BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 48
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          Date of Hearing:   May 15, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                     AB 48 (Skinner) - As Amended:  May 7, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  5-2

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:   
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill establishes a method for tracking the sale and  
          transfer of ammunition in California and prohibits sale or  
          possession of high capacity magazine conversion kits. 
           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Significant ongoing special fund fee-based costs, in the range  
          of $1.2 million in 2014-15, decreasing to about $600,000  
          thereafter (Dealer Record of Sale (DROS) Account) for hardware,  
          software, programming and staffing.

          Costs include enhancement to several existing databases in the  
          California Justice Information System - including the  
          Centralized List, APPS, and the Consolidated Firearms  
          Information System. In addition, this bill would require a new  
          database for APPS and ammunition sales, including an encrypted  
          notification system for local law enforcement.


           Specifically, this bill:  
           1)Creates a state ammunition licensing structure whereby anyone  
            in the state, prior to selling or otherwise furnishing  
            ammunition, must be an ammunition vendor, defined as a person  
            recorded on the Department of Justice (DOJ) centralized list  
            of ammunition vendors, established by this bill. 

            To become an ammunition vendor, a person requests a license  
            from DOJ to be an ammunition vendor. A person is eligible to  


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            be a vendor if DOJ records show the individual is not  
            prohibited by state or federal law from possessing a gun. 

          2)Requires DOJ to create and maintain a centralized list of  
            ammunition vendors, similar to the centralized list of gun  

          3)Authorizes DOJ to impose a fee to cover the costs of the  
            vendor license program and creates the Ammunition Vendor Fund  
            for this purpose. 

          4)Requires buyers of any ammunition - not just handgun  
            ammunition - to provide photographic identification; requires  
            all ammunitions sales to be reported to DOJ; and requires DOJ  
            to alert local law enforcement entities if an individual  
            purchaser, who is not an ammunition vendor or a peace officer,  
            obtains more than 3,000 rounds within a 5-day period.

            A violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor. A repeat  
            violation is an alternate felony/misdemeanor. Violation also  
            subjects a vendor to removal from the centralized list of  
            ammunition vendors. 

          5)Requires DOJ to create a California Ammunition Database by  
            January 1, 2016, by requiring ammunition  vendors to collect  
            each ammunition purchaser's name, date of birth, address, and  
            number of rounds of ammunition sold or furnished, and report  
            this information electronically to DOJ. Failure to so report  
            subjects a vendor to revocation or suspension of the vendor's  
            license. A fee would be charged to dealers to cover the costs  
            of the database.

          6)Requires DOJ to cross-reference the transmitted information  
            with the Armed Prohibited Persons File (APPS) system, and if  
            an ammunition purchaser's name appears in APPS, to forward  
            that name to local law enforcement. DOJ is authorized to  
            charge a fee on ammunition dealers to cover the cost of the  
            ammunition database. 

          7)Creates a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than  
            $1,000 and/or up to six months in county jail, to manufacture,  
            import, keep for sale, offer for sale, give, lend, buy or  
            receive any device or combination of parts capable of  
            converting an ammunition feeding device into a large-capacity  


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          8)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 that has not  
            been permanently altered to hold less than 10 rounds.  


           1)Rationale  . The author wishes to facilitate the enforcement of  
            current ammunition restrictions by creating a structure to  
            enforce current law and track ammunition sales. In addition,  
            the author intends to prohibit the sale and/or receipt of  
            components capable of converting a legal ammunition magazine  
            that holds up to 10 rounds, into a magazine that holds more  
            than 10 rounds, which is illegal in California to manufacture  
            or sell.    

           2)Current Law. 

              a)   Provides a handgun ammunition vendor may not sell or  
               transfer handgun ammunition without recording the following  
               information on a form prescribed by DOJ:
                i)     Date of transaction.
               ii)    Purchaser's identification, birthdate, address,  
                 thumbprint, phone number, signature.  
               iii)   Brand, type, and amount of ammunition   

             b)   Requires the sale or transfer of handgun ammunition to  
               occur face-to-face.
             c)   Prohibits the manufacture, import, possession for sale,  
               or loan of any ammunition magazine with a capacity greater  
               than 10 rounds.
             d)   Provides that no person prohibited from owning or  
               possessing a gun may possess ammunition. Violation is an  
               alternate felony/misdemeanor.

           3)The current status of ammunition record-keeping and tracking  
            is somewhat hazy  as it is the subject of a legal challenge and  
            a stay in Parker v. California. The case is currently before  
            the 5th Appellate District in California. Opponents of AB 48  
            cite a recent veto message regarding AB 427 (de Leon, 2011) in  
            which Governor Brown stated "This measure would amend a  


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            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."  
            AB 48 makes the recording and reporting requirements regarding  
            ammunition applicable to all forms of ammunition, while AB 962  
            (De Leon), Statutes of 2009, requires record-keeping for  
            handgun ammunition only. AB 48 proponents contend the  
            expansion to all forms of ammunition will render current  
            litigation regarding AB 962 moot.    

          4)Supporters  include The CA Nurses Association, the CA Chapter  
            of the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the Law  
            Center to Prevent Gun Violence. According to the CA Chapters  
            of the Brady Campaign, "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  

           5)Opponents  include gun-related groups such as The CA Rifle and  
            Pistol Association, the National Rifle Association, and the  
            Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California. The San Diego  
            County Wildlife Federation states, "Of particular concern is  
            the impact of AB 48 on youth participating in shooting sports.  
            Current law prohibits selling ammunition to anyone under the  
            age of 18. AB 48 would prevent anyone from providing  
            ammunition to youth (even under supervision) without onerous  
            permitting and reporting requirements." 

           6)Related Legislation  . 

             a)   SB 53 (De Leon), pending in Senate Appropriations,  
               requires DOJ to maintain copies of ammunition purchase  
               permits, ammunition transactions, and ammunition vendor  
               licenses. Also requires cross-referencing APPS system.  
               Extends existing record keeping provisions applicable to  
               handgun ammunition to all ammunition. SB 53 authorizes the  
               DOJ to issue ammunition vendor licenses, as specified.  


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             b)   SB 427 (De Leon), 2011, provided that an ammunition  
               vendor may 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  

             c)   AB 962 (De Leon), Statutes of 2009, required specified  
               information from an ammunition purchaser and requires the  
               information be available for inspection by law enforcement.

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081