CA gun groups sue over assault weapon registration system | The … – Sacramento Bee

Harry Sharp spent most of the last weekend of June sitting in front of his computer, trying resolutely to register his four newly banned guns on the California Department of Justice’s website.

The deadline to register his bullet-button assault weapons was June 30, and California’s online reporting system kept crashing.

Sharp said he managed to register his Steyr AUG, a bullpup-style rifle, on June 29, a Friday, but was unable to register his other three firearms despite the hours he spent trying.

“I got very little sleep that weekend,” said Sharp, a 52-year-old stay-at-home father and hunter from Redding. “I worked late on Friday, and on Saturday morning, I had a couple pops of coffee and kept going at it the whole day.”

Tens of thousands of gun owners were prevented from registering their bullet-button assault weapons before July 1 through no fault of their own, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday against Attorney General Xavier Becerra. The suit was filed on behalf of Sharp and two other individuals by gun rights groups The Calguns Foundation, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation and Second Amendment Foundation.

“Bullet buttons” are devices that allow a magazine to quickly disengage with the use of a small tool, usually the tip of a bullet. They were designed after California lawmakers, intending to slow down the process of reloading firearms, in 1999 banned assault weapons with magazines that could be detached without disassembling the gun or using a tool.

Then in 2016, lawmakers banned the sale of bullet-button assault weapons, too, because they were used in the 2015 San Bernardino massacre. Californians who owned bullet-button assault weapons had to register their guns or risk prosecution.

Possessing an unregistered assault weapon is either a misdemeanor or felony. Transporting an unregistered assault weapon is a felony punishable

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