BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




                   Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary
                            Senator Kevin de León, Chair


          AB 500 (Ammiano) - Firearms: safe storage and waiting periods. 
          
          Amended: May 24, 2013           Policy Vote: Public Safety 5-2
          Urgency: No                     Mandate: Yes
          Hearing Date: August 12, 2013                           
          Consultant: Jolie Onodera       
          
          This bill does not meet the criteria for referral to the  
          Suspense File.
          
          
          Bill Summary: AB 500 would establish safe firearms storage  
          requirements when persons prohibited from owning or possessing a  
          firearm reside in a household where a firearm is present.  
          Specifically, this bill:
               Prohibits a person residing with a person prohibited by  
              state or federal law from possessing a firearm from keeping  
              a firearm at that residence unless the firearm is kept  
              secured or carried on the person, as specified.
               Authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to delay  
              firearms sales for up to 30 days if a record check indicates  
              the buyer has been taken into custody for a mental health  
              evaluation or charged with a crime but the final disposition  
              cannot be ascertained within the 10-day waiting period.
               Commencing January 1, 2015, requires licensed firearms  
              dealers to notify the DOJ if, after the applicable waiting  
              period, the firearm is transferred to the buyer, as  
              specified.

          Fiscal Impact: 
              Non-reimbursable local enforcement costs offset to a degree  
              by fine revenue to the extent persons are charged and  
              convicted of misdemeanor violations of the provisions of  
              this bill.
              Minor ongoing administrative costs of $11,000 (Special  
              Fund*) per year to the DOJ to mail delay notifications to  
              purchasers.
              Reduced likelihood of litigation to DOJ due to the  
              inability to complete the background checks under the  
              existing timelines prescribed by law.
               Potential ongoing minor court-related costs (General  
              Fund**) for new misdemeanor filings.








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              While the impact of this bill independently on local jails  
              is likely to be minor, the cumulative effect of new  
              misdemeanors could create General Fund cost pressure on  
              capital outlay, staffing, programming, the courts, and other  
              resources in the context of criminal justice realignment. 
          *Dealers' Record of Sale (DROS) 
          **Trial Court Trust Fund

          Background: California law requires that all firearms be safely  
          stored. In the case of loaded firearms, a person may be guilty  
          of a misdemeanor or a felony for keeping a loaded firearm,  
          should a minor obtain and use it, resulting in injury or death,  
          or carry it to a public place. 

          First-degree criminal storage, when a child gains access to a  
          firearm and causes death or great bodily injury, is an alternate  
          felony/misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months, two, or three years  
          in county jail (or state prison if previously convicted of a  
          serious or violent felony), and/or a fine of up to $10,000, or  
          for a misdemeanor, up to one year in county jail and/or a fine  
          of up to $1,000. 

          Second-degree criminal storage, when a child gains access to a  
          firearm and causes injury, or carries the firearm to a public  
          place, or brandishes the firearm, is a misdemeanor, punishable  
          by up to one year in county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

          This bill addresses the issue of firearm possession by a person  
          who resides with a person who is prohibited by law from owning a  
          firearm. Under existing state law, it is a crime for any person  
          to sell, supply, deliver, or give possession or control of a  
          firearm to anyone whom the person knows or has cause to believe  
          is prohibited from possessing a firearm. (PC § 27500) Parallel  
          federal law makes it a crime for any person to "sell or  
          otherwise dispose" of any firearm or ammunition to any person  
          knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person  
          is prohibited from possessing a firearm. (18 U.S.C. § 922(d))

          Proposed Law: This bill would prohibit a person who is residing  
          with someone who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under  
          state or federal law from keeping a firearm at that residence  
          unless:
                 The firearm is maintained within a locked container.
                 The firearm is disabled by a firearm safety device.








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                 The firearm is maintained within a locked gun safe.
                 The firearm is maintained within a locked trunk.
                 The firearm is locked with a locking device as  
               specified, which has rendered the firearm inoperable.
                 The firearm is carried on the person or within close  
               enough proximity thereto that the individual can readily  
               retrieve and use the firearm as if carried on the person.

          A violation of this section would be a misdemeanor, punishable  
          by up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or  
          both.

          In addition, this bill specifies procedures to be adopted to  
          delay transfer of a firearm to a buyer for up to 30 days. This  
          bill provides that the DOJ shall immediately notify a firearms  
          dealer to delay the transfer of a firearm to the purchaser if,  
          during the 10-day waiting period, records indicate either of the  
          following, and the DOJ is unable to ascertain whether the  
          purchaser is a person who is prohibited from firearm possession  
          prior to the conclusion of the waiting period:
                 The purchaser has been taken into custody and placed in  
               a facility for mental health treatment or evaluation, as  
               specified. 
                 The purchaser has been arrested for, or charged with, a  
               crime that would make him or her, if convicted, a person  
               who has applied to purchase another handgun within the last  
               30 days, or is prohibited by state or federal law from  
               possessing a firearm.

          The DOJ would be required to notify the purchaser by mail  
          regarding the delay and explain the process the purchaser may  
          follow. If the DOJ is unable to ascertain the final disposition  
          of the arrest or charge, or the outcome of the mental health  
          treatment or evaluation, within 30 days of the original  
          submission by the dealer of purchaser information to the DOJ,  
          the DOJ shall notify the dealer and the dealer may transfer the  
          firearm to the purchaser, as specified. Commencing January 1,  
          2015, this bill would require licensed firearms dealers to  
          notify the DOJ if, after the applicable waiting period, the  
          firearm is transferred to the buyer, as specified.

          Related Legislation: SB 108 (Yee) 2013 would require firearms  
          owners to keep firearms in a locked container or disabled with a  
          firearm safety device, as specified, when the owner is not at  








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          home. This bill is pending hearing in the Assembly Committee on  
          Public Safety.

          SB 363 (Wright) 2013 would expand the existing crime of  
          "criminal storage of a firearm" to extend the firearm owner's  
          knowing standard to persons prohibited from possessing a  
          firearm. This bill is pending a vote on the Assembly Floor. 

          AB 231 (Ting) 2013 would create the crime of criminal firearm  
          storage in the third degree if the person negligently stores or  
          leaves a loaded firearm in a location where a child is likely to  
          gain access to the firearm, unless reasonable action is taken by  
          the person to secure the firearm against access by a child. 

          Staff Comments: The DOJ has indicated the provisions of this  
          bill will result in ongoing minor increased costs of $11,000  
          (Special Fund) for the postage associated with mailing delay  
          notifications to firearms purchasers as required by this bill.

          The provisions of this bill could result in increased court  
          costs due to additional misdemeanor filings for the offense of  
          improper storage of a firearm as specified in this measure. It  
          is unknown how many new filings would result due to the  
          provisions of this bill, but it is estimated the impact to the  
          courts would not be significant. 

          The creation of new misdemeanors has historically been analyzed  
          by this Committee to result in non-reimbursable state mandated  
          costs for local law enforcement and incarceration. Staff notes,  
          however, that the creation of new misdemeanors taken  
          cumulatively could increase the statewide adult jail population  
          to a degree that could potentially impact the flexibility of  
          counties to manage their jail populations recently exacerbated  
          under 2011 Public Safety Realignment. While the provisions of  
          this bill are likely to be minor, the cumulative effect of all  
          new misdemeanors could create unknown General Fund cost pressure  
          on capital outlay, staffing, programming, the courts, and other  
          resources.














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