As Stronger Assault Weapons Ban Takes Effect, Attorney General Bonta Announces Opening of Assault Weapons Registration Period

Friday, September 17, 2021
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

Eligible firearms can be registered with the California Department of Justice from October 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021

OAKLAND – As Senate Bill 118 goes into effect, expanding the state’s assault weapons ban, California Attorney General Rob Bonta today announced owners of firearms that are now banned by the bill will be able to register their firearms during an upcoming three-month period. In 2020, SB 118, which then-Assemblymember Bonta voted to pass, broadened the state’s definition of “assault weapons” to include semiautomatic centerfire firearms with certain specific features. Californians who lawfully possessed these firearms before September 1, 2020, must register their eligible assault weapons with the California Department of Justice (DOJ) between 9 a.m. PST on October 1, 2021, until 11:59 p.m. PST on December 31, 2021.

“SB 118 closed a loophole in our law’s definition of assault weapons that will prevent gun manufacturers from developing and selling these firearms in California,” said Attorney General Bonta. “Many of our laws are currently under attack in the courts, but my office will continue to defend the commonsense gun laws that have worked to keep Californians safe.”

SB 118, which went into effect on September 1, 2020, changed the definition of an assault weapon to include a semiautomatic centerfire firearm that is not a rifle, pistol, or shotgun, and:

The bill exempts individuals who lawfully possessed firearms that meet the new definition before September 1, 2020, as long as they register their firearms within DOJ’s registration period: 9 a.m. PST on October 1, 2021, through 11:59 p.m. PST on December 31, 2021. 

Beginning October 1, 2021, at 9 a.m., registration applications may be submitted electronically at or by submitting the Other Assault Weapon Registration Form (BOF 1039), which is available for download from the Forms and Publications page on the DOJ website. Additional information, including registration fees and requirements, can be found at

It is important to note that the registration period for “other assault weapons” differs from and is not an extension of the bullet button assault weapons registration period.

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