BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  AB 48
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 2, 2012
          Counsel:        Gabriel Caswell


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                   AB 48 (Skinner) - As Amended:  February 4, 2013
                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee

           
          SUMMARY  :  Creates reporting requirements and a method of  
          tracking the sale and transfer of ammunition in California.   
          Additionally expands provisions limiting large capacity  
          magazines.  Specifically,  this bill  :  
            
          1)Creates a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than  
            $1,000 or imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed 6  
            months, or by both that fine and imprisonment, to knowingly  
            manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer or expose for sale,  
            or give or lend any device that is capable of converting an  
            ammunition feeding device into a large-capacity magazine. 

          2)Revises the definition of "large-capacity magazine" to mean  
            any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more  
            than 10 rounds, including a readily restorable, as defined,  
            disassembled large-capacity magazine, and an oversize magazine  
            body that appears to hold in excess of 10 rounds. 

          3)Requires anyone in the state, prior to selling, transferring,  
            or otherwise furnishing ammunition to an individual or  
            business entity in this state or any other state to require  
            proper identification, as prescribed, to be an authorized  
            firearms dealer, and to report the sales to the Department of  
            Justice (DOJ). 

          4)Provides that an individual who fails to make the required  
            report or who knowingly makes a report with false or  
            fictitious information would be guilty of a misdemeanor, as  
            specified. This bill would exempt an individual in the state  
            who sells, transfers, or furnishes ammunition to certain  
            specified law enforcement individuals from those  
            identification and reporting requirements. By creating a new  
            crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.









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          5)Requires DOJ to alert local law enforcement entities in the  
            community in which the purchaser resides if an individual  
            purchaser who is not a peace officer obtains more than 3000  
            rounds within a 5-day period.

          6)Creates an ammunition licensing scheme for the selling of  
            ammunition in the State of California.  

             a)   Specifies that a person may request an ammunition  
               license from the Department of Justice (DOJ).  

             b)   Provides that the DOJ shall conduct a background check  
               to determine if the applicant is prohibited by state or  
               federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or  
               purchasing a firearm.

             c)   Provides that the DOJ shall issue a license to sell  
               ammunition if the applicant is not a person prohibited by  
               state or federal law from possessing a firearm.    

          7)Creates a California Ammunition Database.  

             a)   Provides that ammunition dealers must collect each  
               ammunition purchaser's name, date of birth, address, and  
               number of rounds of ammunition sold, transferred, or  
               furnished and requires that they report that information  
               electronically to DOJ.  

             b)   Requires that the DOJ cross reference the transmitted  
               information with the Armed Prohibited Persons File (APPS)  
               system.    

             c)   Specifies that the DOJ shall store the information in a  
               specified location and make the information readily  
               available to ammunition dealers and law enforcement in an  
               electronic format.

             d)   Requires that ammunition dealers check the ammunition  
               purchaser's information against the California Ammunition  
               Database prior to the sale or transfer of any ammunition.  

             e)    Becomes operable on or before January 1, 2016.  

           EXISTING LAW  :  









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          1)Provides a vendor of handgun ammunition shall not sell or  
            transfer handgun ammunition without at the time of purchase  
            legibly recording the following information on a form  
            prescribed by the Department of Justice (DOJ):

             a)   The date of the transaction;

             b)   The transferee's driver's license or other  
               identification number and the state in which it was issued;

             c)   The brand, type, and amount of ammunition transferred;

             d)   The purchaser or transferee's signature;

             e)   The name of the salesperson who processed the sale or  
               transaction;

             f)   The right thumbprint of the purchaser or transferee on  
               the prescribed form;

             g)   The purchaser's or transferee's full residential address  
               and telephone number; and,

             h)   The purchaser's or transferee's date of birth.  [Penal  
               Code Section 12061(a)(3).]

          2)Requires the records of the sale or transfer of handgun  
            ammunition shall be maintained on the premises of the vendor  
            for at least five years from the date of the recorded  
            transfer.  [Penal Code Section 12061(a)(4).]

          3)Requires the handgun ammunition vendor's records of sale shall  
            be subject to inspection by specified peace officers engaged  
            in an investigation where the records may be relevant, is  
            seeking information about prohibited persons, or is engaged in  
            ensuring compliance with laws relating to firearms or  
            ammunition.  [Penal Code Section 12061(a)(5).]

          4)Provides the sale or transfer of handgun ammunition may only  
            occur in a face-to-face transaction with the seller or  
            transferor being provided with bona fide evidence of identity  
            from the purchaser.  (Penal Code Section 12318.) 

          5)Provides that "it shall be unlawful for any licensed importer,  
            licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer, or licensed collector  








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            to sell or deliver - any firearm or ammunition to any  
            individual who the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to  
            believe is less than 18 years of age and, if the firearm or  
            ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle, or ammunition for  
            a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who the licensee knows  
            or has reasonable cause to believe is less than 21 years of  
            age . . . . "  [18 United States Code Service 922(b)(1).]

          6)Prohibits the manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer to  
            expose for sale, or give or lend any ammunition magazine with  
            a capacity greater than 10 rounds.  (Penal Code Section  
            32310.)

          7)Provides that no person prohibited from owning or possessing a  
            firearm under specified provisions of law shall have under his  
            or her custody or control any ammunition or reloaded  
            ammunition and violation of this provision is an alternate  
            felony/misdemeanor.  [Penal Code Section 12316(b)(1).]

          8)Defines "ammunition" to include, but not be limited to, any  
            bullet, cartridge, magazine, clip, speed loader, autoloader,  
            or projectile capable of being fired from a firearm with a  
            deadly consequence.  [Penal Code Section 12316(b).]

          9)Provides that for the purposes of provisions relating to the  
            sale or possession of ammunition, "ammunition" includes, but  
            is not limited to, any bullet, cartridge, magazine, clip,  
            speed loader, autoloader, or projectile capable of being fired  
            from a firearm with a deadly consequence.  [Penal Code Section  
            12316(b)(2).]

          10)Provides that proof that a person, corporation, or dealer, or  
            his or her agent or employee, demanded, was shown, and acted  
            in reasonable reliance upon, bona fide evidence of majority  
            and identity shall be a defense to any criminal prosecution  
            under this law.  [Penal Code Section 12316(a)(2).]

          11)Defines "bona fide evidence of majority and identity" as a  
            document issued by a federal, state, county, or municipal  
            government, or agency thereof, including, but not limited to,  
            a motor vehicle operator's license, California state  
            identification card, identification card issued to a member of  
            the armed forces, or other form of identification that bears  
            the name, date of birth, description, and picture of the  
            person.  [Penal Code Section 12316(a)(2).]








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          12)Defines relevant federal law as:  "It shall be unlawful for  
            any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, licensed dealer,  
            or licensed collector to sell or deliver - any firearm or  
            ammunition to any individual who the licensee knows or has  
            reasonable cause to believe is less than 18 years of age and,  
            if the firearm or ammunition is other than a shotgun or rifle,  
            or ammunition for a shotgun or rifle, to any individual who  
            the licensee knows or has reasonable cause to believe is less  
            than 21 years of age . . . . "  [18 United States Code Service  
            922(b)(1).]

           FISCAL EFFECT  :   Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "Today in  
            California, it's easier to buy bullets than to buy alcohol,  
            cigarettes or certain cold medicines.  Sales of some cold  
            medicines are reported to the Department of Justice but not  
            ammunition sales.  We expect to show ID to buy alcohol or  
            tobacco, but there is no such requirement for bullets.   
            Bullets, the very thing that makes a gun deadly, should not be  
            easier to buy than alcohol or cigarettes.  
             
             "Existing law prohibits individuals convicted of a felony, a  
            violent misdemeanor, or those with mental health issues from  
            purchasing or possessing ammunition.  Additionally, current  
            state law does not require tracking of ammunition sales.  The  
            few restrictions California does have are difficult to enforce  
            because ammunition sellers do not have to check ID's or keep  
            records of sales.

            "Furthermore, our state may have one of the nation's toughest  
            gun laws, but laws regulating ammunition are almost absent in  
            California. 

            "AB 48 will require anyone selling or transferring ammunition  
            to an individual in California to require the buyer's  
            identification, to be an authorized firearms dealer, to report  
            the sales to the Department of Justice, and inform local law  
            enforcement when someone buys a large quantity of ammunition  
            over a short time period.

            "Additionally, this bill makes it illegal for gun owners to  








                                                                  AB 48
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            purchase parts that allow them to convert their guns into an  
            assault style weapon that can fire more than 10 rounds of  
            bullets without reloading.  Currently, it is illegal in  
            California to possess an ammunition feeding device that can  
            hold more than 10 rounds of bullets. Unfortunately, some  
            individuals are obtaining parts that allow them to assemble an  
            ammunition cartridge that can hold as many as 30 rounds; AB 48  
            will close this loophole."

           2)Extension of Existing Record Keeping Laws to Include a  
            Reporting Requirement  :  Under existing California law,  
            ammunition vendors must: 

             a)   Store handgun ammunition so that it is inaccessible to a  
               purchaser without the assistance of the vendor;

             b)   Require delivery or transfer of handgun ammunition to be  
               completed in face-to-face transactions; and 

             c)   Record identifying information, including the name,  
               thumbprint and signature of a purchaser of handgun  
               ammunition, in addition to information about the type and  
               amount of ammunition purchased or transferred.  These  
               records must be maintained by the vendor for at least five  
               years and must be made available to law enforcement for  
               investigative purposes.  

            This bill would additionally require that recorded ammunition  
            sales information by ammunition vendors be reported to DOJ.   
            Additionally, this bill expands the record keeping and  
            reporting requirements to all forms of ammunition, not  
            limiting them to handgun ammunition.  

            The reporting to the Department of Justice would arguably  
            permit the DOJ to cross reference the list of those who have  
            purchased ammunition with the APPS (Armed Prohibited Persons  
            System) database.  The presumption is that persons who are  
            purchasing ammunition, might also be in possession of an  
            unregistered and illegal weapon.  

            Currently the status of the record keeping requirements is  
            unclear as it is the subject of a legal challenge in Parker v.  
            California.  The case is currently before the 5th Appellate  
            District in California, Case No. F062490.  Opponents of this  
            legislation point to a recent veto message in AB 427 (De Leon)  








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            of the 2011-12 Legislative Session in which Governor Brown  
            stated "This measure would amend a recently enacted law  
            concerning the sale and purchase of handgun ammunition.  That  
            law is currently being litigated. Let's keep our powder dry on  
            amendments until the court case runs its course."

           3)Expansion of Record Keeping Requirements to All Ammunition  :   
            This bill makes the recording and reporting requirements for  
            the sale of ammunition applicable to all forms of ammunition.   
            AB 962 (De Leon), Chapter 628, Statutes of 2009 only required  
            the record keeping of handgun ammunition.  Proponents of this  
            legislation believe that the expansion to all forms of  
            ammunition will make the current litigation before the 5th  
            Appellate District of California, challenging AB 962 moot.   
            (Parker v. California, Case No. F062490.)  
           
           4)Reporting of Larger Purchases of Ammunition  :  Additionally,  
            this bill requires that the purchase of more than 3,000 rounds  
            of ammunition by an individual from a retailer must be  
            reported to DOJ.   
           
           5)Large Capacity Magazines  :  Current law prohibits the  
            manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer to expose for sale,  
            or give or lend any ammunition magazine with a capacity  
            greater than 10 rounds.  (Penal Code Section 32310.)   
            California does not prohibit the possession of large capacity  
            magazines.  Additionally, California exempts law enforcement  
            agencies, permit holders, and peace officers from the purchase  
            prohibitions on large capacity magazines.  (Penal Code  
            Sections 32315, 32400-32450.)  This bill expands the large  
            capacity magazine prohibitions to include those who knowingly  
            manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer to expose for sale,  
            or give or lend any device that is capable of converting an  
            ammunition feeding device into a large-capacity magazine.

           6)Argument in Support  :  According to the California Chapters of  
            the Brady Campaign, "Current law provides that people who are  
            prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms are also  
            prohibited from possessing ammunition.  At the present time,  
            there is no way to enforce this law because the state does not  
            know who sells or buys ammunition.  Furthermore, a loophole in  
            the law does not prohibit individuals or businesses from  
            selling or transferring ammunition to an individual that is  
            prohibited from possessing ammunition.  In 2009, then Assembly  
            Member De Leon attempted to address this situation with AB  








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            962.  
             
             "Assembly Bill 962 required ammunition vendors to: 1) store  
            handgun ammunition so that it is inaccessible to a purchaser  
            without the assistance of the vendor, 2) require delivery or  
            transfer of handgun ammunition to be completed in face-to-face  
            transactions and 3) record identifying information, including  
            the name, thumbprint and signature of a purchaser of handgun  
            ammunition, in addition to information about the type and  
            amount of ammunition purchased or transferred.  These records  
            would be maintained by the vendor for at least five years and  
            must be made available to law enforcement for investigative  
            purposes.  Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB 962 into law, but  
            its implementation has been stayed due to a court challenge.  

            "Assembly Bill 48 improves upon AB 962 in several respects.   
            First, this bill would limit the ammunition sales to only  
            those individuals who are already licensed firearm dealers, so  
            that it is known who is selling ammunition.  Second, this bill  
            applies to all ammunition, thereby eliminating the basis for  
            the legal challenge to AB 962.  Third, this bill would require  
            the reporting of ammunition purchases to the Department of  
            Justice (DOJ) by a means established by the DOJ.  Finally,  
            this bill would require the reporting of large quantities of  
            ammunition purchased by individuals within a short period of  
            time to local law enforcement and for potential investigation  
            by DOJ.  

            "The requirement to report sales data to the DOJ is of great  
            importance.  The Bureau of Firearms would be able to cross  
            reference this information with its database of prohibited  
            persons and determine when prohibited persons are buying  
            ammunition.  The reasonable presumption would be that these  
            persons are in possession of an illegal gun, regardless of  
            whether there is a record of such a gun.  These people would  
            be placed on the list of Armed Prohibited Persons (APPS) and  
            disarmed through the existing APPS program.  

            "Finally, AB 48 addresses a loophole in existing law relating  
            to large capacity magazines.  Currently, it is illegal to  
            manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer to expose for sale,  
            or give or lend any ammunition magazine with a capacity  
            greater than 10 rounds.  However, disassembled magazines are  
            available which may be readily assembled into a fully  
            functional large capacity magazine.  This bill would make it a  








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            crime to knowingly manufacture, import, keep for sale, offer  
            to expose for sale, or give or lend any device that is capable  
            of converting an ammunition feeding device into a  
            large-capacity magazine.  Large capacity magazines are the  
            instrument of choice for people engaged in rampage shootings  
            and criminal activity.  It was a large capacity magazine that  
            took our daughter's life in 2001."  

           7)Argument in Opposition  :  According to the  National Rifle  
            Association  , "The ammunition sales and registration  
            requirements of Assembly Bill 48 duplicate and are in conflict  
            with Senate Bill 53 (De Leon), which seeks to require  
            registration and thumb printing of all ammunition purchases in  
            the state.  
             
             "In 2011, Governor Brown stated in vetoing a recent ammunition  
            sales registration bill, that no additional ammunition  
            registration bills should be enacted prior to the resolution  
            of Parker v. California, which has enjoined the enforcement of  
            the current California law to register ammunition sales.  This  
            case is still pending before the fifth District of the  
            California Court of Appeals.  

            "The reporting of ammunition sales has already been tried, and  
            failed, at the federal level.  In 1986, the director of the  
            Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms supported eliminating  
            the reporting requirement, stating: 'The Bureau and the  
            [Treasury] Department have recognized that current  
            recordkeeping requirements for ammunition have no substantial  
            law enforcement value.'  As a result, the firearms Owners  
            Protection Act of 1986 repealed the ammunition restrictions,  
            with little opposition to the removal of that provision.  

            "The provisions of AB 48 that attempt to criminalize the  
            manufacture and sale of devices 'capable of converting an  
            ammunition feeding device into large-capacity magazines'  
            conflicts with the due process provisions of the United States  
            and California constitutions.  These provisions require laws  
            to have 'a reasonable degree of certainty in legislation,  
            especially in the criminal law?To pass constitutional muster,  
            a law must define the offense with sufficient definiteness  
            that ordinary people can understand what conduct is  
            prohibited.'  (Kolender v. Lawson, 461 U.S. 352, 357 (1983).)   
            (emphasis added.)"   
            








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           8)Related Legislation  :  SB 53 (De Leon) requires that the  
            Attorney General maintain copies of ammunition purchase  
            permits, ammunition transactions, and ammunition vendor  
            licenses.  Additionally requires that the APPS system address  
            persons prohibited from acquiring ammunition and cross  
            reference those persons with records of ammunition  
            transactions.  Extends existing record keeping provisions  
            applicable to handgun ammunition to all ammunition.  SB 53  
            authorizes the DOJ to issue ammunition vendor licenses as  
            specified.  SB 53 is currently in the Senate Public Safety  
            committee.  
           
           9)Prior Legislation  :  

             a)   SB 427 (De Leon), 2011-12 Legislative Session, would  
               have provided that, commencing February 1, 2012, an  
               ammunition vendor shall not provide ammunition purchaser  
               information to any third party without the written consent  
               of the purchaser, and requires that any records no longer  
               required to be maintained be destroyed in a manner that  
               protects the purchaser who is the subject of the record.   
               SB 427 was vetoed.  

             b)   AB 962 (De Leon), Chapter 628, required, commencing  
               February 1, 2011, obtain a thumbprint and other specified  
               information from an ammunition purchaser and requires that  
               the above information be available for inspection by law  
               enforcement.

             c)   AB 2358 (De Leon), of the 2009-10 Legislative Session,  
               was similar to this bill in that AB 2358 prohibited  
               ammunition vendors from providing ammunition purchaser  
               information to any third party without the consent of the  
               purchaser.  AB 2358 failed passage on the Senate Floor. 
                                                                       
          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :   

           Support 
           
          Berkeley City Council
          California Chapter of the American College of Emergency  
          Physicians 
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign 
          California Nurses Association 
          City of El Cerrito 








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          City of Sacramento
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence 
          Santa Cruz Committee Against Gun Violence 
          West Contra Costa Unified School District 

           Opposition 
           
          California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees
          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          California Sportsman's Lobby Crossroads of the West Gun Shows 
          California Waterfowl Association 
          National Rifle Association of America 
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California 
          Safari Club International
          151 private individuals
           

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916)  
          319-3744