State Preemption of Some Gun Regulation

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State Preemption of Some Gun Regulation

State preemption in Government Code is really quite narrow:

53071. It is the intention of the Legislature to occupy the whole
field of regulation of the registration or licensing
of commercially manufactured firearms as encompassed by
the provisions of the Penal Code, and such provisions shall be
exclusive of all local regulations, relating to registration or
licensing of commercially manufactured firearms, by any
political subdivision as defined in Section 1721 of the Labor
Code.

All the state pre-empts is registration and licensing by any other entity. Possession? Sale? Not covered.

Regulation outside the scope of 53071 is not preempted. California's First Appellate District Court interpreted this section in Fiscal v. City and County of San Francisco in light of San Francisco's Proposition H which attempted to ban possession of firearms in San Francisco.

As an example of what the State could have done, the next piece of Government Code says

53071.5 By the enforcement of this section, the Legislature
occupies the  whole field of regulation of the manufacture, sale,
or possession of imitation firearms, as defined in
Section 12550 of the Penal Code, and that section shall
preempt and be exclusive of all regulations relating to the
manufacture, sale, or possession of imitation firearms,
including regulations governing the manufacture, sale, or
possession of BB devices and air rifles described in Section
16250 of the Penal Code.

The legislature understands the mechanics of how to write laws; ordinarily, when presented with two examples such as these, it is reasonable to conclude the differences are both deliberate and significant.