Posted on April 23, 2013
Model laws provide a starting point – a framework from which state or local legislation may be drafted, debated and, ultimately, adopted. The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has developed the following model gun violence prevention laws. Each one is based upon a thorough review of existing laws, judicial decisions, policy research, studies, and other gun violence prevention data, and each contains detailed findings regarding the need for, and benefits of, the specific law.
To request a copy of any of the model laws listed below, please contact us for more information.
A jurisdiction seeking to enact a model law must integrate the legislation with existing laws, and any jurisdiction considering firearms legislation should seek the advice of legal counsel. Additionally, every jurisdiction seeking to adopt a model law must determine which provisions are politically viable and appropriate for its constituents.
The Law Center is available to provide assistance to any jurisdiction seeking to tailor a model law to its particular needs.
Model Laws for a Safer America: Seven Regulations to Promote Responsible Gun Ownership and Sales (Sept. 2011)
Model Laws for a Safer America is designed for use by activists and elected officials nationwide seeking to close dangerous loopholes in our federal regulatory system. The publication provides sample language for state and local gun laws in seven crucial areas, supported by detailed legislative findings.
The publication provides sample language for state and local laws to: 1) require background checks on all gun purchasers; 2) license firearm owners; 3) register all firearms; 4) regulate firearms dealers and ammunition sellers; 5) require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms; 6) impose a waiting period before the sale of a firearm; and 7) limit firearm purchases to one per person every 90 days. The publication also includes a discussion of common opposition arguments and legal issues.
Classes of Weapons
Assault Weapons and Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines
This updated model law, published in December 2012, bans assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines using an approach that is stronger and more comprehensive than the former federal ban.
Local jurisdictions in California may also consider this California-specific model law to prohibit the possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. State law bans the manufacture and transfer of large capacity ammunition magazines.
Fifty Caliber Rifles
Prohibits the sale of 50 caliber rifles and cartridges.
Bans the sale and possession of air rifles, defined to include B-B, air and pellet guns.
Sales and Transfers
Universal Background Checks
Requires background checks on all prospective firearm purchasers, closing a loophole in federal law that allows private firearm sellers (i.e., unlicensed persons) to sell guns without conducting background checks.
Gun Dealers and Other Sellers
Regulating Gun Dealers
Supplements federal law by requiring, among other things, that dealers obtain a local permit, conduct employee background checks and obtain liability insurance. Also prohibits dealers from operating in residential neighborhoods and near other “sensitive” areas, such as schools, playgrounds and places of worship. The Law Center has created a model for California, which can be tailored to other jurisdictions.
The Gun Owners’ Safety and Responsibility Ordinance
Requires any person seeking to own, possess, purchase or otherwise acquire a firearm to obtain a firearm safety certificate, which obligates the applicant to successfully complete a safety training course that includes live firing, a safe-handling demonstration and a written test of firearm laws. Firearm owners also must register their firearms and notify law enforcement when their weapons are lost or stolen. In addition, the model requires that gun owners safely store their firearms in the home to prevent access by children and other unauthorized users. This model law is designed specifically for local jurisdictions in Illinois.
Reporting of Lost or Stolen Firearms
Requires any firearm owner or possessor to report the loss or theft of his or her firearm to law enforcement within 48 hours of the time he or she knew or reasonably should have known of the loss or theft. This model is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.
Firearms in Public Places
Regulating the Carrying and Possession of Firearms in Public Places
Establishes rules for the issuance of permits to carry concealed firearms in public and prohibitions for carrying guns in public under certain circumstances. This model legislation provides two options for regulating firearm possession in public: Option I prohibits the carrying of exposed firearms, and limits the carrying of concealed guns to persons issued a permit pursuant to a detailed, discretionary permitting process; Option II generally prohibits the possession of a firearm, whether hidden or exposed, in any public place, with appropriate exceptions.
Consumer and Child Safety
Requires the personalization of handguns – equipping handguns with technology that prevents them from firing when operated by an unauthorized user. Provides testing standards and certification procedures for personalized handguns. Prohibits the manufacture, importation, purchase and transfer of non-personalized handguns.
Law Enforcement Resolutions
Resolution Urging Law Enforcement to Obtain and Utilize California Department of Justice Information Regarding Prohibited Armed Persons
Urges law enforcement to receive information from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) regarding persons who legally purchased firearms in the jurisdiction but subsequently became prohibited from possessing them. The resolution urges law enforcement agencies who have received this information to seek training from DOJ regarding its use, and to retrieve illegally possessed firearms whenever possible. This resolution is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.
Resolution Urging Law Enforcement to Send Letters to Prospective Handgun Purchasers
Urges law enforcement to obtain information from the California Department of Justice about persons who reside in the jurisdiction and have recently applied to purchase handguns. Based on a successful program in Los Angeles, this resolution urges law enforcement to send letters to these prospective handgun purchasers to inform them of their responsibilities as firearm owners. This resolution is designed for use by local jurisdictions in California.