BILL NUMBER: SB 877	INTRODUCED
	BILL TEXT


INTRODUCED BY   Senator Harman

                        JANUARY 12, 2010

   An act to amend Section 12370 of the Penal Code, relating to body
armor.



	LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


   SB 877, as introduced, Harman. Body armor.
   Existing law provides that any person who has been convicted of a
violent felony who purchases, owns, or possesses body armor, as
defined in the California Code of Regulations, except as authorized,
is guilty of a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state prison
for 16 months, or 2 or 3 years. However, the court, in People v.
Saleem (Cal.App.2nd Dist., Dec. 17, 2009, B204646), held that this
provision is unconstitutionally vague in violation of due process.
   This bill would change the definition of body armor for purposes
of this provision to mean any bullet-resistant material intended to
provide ballistic and trauma protection for the wearer.
   By expanding the scope of an existing crime, this bill would
impose a state-mandated local program.
   The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local
agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the
state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that
reimbursement.
   This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this
act for a specified reason.
   Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: yes.


THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  SECTION 1.  Section 12370 of the Penal Code is amended to read:
   12370.  (a) Any person who has been convicted of a violent felony,
as defined in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, under the laws of
the United States, the State of California, or any other state,
government, or country, who purchases, owns, or possesses body armor,
as defined  by Section 942 of Title 11 of the California
Code of Regulations   in subdivision (f)  , except
as authorized under subdivision (b), is guilty of a felony,
punishable by imprisonment in a state prison for 16 months, or two or
three years.
   (b) Any person whose employment, livelihood, or safety is
dependent on the ability to legally possess and use body armor, who
is subject to the prohibition imposed by subdivision (a) due to a
prior violent felony conviction, may file a petition with the chief
of police or county sheriff of the jurisdiction in which he or she
seeks to possess and use the body armor for an exception to this
prohibition. The chief of police or sheriff may reduce or eliminate
the prohibition, impose conditions on reduction or elimination of the
prohibition, or otherwise grant relief from the prohibition as he or
she deems appropriate, based on the following:
   (1) A finding that the petitioner is likely to use body armor in a
safe and lawful manner.
   (2) A finding that the petitioner has a reasonable need for this
type of protection under the circumstances.
   In making its decision, the chief of police or sheriff shall
consider the petitioner's continued employment, the interests of
justice, any relevant evidence, and the totality of the
circumstances. It is the intent of the Legislature that law
enforcement officials exercise broad discretion in fashioning
appropriate relief under this paragraph in cases in which relief is
warranted. However, this paragraph may not be construed to require
law enforcement officials to grant relief to any particular
petitioner. Relief from this prohibition does not relieve any other
person or entity from any liability that might otherwise be imposed.
   (c) The chief of police or sheriff shall require, as a condition
of granting an exception under subdivision (b), that the petitioner
agree to maintain on his or her person a certified copy of the law
enforcement official's permission to possess and use body armor,
including any conditions or limitations.
   (d) Law enforcement officials who enforce the prohibition
specified in subdivision (a) against a person who has been granted
relief pursuant to subdivision (b), shall be immune from any
liability for false arrest arising from the enforcement of this
subdivision unless the person has in his or her possession a
certified copy of the permission granting the person relief from the
prohibition, as required by subdivision (c). This immunity from
liability does not relieve any person or entity from any other
liability that might otherwise be imposed.
   (e) For purposes of this section only, "violent felony" refers to
the specific crimes listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, and
to crimes defined under the applicable laws of the United States or
any other state, government, or country that are reasonably
equivalent to the crimes listed in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5.

   (f) For purposes of this section, "body armor" means any
bullet-resistant material intended to provide ballistic and trauma
protection for the wearer. 
  SEC. 2.  No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the
Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the
meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
Constitution.