BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 1020
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   May 8, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    AB 1020 (Bonta) - As Amended:  April 25, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              Public  
          SafetyVote:  7-0

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          No     Reimbursable:               


          This bill requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to send a  
          notice during the 10-day waiting period to every person who  
          applies to purchase a gun informing him or her of gun laws  
          relating to gun transfers and storage, as specified. Requires  
          the notice to include a website for DOJ's summary of gun laws  
          and requires DOJ to update the summary annually.

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          Significant ongoing special fund costs, in the range of $700,000  
          (Dealer Record of Sales Account (DROS) to program, process and  
          provide upwards of 1.2 million notices per year and maintain an  
          updated gun laws website. 

          In 2012-13, the number of gun purchases is expected to be 1.2  
          million, increasing to 1.3 million in 2013-14.

           1)Rationale  . The author's intent is to replicate statewide a  
            program established by the L.A. City Attorney's Office, in  
            conjunction with local, state and federal officials, to inform  
            gun owners of rights and responsibilities. 

            According to the author, "Research suggests that one important  
            flow of illegal guns to criminals involves legal purchasers  
            who engaged in one or two "straw purchases" to provide guns to  
            someone with a disqualifying criminal record. The mail  
            campaign was premised on the idea that straw purchasers can be  
            deterred from illegally transferring guns. Because these  


                                                                  AB 1020
                                                                  Page  2

            individuals had no prior arrests or convictions that  
            prohibited them from making a legal firearm purchase, they  
            could be deterred more easily than individuals with an  
            existing criminal history.

            "According to several RAND studies, the mail program had a  
            significantly increased number of firearms reported lost and  
            stolen-more than doubling the reporting. Additionally, there  
            was an increase in approved firearms transactions not being  
            completed, suggesting a deterrence effect, but the results  
            require further examination."

           2)Current law  requires all handgun purchasers in California to  
            take an exam on handgun safety and obtain a 75% passing score  
            to receive a certificate. A written guide - approved by the  
            DOJ - is available to prepare for the Handgun Safety  
            Certificate Test for purchase at firearms dealers for 50  

           3)Support  . According to the California Chapters of the Brady  
            Campaign, based on a 2007-2008 study in L.A. aimed at new gun  
            buyers to determine whether a public safety message delivered  
            by mail during the waiting period could modify gun purchasers'  
            behavior, the letter appeared to have no effect on the legal  
            firearm transfer rate of guns showing up in a crime. However,  
            the rate at which guns were reported stolen by those who  
            received the letter was more than twice the rate of those who  
            did not receive the letter. The study concludes that gun law  
            messaging increased the likelihood that new gun owners would  
            report the theft of recently purchased guns. What could not be  
            determined from the study was whether the increase in theft  
            reports was the result of straw buyers filing false reports to  
            try and break the paper trail that would lead back to their  
            illegal activities. In either case, the additional data on gun  
            theft is of investigative value to law enforcement. 
           Analysis Prepared by  :    Geoff Long / APPR. / (916) 319-2081