BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 232
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          Date of Hearing:   April 16, 2013
          Counsel:       Shaun Naidu

                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                      AB 232 (Ting) - As Amended:  April 2, 2013

           SUMMARY  :  Provides for state personal income tax credits, as  
          specified, in exchange for specified firearms given to law  
          enforcement in a gun buyback program and for corporate state tax  
          credits, as specified, for monetary contributions to a gun  
          buyback program administered by local law enforcement.    
          Specifically,  this bill  :  

          1)Allows, for each taxable year starting on or after January 1,  
            2014, a person to receive the following credit against his or  
            her personal income "net tax," as defined, not to exceed  
            $5,000 per taxable year, for surrendering without  
            consideration or selling to local law enforcement in a gun  
            buyback program the following types of firearm:

             a)   A credit of $500 for each handgun, shotgun, or rifle in  
               working condition; and

             b)   A credit of $1,000 for each assault weapon in working  

          2)Allows, for each taxable year starting on or after January 1,  
            2014, an entity to receive a credit against its corporate  
            "tax," as defined, not to exceed $10,000 per taxable year, of  
            an amount equal to the monetary contribution by the taxpayer  
            to a gun buyback program administered by local law  

          3)Allows, in the case where a credit allowed by the above  
            provisions exceeds the "net tax" or "tax," the excess to be  
            carried over to reduce the "net tax" or "tax" in the  
            succeeding two years, until the credit has been exhausted.

          4)Prevents the taxpayer from taking any other credit or  
            deduction that he, she, or it may otherwise be able to claim  
            with respect to surrendering a firearm listed above without  


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            consideration or with respect to monetary contributions made  
            to a gun buyback program administered by local law  

          5)Permits the Franchise Tax Board to promulgate rules and  
            regulations to implement the provisions above.

           EXISTING LAW  : 

          1)Establishes various pilot projects and programs for purposes  
            of crime prevention.  (Penal Code Part 4, Title 1.)

          2)Exempts from the waiting period and background checks,  
            firearms transfers where neither party is a licensed dealer,  
            and sales, deliveries, or transfers of firearms to authorized  
            representatives of governmental agencies where the entity is  
            buying or receiving weapons from private individuals.  Any  
            weapons acquired pursuant to this provision shall be disposed  
            of pursuant to the applicable Penal Code sections.  (Penal  
            Code Section 27850.)

          3)Requires that firearms and specified weapons used in the  
            commission of a crime, or found in the possession of  
            proscribed classes of individuals, are defined as "nuisances"  
            and are subject to confiscation by law enforcement agencies.   
            These weapons are retained by the confiscating agency and may  
            be sold at public auction to licensed dealers on an annual  
            basis, between July 1 and 10, if they are determined to have a  
            sporting, recreational, or collectible value.  The law,  
            however, provides numerous exceptions for alternative  
            distribution.  If a weapon is stolen, it is to be returned to  
            its rightful owner once used as evidence.  A weapon is to be  
            retained if needed for further criminal proceedings.  Any  
            firearm not determined to be sellable for legitimate purposes,  
            or not retained or distributed as specified, is destroyed.   
            (Penal Code Sections 18000 et seq.)

          4)Provides that firearms may be sold to the military, retained  
            by the agency for its use or turned over to the DOJ for  
            criminal justice purposes, or donated to the California  
            National Guard Military Museum.  (Penal Code Section  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown


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           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "Gun buyback  
            programs have removed a wide variety of guns from circulation,  
            including handguns, assault weapons and even rocket launchers.  
             Whatever the type of weapon, studies indicate that it is  
            safer to not have a gun in the home than to have a gun.   
            Consider the following facts: a gun in the home increases the  
            risk of unintentional firearm-related death among children;  
            people who keep a gun in the home are almost twice as likely  
            to be murdered with a gun and almost 17 times more likely to  
            take their own lives using a firearm; and, it is more likely  
            that a gun used in the home will be used against a family  
            member than to protect a family member.  As a state, we can  
            act to remove more guns from circulation by incentivizing more  
            gun buyback programs and more gun buyback participants.  By  
            taking this action, we are lowering the chances of a  
            misplaced, unwanted weapon causing damage, injury or  
            tragically, death."

           2)Local Gun Buyback Programs  :  A number of local jurisdictions  
            in California and throughout the country conduct gun buyback  
            programs.  In exchange for firearms received, law enforcement  
            agencies have given out cash, grocery and other retail gift  
            cards, and other items.  (See, e.g., The Associated Press,  
            California: Gun-Buyback Program Moved Up, New York Times (Dec.  
            26, 2012.)  By offering popular incentives to hand over  
            weapons, local gun buyback programs have had a big draw that  
            have resulted in some jurisdictions running out of funds due  
            to the events' successful nature.  (See Successful gun buyback  
            runs out of money just hours in, KGO-TV (Jan. 15, 2013) North  
            Bay News.)

           3)Practical Considerations  :  As argued by the author, a goal of  
            gun buyback programs is to get guns and other firearm off the  
            streets.  This bill, however, is silent on what local law  
            enforcement agencies are to do with the firearms they receive  
            through the program.  As the personal income tax credit is  
            offered in exchange for an operable firearm, without any  
            directive otherwise, law enforcement may dispose of the  
            weapons by selling them to licensed firearm dealers (see Penal  
            Code Section 27850.) which would defeat the goal of removing  
            guns out of circulation.  Consequently, the author may wish to  
            consider amending this bill to declare that firearms received  
            by a local law enforcement agency through a gun buyback  


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            program are a nuisance and are required to be destroyed.

            Additionally, the Department of Justice (DOJ) maintains a list  
            of persons prohibited from possessing a firearm, the Armed  
            Prohibited Persons System (APPS).  (Penal Code Sections 30000  
            et seq.)   DOJ populates APPS with all handgun and assault  
            weapon owners across the state and matches them up against  
            criminal history records to determine who might fall into a  
            prohibited status.  An aspect worth considering is that when a  
            person who is listed on APPS disposes of all of his or her  
            firearm through a gun buyback program, will that person be  
            removed from APPS, and thereby avoiding DOJ and/or local law  
            enforcement agencies from expending resources pursuing that  
            individual?  Consequently, the author may wish to consider  
            amending this bill to require the local law enforcement agency  
            to notify DOJ of the serial numbers of registered firearms  
            received through a gun buyback program so that DOJ can adjust  
            APPS accordingly.

           4)Argument in Support  :  According to  California Attorneys for  
            Criminal Justice  , "Recent gun buyback programs held throughout  
            the state reflect the need for this legislation.  In locations  
            up and down the state, ? these gun buyback programs have  
            removed hundreds of dangerous weapons off the street.   
            However, during most of these programs, the sponsors have run  
            out of money to pay willing participants.  Without sufficient  
            incentives, citizens may choose to keep their guns instead of  
            surrendering these dangerous items to the proper authorities.  

             "This bill would provided [sic] a much needed financial  
            alternative to properly incentivize these gun buyback  
            programs.  Rather than placing the burden on cash-strapped  
            cities, counties, or organizations, the creation of up to a  
            $1,000 tax incentive will maintain the incentives available  
            for future participants."

           5)Argument in Opposition :  According to the  California  
            Association of Federal Firearms Licensees  , "While gun buyback  
            programs might offer good press, study after study has shown  
            that they are bad policy and do very little to nothing to  
            reduce gun violence.  In fact, a 2004 study by the National  
            Research Council noted, 'The theory underlying gun buyback  
            programs is badly flawed.'  The study pointed out the obvious  
            - that that people most likely to commit crimes are also the  
            people least likely to be [sic] turn in their weapons.  It  


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            also showed that the highest-risk weapons for crimes are the  
            least likely to be turned in at buybacks.

            "Additionally, AB 232 gives criminals the opportunity to gain  
            a tax credit for getting rid of guns actually used in crimes -  
            fun buybacks are 'no questions asked.'"

           6)Prior Legislation  :

             a)   AB 2487 (Robert Pacheco), of the 1999-2000 Legislative  
               Session, would have established a gun buyback program.  AB  
               2487 was held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee  
               suspense file.

             b)   SB 1496 (Solis), of the 1999-2000 Legislative Session,  
               would have established a gun buyback pilot program.  SB  
               1496 was held on the Assembly Appropriations Committee  
               suspense file.


          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          California Police Chiefs Association
          Coalition Against Gun Violence
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

          California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees
          California Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc.
          California Right to Carry
          Gun Owners of California
          National Rifle Association of America
          Three private individuals

          Analysis Prepared by  :    Shaun Naidu / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744 


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