Effective January 1, 2019 – New Gun Control Law Passed in California Requiring Showing of Safe Handling of Firearm and Live-Fire Exercises for License to Carry a Concealed Firearm – Assembly Bill No. 2103

On September 26, 2018, Governor Jerry Brown approved Assembly Bill No. 2103 which make noteworthy amendments to California’s laws regarding applications for licenses to carry concealed firearms. This new legislation became effective on January 1, 2019.

As the law currently stands, a license to carry a concealed firearm can be provided to an applicant if the applicant is: (1) of good moral character, (2) good cause exists for the issuance of the license, (3) the applicant meets specified residency requirements, (4) and the applicant has completed a specified course of training approved by the licensing authority. Existing law required the training course to be no more than 16 hours and required it to cover firearm safety and laws describing the permissible use of a firearm.

AB-2103 made amendments to Penal Code section 26165 and now requires that the training course be a minimum of 8 hours, not to exceed 16 hours. The training must include instruction on firearm handling and shooting technique. Of significance, the applicant must also demonstrate shooting proficiency and show safe handling of the firearm. The training will now include live-fire exercises on a firing range conducted by the applicant and must meet set standards of proficiency.

Prior to the passage of AB-2103, a concealed license could be given to a person without ever having evaluated the person’s skill and proficiency in safely handling the firearm and shooting. With this amendment to Section 26165, the applicant must demonstrate his or her proficiency with live-fire exercises.

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