2022: The Year In Guns

2022: The Year In Guns

There was plenty of state-level activity in terms of legislation and firearms for 2022. And, you can add to that one of the largest gun safety bills in federal history—along with funding for Red Flag Laws and other programs.

In July, Governor Gavin Newsom signed a package of five bills passed by the California State Senate. Those bills have a variety of restrictions attached to them. Respectively, they prohibit the gun industry from marketing firearm-related products to minors, restrict “ghost guns” including the parts to build them, require the firearm industry to promote “safe and responsible industry member practices” and prohibit unlicensed individuals from manufacturing or 3-D manufacturing firearms.


The Vote Without Fear Act was signed by Governor Jared Polis on March 30th. The new law prohibits openly carrying a firearm in a polling or central count facility. Open carry is forbidden within 100 feet of a ballot drop box or any building in which a polling location or central count facility is located. The penalty for violating the law is a $1,000 fine or up to 364 days imprisonment in the county jail, or both.


The Delaware Lethal Firearms Safety Act of 2022 was signed by Governor John Carney on June 30th. The act prohibits the manufacture, sale, offer to sell, transfer, purchase, receipt, possess, or transportation of assault weapons in Delaware, with certain exceptions. 
The legislation also raised the minimum age to purchase or possess a weapon from 18 to 21. It also bans the use of devices which convert handguns into fully automatic weapons and holds gun manufacturers and dealers “liable for reckless or negligent actions that lead to gun violence.”

The seal of the state of Illinois is covered by rounds of ammunition, a firearm magazine, and a gavelIllinois
Two bills signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker address the secure storage of firearms; and the regulation of “ghost guns”.

On May 18th, HB 4383 was signed, prohibiting individuals from selling or possessing “ghost guns” and ensuring that all firearms are serialized, allowing law enforcement to trace them more easily.

And, on June 10th, HB 4729 was signed, requiring the Department of Public Health to develop and implement a two-year public awareness campaign focused on safe gun storage.

The Protect Illinois Communities Act, a controversial measure that would ban semi-automatic weapons, was passed, and became law in early 2023. The legislation was largely driven by reaction to a 4th of July shooting incident in the Highland Park suburb of Chicago.

Governor Pritzker signed the legislation into effect on January 10th of 2023, as opponents vowed a court battle over the new law. The law bans dozens of specific rifles or handguns, .50 caliber guns, and rapid-firing devices. Rifles are limited to 10 rounds, with a 15 round limit for handguns.

Governor Larry Hogan allowed Senate Bill 387, banning the sale or possession of “ghost guns,” to become law without his signature.

Taking effect after June 1, the bill expands the definition of “firearm” to include an unfinished frame or receiver. It requires the Secretary of State Police to maintain a system to register firearms imprinted with a serial number and “prohibits a person from purchasing, receiving, selling, offering to sell, or transferring an unfinished frame or receiver or a firearm unless imprinted with specified information”.

The new law also requires the governor to allocate $150,000 in the annual state budget to fund registration proceedings.

New Jersey 
On July 5th, Governor Phil Murphy signed into law seven -gun safety bills introduced to the state legislature in April of 2021.

The new laws include allowing the state’s Attorney General to sue members of the firearms industry for violations resulting from the sale or marketing of firearms.

Also included in the legislation is developing electronic reporting of sales and requiring training prior to the issuance of a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card.

One of the new laws mandates firearms owners who become state residents must obtain a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card and register out-of-state handguns.

On December 22nd, another gun safety bill established a list of “sensitive places” where concealed carry is prohibited, including playgrounds, bars and restaurants serving alcohol, train stations, and polling places.

New York 
Governor Kathy Hochul signed a package of bills regulating firearms.

The new laws include requiring microstamping on handguns, raising the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic rifles to 21, and enhancing information-sharing between state, local, and federal agencies when guns are used in crimes.

After the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision, legislation was also signed to strengthen the state’s gun laws and bolster restrictions on concealed carry weapons.

The new legislation expands eligibility of requirements for the concealed carry permitting process, restricts concealed carry in sensitive locations, and establishes state oversight over background checks for guns, and regular checking on criminal convictions for license holders.


The new legislation expands eligibility of requirements for the concealed carry permitting process, restricts concealed carry in sensitive locations, and establishes state oversight over background checks for guns, and regular checking on criminal convictions for license holders.

In November, Oregon voters enacted a gun safety ballot measure—strengthening background checks and prohibiting the sale and transfer of ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds.


On March 25th, Governor Phil Scott signed laws banning firearms from hospital buildings, and prohibiting the transfer of firearms between unlicensed people.


Rhode Island 
On June 21, Governor Daniel McKeen signed three -gun safety bills into law. The new laws prohibit high-capacity magazines, ban the open carry of rifles and shotguns in public, and raise the legal age to purchase firearms or ammunition from 18 to 21 (with exceptions for law enforcement officers).

Also included is a change in the definitions of “rifle” and “shotgun” to be consistent with federal law.


On March 25th, Governor Jay Inslee signed three -gun safety bills into law.

The laws prohibit the manufacture, sale, purchase, or possession of “ghost guns,” the open carry of firearms at local government meetings, and firearms are restricted at school board meetings as well as election-related locations.

On June 25th, President Joe Biden signed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law.

The law required changes to the mental health system, school safety programs, and gun safety laws.


Gun safety laws include extended background checks for gun purchasers over 21, clarification of Federal Firearms License requirements, funding for Red Flag Laws and other crisis intervention programs at the state level, and further criminalization of arms trafficking and straw purchases.


Optics-ready pistols continue to be popular. Firearm manufacturers agree that the trend toward optics-ready pistols shows no signs of slowing down. “Throughout the last couple of years, we have definitely seen an increase in demand and requests for many of our models to be optic-ready,” said Danae Hale, marketing manager at CZ-USA.


“Enclosed emitter” trend extends from high-end to mid-tier brands. Once just for high-end equipment, the enclosed benefits of clarity and “no gunk” associated with enclosed emitters moved into the mid-tier range of providers this year.

30 Super Carry released in early 2022. The new round, unfortunately, hasn’t gained much in terms of firearm manufacturer adoption, or traction in the ammo market in general.

“Pepperball” devices becoming more common. Firing a ball of OC, or pepperball, is becoming easier to do with several new brands being released in 2022. The federal government also showed its approval by firing them at Venezuelan protesters in El Paso during a protest in November of 2022.

Glock Gen 3 clones continue to pop up at a tremendous rate. The new rush to jump into the market has caused companies to no longer market THEIR OWN imagining of the firearm, but features a race to the bottom by competing on the basis of price.

Hornady updates the 7mm cartridge and it performs well against the traditional round. Hunting and long-range shooting enthusiasts are particularly enjoying the precision of the newlyredesigned round.


Several new holster companies made the scene in 2022. A number of companies have joined the holster market to accompany the growing concealed carry movement. And, they brought innovative designs and materials along with them to make it happen.

Credit card merchant code. Major credit card providers moved to create a merchant code identifying purchases via gun stores, or that were firearmsrelated. In turn, this allowed certain banks and other payment processors to refuse to process such purchases.

New UPS shipping policy based on “ghost guns.” In reaction to new federal law, UPS informed certain businesses that packages found in the UPS system could be “seized and destroyed” for potentially violating laws concerning the shipment of “ghost guns.” UPS now does not accept any firearms, frames or receivers, unless that have been identified with a serial number.

The year in guns featured some major legislation, much of which was aimed at making it more difficult to purchase and own guns—even though a few more states have moved to Constitutional Carry. As you look forward to 2023, what do you think the next big issues will be?

Firearms Legal Protection provides uncapped legal defense for members who use a firearm (or any legal weapon) in self-defense or the defense of others. Unfortunately, when people use a weapon in self-defense they could be arrested, jailed, or face extensive legal costs. Firearms Legal Protection provides members with peace of mind in these difficult situations by covering all attorney fees and providing other benefits, including bail bond protection and incident scene clean-up. Firearms Legal Protection operates a 24-hour attorney-answered emergency hotline for members. All Firearms Legal Protection members receive legal protection against Red Flag laws, and are provided access to webinars, product discounts, and more. Protect yourself. We’ll Protect you.

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