A California Justice Department interpretation of Penal Code section 27535 is invalid as it was adopted in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act without the notice and comment period required for a formal regulation. The interpretation did not fit within the exception for a rule that “embodies the only legally tenable interpretation of a provision of law.” Section 27535 was ambiguous, and the DOJ policy adopted an interpretation contrary to the statutory language. Furthermore, the policy misinterpreted the statute which excepted federally registered curio and relic dealers from the state’s one-gun-per-month restriction on purchases–whether or not the purchases were of curio or relic guns.
California Court of Appeal, Third District (Renner, J.); February 8, 2018; 2018 WL 774073.