BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                       



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                                 THIRD READING


          Bill No:  AB 2324
          Author:   John A. Perez (D), et al
          Amended:  8/20/10 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  6-0, 6/22/10
          AYES:  Leno, Cedillo, Hancock, Huff, Steinberg, Wright
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cogdill

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  77-0, 5/13/10 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Public transit facilities

           SOURCE  :     Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department


           DIGEST  :    This bill:  (1) establishes sterile areas within  
          public transit facilities and prohibit possession of  
          specified items within those areas; (2) expands the crime  
          of trespass to include unauthorized entry into a public  
          transit facility, as defined; (3) creates a new crime of  
          intentionally avoiding security screening at a public  
          transit facility; (4) and increases penalties for specified  
          acts of misconduct committed on or in a facility or vehicle  
          of a public transportation system, as specified.

           Senate Floor Amendments  of 8/20/10:  (1) state that this  
          law will be interpreted to be consistent with federal law,  
          as specified, (2) address chaptering issues with AB 451, AB  
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          668, and SB 1320, and (3) add coauthors.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law states that persons who  
          intentionally avoid submission to the screening and  
          inspection of one's person and accessible property in  
          accordance with the procedures being applied to control  
          access when entering or reentering a sterile area of an  
          airport or, passenger vessel terminal and are responsible  
          for the evacuation of an airport terminal or, passenger  
          vessel terminal, and is responsible in any part delays or  
          cancellations of scheduled flights or departures is  
          punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year in a  
          county jail if the sterile area is posted with a statement  
          providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result  
          from a trespass.  (Penal Code section 602(v).)

          Existing law defines "public transportation system" as any  
          system of an operator which provides transportation  
          services to the general public by any vehicle which  
          operates on land or water, regardless of whether operated  
          separated from or in conjunction with other vehicles.   
          (Public Utilities Code section 99211.)

          Existing law creates a felony punishable by imprisonment in  
          the state prison for two, four, or six years for any person  
          who willfully (Penal Code section 12303.1):

          1. Carries any explosive or destructive device on any  
             vessel, aircraft, car, or other vehicle that transports  
             passengers for hire.

          2. Places or carries any explosive or destructive device,  
             while on board any such vessel, aircraft, car, or other  
             vehicle, in any hand baggage, roll, or other container.

          3. Places any explosive or destructive device in any  
             baggage which is later checked with any common carrier. 

          Existing law provides that when an assault is committed  
          against any person on the property of, or on a motor  
          vehicle of, a public transportation provider, as defined,  
          the offense shall be punished by a fine not to exceed  
          $2,000, or up to one year in county jail, or both.  (Penal  
          Code section 241.3.)

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          Existing law provides that assault with a deadly weapon or  
          instrument or by any means of force likely to produce great  
          bodily injury upon the person of an operator, driver, or  
          passenger on a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable car,  
          trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle, including a  
          vehicle operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail  
          suspended in the air, used for the transportation of  
          persons for hire, or upon the person of a station agent or  
          ticket agent for the entity providing such transportation,  
          when the driver, operator, or agent is engaged in the  
          performance of his or her duties, and where the person who  
          commits the assault knows or reasonably should know that  
          the victim is engaged in the performance of his or her  
          duties, or is a passenger, shall be punished by  
          imprisonment in the state prison for three, four, or five  
          years.  (Penal Code section 245.2.)

          Existing law provides that murder in the first degree is  
          punishable by a term of life without the possibility of  
          parole in any case in which any of the following special  
          circumstances has been charged and specially found to be  
          true:  the victim was the operator or driver of a bus,  
          taxicab, streetcar, cable car, trackless trolley, or other  
          motor vehicle operated on land, including a vehicle  
          operated on stationary rails or on a track or rail  
          suspended in the air, used for the transportation of  
          persons for hire, or the victim was a station agent or  
          ticket agent for the entity providing such transportation,  
          who, while engaged in the course of the performance of his  
          or her duties was intentionally killed, and such defendant  
          knew or reasonably should have known that such victim was  
          the operator or driver of a bus, taxicab, streetcar, cable  
          car, trackless trolley, or other motor vehicle operated on  
          land, including a vehicle operated on stationary rails or  
          on a track or rail suspended in the air, used for the  
          transportation of persons for hire, or was a station agent  
          or ticket agent for the entity providing such  
          transportation, engaged in the performance of his or her  
          duties.  (Penal Code section 190.25.)

          This bill defines "public transit facility" as any land,  
          buildings, and equipment, or any interest therein,  
          including any station on a public transportation route, to  

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          which access is controlled in a manner consistent with the  
          public transit authority's security plan, whether or not  
          the operation thereof produces revenue, which have as their  
          primary purpose the operation of a public transit system or  
          the providing of services to the passengers of a public  
          transit system.  A public transit system includes the  
          vehicles used in the system, including, but not limited to,  
          motor vehicles, streetcars, trackless trolleys, buses,  
          light rail systems, rapid transit systems, subways, trains,  
          or jitneys, that transport members of the public for hire.

          This bill defines "sterile area" as any portion of a public  
          transit facility that is generally controlled in a manner  
          consistent with the public transit authority's security  
          plan.

          This bill provides it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to  
          six months in county jail, or by a fine of up to $1,000, or  
          both, for any person to knowingly possess within any  
          sterile area of a public transit facility, if the sterile  
          area is posted with a statement providing reasonable notice  
          that prosecution may result from possession of these items,  
          any of the following:

          1. Any firearm;
          2. Any imitation firearm as defined under existing law;
          3. Any instrument that expels a metallic projectile, such  
             as a BB or pellet, through the force of air pressure,  
             CO2 pressure, or spring action, or any spot marker gun  
             or paint gun;
          4. Any metal military practice hand grenade;
          5. Any metal replica hand grenade;
          6. Any plastic replica hand grenade;
          7. Any unauthorized tear gas weapon;
          8. Any taser or stun gun, as defined under existing law;  
             and,
          9. Any undetectable knife, as described under existing law.

          This bill exempts the following people from the  
          prohibitions stated above:

          1. A duly appointed peace officer, as defined under  
             existing law;
          2. A retired peace officer with authorization to carry  

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             concealed weapons as described under existing law;
          3. A full-time paid peace officer of another state or the  
             federal government who is carrying out official duties  
             while in California;
          4. A qualified law enforcement officer of another state or  
             the federal government, as permitted under the Law  
             Enforcement Officers Safety Act, as specified;
          5. A person summoned by a peace officer to assist in making  
             arrests or preserving the peace while he or she is  
             actually engaged in assisting the officer; and,
          6. A person who is responsible for the security of the  
             public transit system and who has been authorized by the  
             public transit authority's security coordinator, in  
             writing, to possess a weapon.

          This bill permits a person to carry a handgun in a transit  
          facility if he or she is a person who is exempt from the  
          prohibition against carrying a handgun under existing law,  
          as specified, and is carrying the handgun in accordance  
          with that exemption.

          This bill permits a person to possess a tear gas weapon  
          within a transit facility if he or she is permitted to  
          carry such item under existing law, as specified. 

          This bill provides that these provisions are cumulative,  
          and shall not be construed as restricting the application  
          of any other law.  However, an act or omission that is  
          punishable in different ways by this and any other  
          provision of law shall not be punished under more than one  
          provision.

          This bill specifically allows for prosecution under any  
          other provision of law that may provide greater punishment.

           Trespass
           Existing law provides that it is a trespass when an  
          unauthorized person knowingly enters upon any airport or  
          passenger vessel terminal operations area, if the area has  
          been posted with notices restricting access to authorized  
          personnel only and the posting occur not greater than every  
          150 feet along the exterior boundary, to the extent, in the  
          case of a passenger vessel terminal, that the exterior  
          boundary extends shoreside.  To the extent that the  

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          exterior boundary of a passenger vessel terminal operations  
          area extends waterside, this prohibition shall apply if  
          notices have been posted in a manner consistent with the  
          requirements for the shoreside exterior boundary, or in any  
          other manner approved by the captain of the port.  The  
          person shall be punished as follows:

          1. By a fine not exceeding $100.
          2. By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6  
             months, a fine of $1,000, or both, if the person refuses  
             to leave the airport or passenger vessel terminal after  
             being requested to leave by a peace officer or  
             authorized personnel.
          3. By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six  
             months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both, for  
             a second or subsequent offense. (Penal Code section  
             602(u).)

          This bill expands the definition of a trespass to include  
          when any unauthorized person knowingly enters a public  
          transit facility if the area has been posted with notices  
          restricting access to authorized personnel only and the  
          postings occur not greater than every 150 feet along the  
          exterior boundary, to the extent, in the case of a  
          passenger vessel terminal, that the exterior boundary  
          extends shoreside.  To the extent that the exterior  
          boundary of a passenger vessel terminal operations area  
          extends waterside, this prohibition shall apply if notices  
          have been posted in a manner consistent with the  
          requirements for the shoreside exterior boundary, or in any  
          other manner approved by the captain of the port.  The  
          penalties for this offense would remain the same as  
          existing law:

          1. By a fine not exceeding $100.
          2. By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding 6  
             months or $1,000, or both, if the person refuses to  
             leave the airport or passenger vessel terminal after  
             being requested to leave by a peace officer or  
             authorized personnel.
          3. By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six  
             months, or by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or both, for  
             a second or subsequent offense.


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          This bill defines "facility or vehicle of a public  
          transportation system" as any of the following:

          1. A facility or vehicle of a public transportation system  
             as defined under existing law;
          2. A facility of, or vehicle operated by any entity  
             subsidized by, the Department of Transportation; or,
          3. A leased or rented facility or vehicle which incurs  
             costs of cleanup, repair, or replacement as a result of  
             any of those acts.

           Security Screening Evasion and Fare Evasion 
           Existing law provides the following acts are infractions  
          punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 and by community  
          service for a total time not to exceed 48 hours over a  
          period not to exceed 30 days, during a time other than  
          during his or her hours of school attendance or employment,  
          when committed on or in a facility or vehicle of a public  
          transportation system, a facility of, or vehicle operated  
          by any entity subsidized by, the Department of  
          Transportation, a leased or rented facility or vehicle for  
          which incur costs of cleanup, repair, or replacement as a  
          result of any of those acts (Penal Code section 640):

          1. Evasion of the payment of a fare of the system.  Fare  
             evasion includes entering an enclosed area of a public  
             transit facility beyond posted signs prohibiting  
             entrance without obtaining valid fare, in addition to  
             entering a transit vehicle without valid fare. 
          2. Misuse of a transfer, pass, ticket, or token with the  
             intent to evade the payment of a fare.
          3. Playing sound equipment on or in a system facility or  
             vehicle.
          4. Smoking, eating, or drinking in or on a system facility  
             or vehicle in those areas where those activities are  
             prohibited by that system.
          5. Expectorating upon a system facility or vehicle.
          6. Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility  
             or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior.
          7. Carrying an explosive or acid, flammable liquid, or  
             toxic or hazardous material in a public transit facility  
             or vehicle.
          8. Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle,  
             except in a lavatory.  However, this paragraph shall not  

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             apply to a person who cannot comply with this paragraph  
             as a result of a disability, age, or a medical  
             condition.
          9. Willfully blocking the free movement of another person  
             in a system facility or vehicle.
          10.Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycle riding,  
             rollerblading, or operating an electronic personal  
             assistive mobility device or similar device as defined  
             under existing law, or a motorized scooter or similar  
             device as defined under existing law in a system  
             facility, vehicle, or parking structure.  This paragraph  
             does not apply to an activity that is necessary for  
             utilization of the transit facility by a bicyclist,  
             including, but not limited to, an activity that is  
             necessary for parking a bicycle or transporting a  
             bicycle aboard a transit vehicle, if that activity is  
             conducted with the permission of the transit agency in a  
             manner that does not interfere with the safety of the  
             bicyclist or other patrons of the transit facility.
          11.Unauthorized use of a discount ticket or failure to  
             present, upon request from a transit system  
             representative, acceptable proof of eligibility to use a  
             discount ticket and posted system identification  
             policies when entering or exiting a transit station or  
             vehicle.  Acceptable proof of eligibility must be  
             clearly defined in the posting.

          This bill provides that persons who intentionally avoid  
          submission to the screening and inspection of one's person  
          and accessible property in accordance with the procedures  
          being applied to control access when entering or reentering  
          a public transit facility and are responsible in any part  
          for delays or cancellations of departures are punishable by  
          imprisonment of not more than one year in a county jail if  
          the sterile area is posted with a statement providing  
          reasonable notice that prosecution may result.  A violation  
          of this subdivision is punishable by a fine of not more  
          than $500 for the first offense.  A second and subsequent  
          violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a  
          county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by a  
          fine not to exceed $1,000, or by both that fine and  
          imprisonment.

          This bill recasts Penal Code section 640 to provide the  

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          following penalties for the following acts committed on or  
          in a facility or vehicle of a public transportation system,  
          as defined:

           Straight Infraction  , punishable by a fine not to exceed  
          $250 and by community service for a total time not to  
          exceed 48 hours over a period not to exceed 30 days, during  
          a time other than during his or her hours of school  
          attendance or employment: 

          1. Playing sound equipment on or in a system facility or  
             vehicle.
          2. Smoking, eating, or drinking in or on a system facility  
             or vehicle in those areas where those activities are  
             prohibited by that system.
          3. Disturbing another person by loud or unreasonable noise.
          4. Expectorating upon a system facility or vehicle.
          5. Skateboarding, roller skating, bicycle riding,  
             rollerblading or [operating a] motorized scooter or  
             similar device, as specified, in a system facility,  
             vehicle, or parking structure.  This paragraph does not  
             apply to an activity that is necessary for utilization  
             of the transit facility by a bicyclist, including, but  
             not limited to, an activity that is necessary for  
             parking a bicycle or transporting a bicycle aboard a  
             transit vehicle, if that activity is conducted with the  
             permission of the transit agency in a manner that does  
             not interfere with the safety of the bicyclist or other  
             patrons of the transit facility.
           
          Infraction upon a first or second violation  , punishable by  
          a fine not to exceed $250 and by community service for a  
          total time not to exceed 48 hours over a period not to  
          exceed 30 days, during a time other than during his or her  
          hours of school attendance or employment.  A third or  
          subsequent violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine  
          of not more than $400 or by imprisonment in the county jail  
          for a period of not more than 90 days, or by both that fine  
          and imprisonment:

          1. Evasion of the payment of a fare of the system,  
             including entering an enclosed area of a public transit  
             facility beyond posted signs prohibiting entrance  
             without obtaining valid fare, in addition to entering a  

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             vehicle without valid fare.
          2. Misuse of a transfer, pass, ticket, or token with the  
             intent to evade the payment of a fare.
          3. Unauthorized use of a discount ticket or failure to  
             present, upon request from a transit system  
             representative, acceptable proof of eligibility to use a  
             discount ticket and posted system identification  
             policies when entering or exiting a transit station or  
             vehicle.  
          4. Acceptable proof of eligibility must be clearly defined  
             in the posting.  In the event that an eligible discount  
             ticket user is not in possession of acceptable proof at  
             the time of request, any citation issued shall be held  
             for a period of 72 hours to allow the user to produce  
             acceptable proof.  If the proof is provided, the  
             citation shall be voided.  If the proof is not produced  
             within that time period, the citation shall be  
             processed.

           Straight Misdemeanor  , punishable by a fine of not more than  
          $400, by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of  
          not more than 90 days, or by both that fine and  
          imprisonment:

          1. Willfully disturbing others on or in a system facility  
             or vehicle by engaging in boisterous or unruly behavior;
          2. Carrying an explosive, acid, or inflammable liquid in a  
             public transit facility or vehicle;
          3. Urinating or defecating in a system facility or vehicle,  
             except in a lavatory.  However, this paragraph shall not  
             apply to a person who cannot comply with this paragraph  
             as a result of a disability, age, or a medical  
             condition; 
          4. Willfully blocking the free movement of another person  
             in a system facility, as specified; and,
          5. Willfully tampering with, removing, displacing,  
             injuring, or destroying any part of any light rail train  
             or bus equipment.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/20/10)


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          Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (source) 
          California State Sheriffs' Association
          California Transit Association
          Los Angeles District Attorney's Office
          Sacramento Regional Transit District
          Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author's office:

               In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September  
               11, 2001, California made several changes to the Penal  
               Code to address gaps in state law that deal with  
               possessing certain weapons at airports and seaports.   
               Over time, these laws were expanded to include certain  
               public buildings and other facilities, but public  
               transit facilities were not included at that time.  

               The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and other  
               law enforcement agencies that provide public safety  
               services to public transit agencies have expressed  
               significant concerns over the safety of California's  
               public transit systems.  Current law does not provide  
               for adequate protection from illegal weapons and  
               dangerous or illegal behaviors on public transit  
               systems.
                
               First, there is no state law that prohibits an  
               individual who is carrying certain weapons from  
               accessing a public transit system.  More and more law  
               enforcement agencies are coming across people entering  
               public transit facilities that are armed with  
               dangerous weapons. To address this concern, AB 2324  
               creates a definition for a "sterile area" for public  
               transit systems like light rail, rail, and bus  
               terminals, which is similar to the sterile areas  
               currently used in airports and seaports.  This bill  
               further authorizes law enforcement agencies to create  
               sterile areas as part of their security plans and  
               prohibit specified weapons and trespassing in these  
               sterile areas.  
                
               Second, numerous employees of the Los Angeles County  
               Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) have  

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               criticized the inadequate penalties for crimes  
               committed on buses and light rail.  An example of this  
               is that under current law, possession of an  
               "explosive" or "flammable liquid" is only an  
               infraction.  Similarly, the MTA bus drivers have  
               complained that passengers often disturb passengers  
               and drivers or willfully destroy public transit  
               vehicle equipment, which is only an infraction.  This  
               bill seeks to address these concerns by making these  
               offenses misdemeanors consistent with other provisions  
               of law.
                
               A third area of concern is the need to adjust the  
               current fare evasion schedule (Penal Code Section  
               640).  In San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit  
               (BART) and the San Francisco Municipal Railway (Muni)  
               report losses of over $17 million a year in fare  
               evasion.  The MTA reports over $5 million lost in fare  
               evasion despite citing over 45,000 people a year for  
               fare evasion.  The Sacramento Police Department  
               reports that they have cited over 25,000 people last  
               year for fare evasion.  Although this bill does not  
               propose an increase in fine for the first two  
               citations, it does modify the penalty for a third and  
               subsequent conviction. Currently in Los Angeles, the  
               fare evasion schedule is $25 dollars for the first  
               offense, $50 for a second and $100 for a third  
               offense.  This bill would amend Section 640 to reflect  
               this new fare evasion change as well as clearly  
               defining the crime of fare evasion.


           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  
          AYES:  Adams, Ammiano, Anderson, Arambula, Bass, Beall,  
            Bill Berryhill, Tom Berryhill, Blakeslee, Block,  
            Blumenfield, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan, Caballero,  
            Charles Calderon, Carter, Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Coto,  
            Davis, De La Torre, De Leon, DeVore, Emmerson, Eng,  
            Evans, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Fuller, Furutani,  
            Gaines, Galgiani, Garrick, Gilmore, Hagman, Hall, Harkey,  
            Hayashi, Hernandez, Hill, Huber, Huffman, Jeffries,  
            Jones, Knight, Lieu, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal, Ma,  
            Mendoza, Miller, Monning, Nava, Nestande, Niello,  
            Nielsen, V. Manuel Perez, Portantino, Ruskin, Salas,  

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            Saldana, Silva, Smyth, Solorio, Audra Strickland,  
            Swanson, Torlakson, Torres, Torrico, Tran, Villines,  
            Yamada, John A. Perez
          NO VOTE RECORDED: Norby, Skinner 


          RJG:nl  8/22/10   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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