California Proposal to Fine Firearms Retailers Put on Hold

Sep 10, 2017 | 0 comments

SACRAMENTO, CA (September 6, 2017) — AB 736, a bill that would have added to California’s anti-business and anti-second amendment climate failed passage out of the California State Assembly’s Committee on Appropriations.

AB 736 by Asm Mike Gipson (D- Inglewood) would have allowed the California Department of Justice to impose fines on Federal Firearms Licensees (FFL) for relatively minor mistakes.

“It’s hard enough to do business as a firearms retailer in California without the state trying to impose additional fines that would tax them out of business,” noted Mike Baryla, President of the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees (CAL-FFL).

Firearms retailers are among the most regulated small businesses in the state. They are often inspected and audited by both state (California Department of Justice) and federal (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) agencies. Violations discovered from these efforts are often inadvertent record keeping or operating errors by a retailer or their employee; and while worthy of notation and notification, they rarely rise to a level worthy of a fine.

But AB 736 is not just about fines. CAL-FFL believes it is part of disturbing trend in which state and local governments impose burdensome taxes and onerous regulations in an effort put gun stores out of business.

FFLs play a major role in facilitating the legal transfer of firearms in the state of California. As their numbers dwindle, it reduces that opportunity for law abiding citizens, especially in rural communities, to legally obtain or transfer their firearms.

“AB 736 was just part of an ongoing effort by politicians to drive firearm retailers out of business,” said Baryla. “I guess they figure that having the right to own a firearm is not the same as having the right to buy or sell one.”

Other measures that CAL-FFL believes are part of this effort include:

SB 497 (Portantino) – Limits an individual to one firearms purchase every 30 days from an FFL. (Long gun purchase limitations were amended out of the bill.) SB 464 (Hill) – Mandates costly new security requirements on licensed firearms dealers. (Awaiting the Governor’s signature or veto.)

AB 1525 (Baker) – Mandates new warning signs be posted at gun stores and included in all firearm packaging. (On it’s way to the governor’s desk for signature or veto.)

California Association of Federal Firearm Licensees ( is California’s most tenacious advocacy group for Second Amendment and related economic rights. CAL-FFL members include firearm dealers, training professionals, shooting ranges, collectors, gun owners, and others who participate in the firearms ecosystem.