BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó







                      SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                            Senator Loni Hancock, Chair              A
                             2011-2012 Regular Session               B

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          AB 1559 (Portantino)                                       9
          As Amended June 15, 2012 
          Hearing date:  June 26, 2012
          Penal Code
          SM:mc

                         FIREARMS: PERMITS FOR IMPORTATION OF

                               SHORT-BARRELED SHOTGUNS  


                                       HISTORY

          Source:  Author

          Prior Legislation: AB 2580 (Simitian) - Chapter 910, Statutes of 
          2002 

          Support: Unknown

          Opposition:None known

          Assembly Floor Vote:  Ayes  72 - Noes  0


                                      KEY ISSUES
           
          SHOULD THE CURRENT LAW ALLOWING THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE (DOJ) 
          TO ISSUE PERMITS FOR THE "MANUFACTURE, POSSESSION, OR USE WITH 
          BLANK CARTRIDGES OF A SHORT-BARRELED RIFLE OR SHORT-BARRELED 
          SHOTGUN, SOLELY AS A PROP FOR A MOTION PICTURE, TELEVISION, OR 
          VIDEO PRODUCTION OR ENTERTAINMENT EVENT" BE CLARIFIED TO STATE 
          THAT SUCH PERMITS MAY INCLUDE IMPORTATION OF THESE WEAPONS FOR 




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                                                       AB 1559 (Portantino)
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          THESE PURPOSES?

                                                                (CONTINUED)



          SHOULD DOJ, BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2014, CHARGE ONLY ONE FEE FOR A 
          SINGLE TRANSACTION ON THE SAME DATE AND TIME FOR TAKING TITLE OR 
          POSSESSION OF ANY NUMBER OF FIREARMS?

                                          

                                       PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) amend the section allowing 
          for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to issue permits for the 
          "manufacture, possession, or use with blank cartridges of a 
          short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, solely as a prop 
          for a motion picture, television, or video production or 
          entertainment event" to clarify that these permits may allow for 
          importation of these weapons for these uses; and (2) provide 
          that, beginning January 1, 2014, only one fee shall be charged 
          pursuant to this article for a single transaction on the same 
          date and time for taking title or possession of any number of 
          firearms.  

           Current law  provides that, except as expressly provided in 
          Sections 33215 to 33225, inclusive, and in Chapter 1 (commencing 
          with Section 17700) of Division 2 of Title 2, and solely in 
          accordance with those provisions, no person may manufacture, 
          import into this state, keep for sale, offer for sale, give, 
          lend, or possess any short-barreled rifle or short-barreled 
          shotgun.  Nothing else in any provision listed in Section 16580 
          shall be construed as authorizing the manufacture, importation 
          into the state, keeping for sale, offering for sale, or giving, 
          lending, or possession of any short-barreled rifle or 
          short-barreled shotgun.  (Penal Code § 33210.)

           Current law  provides that, except as provided in Sections 33220 




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          and 33225 and in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 17700) of 
          Division 2 of Title 2, any person in this state who manufactures 
          or causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps for 
          sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, lends, or 
          possesses any short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun is 
          punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one 
          year or in the state prison.  (Penal Code § 33215.)

           Current law  states that section 33215 does not apply to the 
          manufacture, possession, transportation, or sale of a 
          short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, when authorized 
          by the Department of Justice pursuant to Article 2 (commencing 
          with Section 33300) and not in violation of federal law.  (Penal 
          Code § 33225.)
           
          Current law  states that upon a showing that good cause exists 
          for issuance of a permit to the applicant, and if the DOJ finds 
          that issuance of the permit does not endanger the public safety, 
          DOJ may issue a permit for the manufacture, possession, 
          transportation, or sale of short-barreled rifles or 
          short-barreled shotguns.  The permit shall be initially valid 
          for a period of one year, and renewable annually thereafter.  No 
          permit shall be issued to a person who is under 18 years of age. 
           (Penal Code § 33300(a).)  

           Current law  specifies "good cause," for the purposes of this 
          section, shall be limited to only the following:  

                 The permit is sought for the manufacture, possession, or 
               use with blank cartridges of a short-barreled rifle or 
               short-barreled shotgun, solely as a prop for a motion 
               picture, television, or video production or entertainment 
               event.
                 The permit is sought for the manufacture of, exposing 
               for sale, keeping for sale, sale of, importation or lending 
               of short-barreled rifles or short-barreled shotguns to the 
               entities by persons who are licensed as dealers or 
               manufacturers under the specified provisions of the United 
               States Code, as amended, and the regulations issued 




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               pursuant thereto.  (Penal Code § 33300(b).)  

           Current law  provides:

                 Until January 1, 2014, only one fee shall be charged, as 
               specified, for a single transaction on the same date for 
               the sale of any number of firearms that are not handguns, 
               or for the taking of possession of those firearms.
                 In a single transaction on the same date for the 
               delivery of any number of firearms that are handguns, and 
               commencing January 1, 2014, for any firearm, the department 
               shall charge a reduced fee pursuant to this article for the 
               second and subsequent firearms that are part of that 
               transaction.
                 Only one fee shall be charged pursuant to this article 
               for a single transaction on the same date for taking title 
               or possession of any number of firearms pursuant to Section 
               26905 (dealer acquiring a firearm), 27870 (gift, bequest or 
               inter-family transfer of handgun), 27875 (gift, bequest or 
               inter-family transfer of long gun), 27915 (long gun, by 
               operation of law), 27920 (handgun by operation of law), or 
               27925 (by operation of law by representative).  (Penal Code 
               § 28240.)

           This bill  would amend the section allowing for DOJ to issue 
          permits for the "manufacture, possession, or use with blank 
          cartridges of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, 
          solely as a prop for a motion picture, television, or video 
          production or entertainment event" to clarify that these permits 
          may allow for importation of these weapons for these uses.  This 
          bill states that these amendments do not constitute a change in, 
          but are declaratory of, existing law.  

           This bill  would provide that, beginning January 1, 2014, DOJ 
          shall only charge one fee for a single transaction on the same 
          date and time for taking title or possession of any number of 
          firearms.






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                                                       AB 1559 (Portantino)
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                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION
                                      ("ROCA")
          
          In response to the unresolved prison capacity crisis, since 
          early 2007 it has been the policy of the chair of the Senate 
          Committee on Public Safety and the Senate President pro Tem to 
          hold legislative proposals which could further aggravate prison 
          overcrowding through new or expanded felony prosecutions.  Under 
          the resulting policy known as "ROCA" (which stands for 
          "Receivership/Overcrowding Crisis Aggravation"), the Committee 
          has held measures which create a new felony, expand the scope or 
          penalty of an existing felony, or otherwise increase the 
          application of a felony in a manner which could exacerbate the 
          prison overcrowding crisis by expanding the availability or 
          length of prison terms (such as extending the statute of 
          limitations for felonies or constricting statutory parole 
          standards).  In addition, proposed expansions to the 
          classification of felonies enacted last year by AB 109 (the 2011 
          Public Safety Realignment) which may be punishable in jail and 
          not prison (Penal Code section 1170(h)) would be subject to ROCA 
          because an offender's criminal record could make the offender 
          ineligible for jail and therefore subject to state prison.  
          Under these principles, ROCA has been applied as a 
          content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that 
          the Legislature does not erode progress towards reducing prison 
          overcrowding by passing legislation which could increase the 
          prison population.  ROCA will continue until prison overcrowding 
          is resolved.

          For the last several years, severe overcrowding in California's 
          prisons has been the focus of evolving and expensive litigation. 
           On June 30, 2005, in a class action lawsuit filed four years 
          earlier, the United States District Court for the Northern 
          District of California established a Receivership to take 
          control of the delivery of medical services to all California 
          state prisoners confined by the California Department of 
          Corrections and Rehabilitation ("CDCR").  In December of 2006, 
          plaintiffs in two federal lawsuits against CDCR sought a 
          court-ordered limit on the prison population pursuant to the 




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          federal Prison Litigation Reform Act.  On January 12, 2010, a 
          three-judge federal panel issued an order requiring California 
          to reduce its inmate population to 137.5 percent of design 
          capacity -- a reduction at that time of roughly 40,000 inmates 
          -- within two years.  The court stayed implementation of its 
          ruling pending the state's appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  

          On May 23, 2011, the United States Supreme Court upheld the 
          decision of the three-judge panel in its entirety, giving 
          California two years from the date of its ruling to reduce its 
          prison population to 137.5 percent of design capacity, subject 
          to the right of the state to seek modifications in appropriate 
          circumstances.  Design capacity is the number of inmates a 
          prison can house based on one inmate per cell, single-level 
          bunks in dormitories, and no beds in places not designed for 
          housing.  Current design capacity in CDCR's 33 institutions is 
          79,650.

          On January 6, 2012, CDCR announced that California had cut 
          prison overcrowding by more than 11,000 inmates over the last 
          six months, a reduction largely accomplished by the passage of 
          Assembly Bill 109.  Under the prisoner-reduction order, the 
          inmate population in California's 33 prisons must be no more 
          than the following:

                 167 percent of design capacity by December 27, 2011 
               (133,016 inmates);
                 155 percent by June 27, 2012;
                 147 percent by December 27, 2012; and
                 137.5 percent by June 27, 2013.
               
           This bill  does not aggravate the prison overcrowding crisis 
          described above under ROCA.










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                                      COMMENTS

          1.  Need for This Bill  

          According to the author:

               AB 1559 allows for the importation of short barreled 
               rifles and short barreled shotguns for use as a prop 
               for a motion picture, television or video production 
               when the DOJ issues a permit for finding good cause.

               For a variety of reasons the entertainment industry 
               has been leaving the state of California in recent 
               years to film and produce in other states.  This 
               measure is needed by the entertainment industry to 
               ensure that they do not run into trouble with the 
               labyrinth of laws that regulate gun ownership and gun 
               possession in California.

               This measure will allow film and television production 
               companies the ability to legally import firearms for 
               use in their activities.  We have been working with 
               the Department of Justice and will continue to do so 
               to make sure that safe and responsible gun laws are 
               enacted in California.

               The language to be added by amendment basically states 
               that, beginning January 1, 2014, the DOJ will only 
               charge one DROS fee for all firearms purchased on the 
               same date and time.

               DOJ can currently charge $25.00 for a handgun and $25 
               for all of the additional long guns that are purchased 
               together.  Most folks can only buy one handgun every 
               thirty days.  The reasoning behind charging more than 
               one fee was that handgun information and long gun 
               information had to be manually entered in a different 
               manner.  But, with technological advancements and 
               upgrades that the DOJ is doing to Ýtheir] system for 




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               long gun record retention in 2014, everything will be 
               done electronically, so it makes sense to only charge 
               the one fee.

          2.  What This Bill Will Do  

          This bill will clarify that current law allowing DOJ to issue 
          permits for manufacture, possession, or use with blank 
          cartridges of a short-barreled rifle or short-barreled shotgun, 
          solely as a prop for a motion picture, television, or video 
          production or entertainment event, also authorizes DOJ to issue 
          permits to import such weapons for these specified purposes.


          When more than one handgun is delivered in a single transaction 
          on the same date, current law allows DOJ to charge a single fee 
          for the first handgun and a reduced fee for the rest of the 
          handguns involved in the transaction.  This bill also provides 
          that, as of January 1, 2014, DOJ will no longer be allowed to 
          charge more than a single fee in such transactions.  DOJ 
          explains that the additional fees for multiple firearms 
          delivered in the same transaction are no longer necessary due to 
          computer upgrades that will be in effect on January 1, 2014. 


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