Senator Portantino’s Bill Restricting Access to High-Powered Weapons Takes Effect Today

Thursday, July 1 2021

For Immediate Release: July 1, 2021

Contact: Lerna Shirinian, (818) 409-0400


Senator Portantino’s Bill Restricting Access to High-Powered Weapons Takes Effect Today


Sacramento, California – Senator Anthony J. Portantino (D – La Cañada Flintridge) announced that SB 61, which would prohibit anyone under 21 years of age from purchasing center-fire, semi-automatic firearms and limit all others to one purchase per month, took effect today.

“SB 61 is a critical public safety measure and a continuation of California’s sensible gun control efforts,” commented Senator Portantino. “It is my hope that keeping these dangerous weapons out of the wrong hands will prevent future horrendous acts of violence. Preventing gun violence has long been a priority for me and I will continue to fight for sensible gun control in our state.”

SB 61, authored by Senator Portantino, was signed into law in 2019 by Governor Newsom. The law limits the purchase of a center-fire, semi-automatic firearms to one per month. Additionally, SB 61 prohibits the sale of these high-powered weapons to anyone under 21 years of age. The measure received support from the Bay Area Student Activists, Brady California United Against Gun Violence, Coalition Against Gun Violence, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Los Angeles City Attorney, and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Senator Portantino has a long history of advocating for smart and sensible solutions to our nation’s tragic history of gun violence. During his time in the Assembly, the Senator successfully banned the open carry of handguns and rifles in California and as Senator, he raised the general gun purchase age in California to 21.

In 2019, Governor Newsom also signed Senator Portantino’s SB 172. The bill enacted a slate of significant provisions related to firearms storage by broadening criminal storage crimes, adding criminal storage offenses to those offenses that can trigger a 10-year firearm ban, and creating an exemption to firearm loan requirements for the purposes of preventing suicide.  The same year, SB 376 was signed into law, which reduces the number of firearms an unlicensed individual is annually able to sell and the frequency with which they are able to sell. 

These bills continue the trend of the Senator’s leadership on common sense gun control reforms.