Originally Posted by bodie38
According to the article above, since I brought my guns into CA in 1995 (before 1998), I do not have to register the pistol.
Is that a reasonable interpretation?
The pistol's original magazine holds 13 rounds. I understand that to be legal since it was here prior to 2000. Correct?
You are correct on both counts.
Even though it's not required, it may be advantageous to register the handgun. In the unfortunate event that you are ever charged with carrying the weapon loaded, concealed, or both, the penalty is a misdemeanor if the weapon is registered to you. It's a felony (that can be reduced to a misdemeanor - no guarantee that it will) if the weapon is not registered to you.
There is no law prohibiting possession of large-capacity magazines. It is currently illegal to import or manufacture a large capacity magazine. Yours were acquired before the ban. You may legally keep them. There is a quirk in the law that also defines them as "nuisances" and allows LE officers to seize them for destruction. You may find them being taken away from you, even though you have not committed a crime by possessing them.
I would check the status of your SKS very carefully. The law provides that "SKS with a detachable magazine" is an "assault weapon" (refer to Penal Code section 30510). There's no relevance to the specific design of the magazine, or that the weapon be modified to accept a magazine. So long as it accepts any kind of detachable magazine, there is a violation. I would also check your receiver markings very closely. PC section 30510 lists most, but not all, of its prohibited weapons by manufacturer. SKS is one of the weapons that is listed without a corresponding manufacturer. If your receiver is marked "SKS" (most have the marking on the left side), you've got an "assault weapon."
The "SKS" provisions of the assault weapon ban are also confusing to the government. Originally a lot of SKS weapons were deemed not to fall under the ban, and registrations were not accepted for them. The they were determined to fall under the ban, and the state undertook a "buy-back" in an attempt to correct the error.