to the purchaser, and background check and waiting period provisions are complied with according to California laws.


This bill does not target criminals, criminal activity, nor does it prevent firearms related accidents.

GOC believes AB 1964 is a further attempt to prevent law-abiding Californian’s from obtaining the newest, safest, and most efficient firearms available to all other citizens of the United States.  Unfortunately, it was predictable that Governor Jerry Brown would agree with Assemblyman Dickinson as he signed this bill into law.  It will take effect beginning January 1, 2015.

We will continue to update you when more bills land on his desk, so stay tuned.

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