The Ugly History of Assembly Bill 88

It should be no surprise to anyone that California’s legislature is fast tracking AB 88 through the legislative process, another bill  that will dramatically affect gun owners in California. What is astounding though, is the process that the legislature used to soar through the legislature. I’ll get into in a minute, but let’s look first at how it will change the law for gun owners and make many of you felons.

AB 88 actually has 2 sections that specifically affect our Second Amendment Rights. This summary comes from the Senate Bill Analysis of the bill.

  • Firearms Precursor Parts. Adjusts the timeline for implementation of AB 879 (Gipson, Chapter 730, Statutes of 2019).
  • Other Firearm Registrations (Pifles). Expands the definition of an assault weapon to include a semiautomatic firearm that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, that does not have a fixed magazine but has any one of the attributes AB 88 Page 3 currently associated with assault weapons, that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, or has an overall length of less than 30 inches. Provides an exception to the prohibition on possessing an assault weapon that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun if the person lawfully possessed the weapon prior to July 1, 2020, and registers the weapon by January 1, 2022. Prohibits the joint registration of an assault weapon that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun.

Both of these provisions will cause severe impairments on gun ownership by greatly expanding the definition of an assault weapon. They were kind enough, however, to allow an exception if you buy one of these prior to July 1, and register it by January 1, 20222. Anyone that has attempting to register a rifle as an assault weapon is familiar with the many pitfalls of that process, I have a friend that has been going back and forth for 2 years in an attempt to register 2 rifles.

What’s even more important is how this bill has been moving through the Legislature at the speed of light. Let’s take a look at the history….

  • The original bill was first introduced by Assembly Phil Ring (D-San Francisco) December 3, 2018. The bill went through 3 readings in the Assembly, referral to various committees and then read in the Senate. Not surprising, it passed all the hurdles. This was the complete content of the original bill, or you can view it here




  • The Bill then sat in Committee from June 19, 2019 until June 22, 2020, when it was amended by the Committee on Budget (Assembly Members Ting (Chair), Arambula, Bloom, Chiu, Cooper, Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Jones-Sawyer, Limón, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Ramos, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Blanca Rubio, Mark Stone, Weber, Wicks, and Wood. It went from being a one page place holder bill in 2018 to 93 pages with 46 Sections that contain a plethora of other agendas. You can find the complete bill here. It’s easy to see the new additions to the bill, they are all highlighted in blue (yes, it’s almost all blue). If you just want to see the gun provisions, be patient, you’ll have to scroll all the way down the bill to Sections 39 and 40 to find where it’s buried.

As troubling as this bill is, what’s even worse is that in light of all the financial, social, and health issues plaguing California, this bill was gutted and rewritten with 93 pages of changes on June 22, 2020 and approved by the Budget Committee on June 24, only 2 days.

Our legislature is out of control. Protesting, making phone calls to people that won’t listen to you, nor rioting is the right way to change it. Voting is the only way to fix it, and it begins at home. The Mission of San Bernardino County Gun Owners, and our companion chapters in San Diego, Riverside, and Orange County is to build bench strength in our local jurisdictions so that we have bench strength from which to recruit new leaders in higher office.

Our mission is critical, don’t wait to get involved. Join our Movement Now

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