California’s ‘Assault Rifle’ Law Goes Into Effect Jan. 1

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ROCKLIN -- California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law last July that will redefine what is and isn't an assault rifle. It goes into effect Jan. 1 and will affect many thousands of California gun owners.

The most common example of what California defines as an assault rifle is the standard AR15. Starting in 2017, no one will be able to legally buy or sell one in that state.

"People have been kind of holding off," Terry Fong, of Rocklin Armory, told FOX40. "The last 30 days have been absolutely crazy. Phone calls, probably 50-60 phone calls a day, just looking for specific brands of AR's. Now, they're looking for any AR's."

There's a deadline approaching faster than many buyers think. According to Fong, Department of Justice says buyers must actually take possession of their rifle before Jan. 1, which means it has to be purchased in time to allow for the 10-day waiting period before the buyer can pick up their new rifle.

That means Wednesday, Dec. 21, is the last possible day to purchase an AR15 in California.

“I have families coming in that have never purchased any rifles before.   Well, now’s the time.  The deadline’s here,” Fong said.

Of course, gun laws are complicated. Many people may be surprised to discover that, after Jan. 1, there are plenty of rifles that will still be perfectly legal to own that operate exactly like an AR15.

"The M1/A1’s, the Rugers, which are the same calibers, just doesn’t have all the 'evil features,'" Fong told FOX40. "So all semi-automatic, detachable magazines, up to 10-round magazine, and they’re not banning these. Yet."

We are told that if someone purchases a soon-to-be-banned rifle by the Dec. 21 deadline, but fails to pick it up in time on Dec. 31, they are out of luck. Gun dealers may not deliver one, even if it's been paid for, after the Dec. 31.