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SB 1100 prohibits the sale of a firearm to a person under 21 years of age

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jan 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

man holding revolver

Senate Bill 1100 was signed into law by Gov. Brown in September 2018. The bill prohibits the sale or transfer of any firearm by a licensed dealer to any person under 21 years of age.

SB 1100 does provide a few exceptions though to this general prohibition. For example, the bill does not apply to the sale of a firearm to:

  • a person 18 years of age or older that holds a valid hunting license,
  • an active police officer that is 18 years of age or older, and
  • an active federal officer that is 18 or older.

A firearms dealer that violates this bill is guilty of a crime and will be punished in accordance with California Penal Code 27590. Under this code section, selling a firearm to a person under 21 is a type of wobbler offense. This means the crime can be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months.

If charged as a felony, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for two, three or four years.

What does Senate Bill 1100 prohibit?

SB 1100 prohibits the sale or transfer of any firearm by a licensed dealer to any person under 21 years of age.

There are six important exceptions, though, to this general rule. A firearms dealer can sell or transfer a firearm, that is not a handgun, to a person 18 years of age or older when that person:

  1. holds a valid hunting license,
  2. is an active police officer,
  3. is an active federal officer or law enforcement agent,
  4. is a reserve peace officer,
  5. is an active member in the U.S. Armed Forces, the National Guard, or the Air National Guard, or
  6. was honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces, the National Guard, or the Air National Guard.

What happens if a dealer violates Senate Bill 1100?

A firearms dealer that violates SB 1100 is guilty of a crime.

The penalty for the offense is set forth in California Penal Code 27590. Under this code section, selling a firearm to a person under 21 is a type of wobbler offense. This means the crime can be punished as either a misdemeanor or a felony.

If charged as a misdemeanor, the offense is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months.

If charged as a felony, the crime is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for:

  • two years,
  • three years, or
  • four years.

Are there other California gun laws that apply to persons under the ages of 21 or 18?

Prior to SB 1100, California had, and still does have, two gun laws that apply to young adults. These laws prohibit:

  1. the sale or transfer of a handgun to any person under 21 years of age, and
  2. the sale or transfer of a firearm, other than a handgun, to any person under 18 years of age (with some exceptions).

What is the reasoning for Senate Bill 1100?

SB 1100 is aimed to help keep guns away from schools. It was introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino. He introduced the bill in response to the tragic Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. SB 1100 amends Sections 27510 and 29182 of the California Penal Code.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.

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