BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                  SB 38
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          Date of Hearing:   July 2, 2013
          Chief Counsel:      Gregory Pagan


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                                 Tom Ammiano, Chair

                     SB 38 (De Leon) - As Amended:  June 27, 2013
                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee


           SUMMARY  :   Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish  
          a 30-day amnesty period, commencing not later than July 1, 2015,  
          during which a person prohibited from possessing a firearm may  
          surrender any firearm they possess to a local law enforcement  
          agency without being subject to criminal prosecution for that  
          possession.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Provides that in order to reduce the number of firearms  
            possessed by prohibited persons listed in the Prohibited Armed  
            Persons File (APPS), a 15-day amnesty period shall be  
            established, commencing on a date to be determined by the DOJ  
            but not later than July 1, 2015, during which a person  
            prohibited from possessing a firearm may surrender his or her  
            firearm to a local law enforcement agency without being  
            charged with illegal possession of a firearm, as specified.   
            No person convicted of a felony shall be permitted to  
            participate in the amnesty program.

          2)Requires the DOJ to provide written notification of the  
            amnesty period to all prohibited persons eligible to  
            participate in the amnesty period by first-class mail no later  
            than 60 calendar days prior to the commencement of the amnesty  
            period.  The notification shall specify the firearms possessed  
            by the prohibited person and provide instructions for the  
            surrender of the illegal firearms.

          3)States that for each firearm received by a local law  
            enforcement agency from a prohibited person during the amnesty  
            period, the agency shall submit to the DOJ the following  
            information:

             a)   The name of the prohibited person that surrendered the  
               firearm.









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             b)   The person's date of birth.

             c)   A description of the firearm or firearms surrendered.

             d)   The serial number of the firearm or firearms  
               surrendered; and,

             e)   Any other information deemed necessary by the DOJ.

          4)Requires the DOJ to enter the firearm information received  
            from local law enforcement in the APPS to create a record of  
            each firearm surrendered during the amnesty period.

          5)Provides that a prohibited person who surrenders a firearm, as  
            specified, shall not be charged with illegal possession of  
            firearms for any firearm the DOJ has on record as having been  
            surrendered as part of the amnesty program.

          6)Provides that at the end of the 30-day amnesty period, a  
            person that is prohibited from possessing a firearm and  
            eligible to participate in the amnesty period, who still  
            maintains possession of his or her firearm shall be subject to  
            a civil fine of up to $2,500 per firearm in addition to  
            criminal penalties specified in other provisions of law.

          7)States that a prohibited person shall not be charged with  
            illegal possession of a firearm or subject to a civil fine if  
            her or she provides evidence satisfactory to the DOJ that he  
            or she lawfully surrendered his or her firearm prior to the  
            commencement of the amnesty period.

          8)Requires that any firearm surrendered to a local law  
            enforcement pursuant to this program shall be destroyed, as  
            specified.

          9)Exempts the surrender of a firearm to a local law enforcement  
            agency from the prohibition against transferring a firearm  
            except through a licensed firearms dealer.

           EXISTING LAW  :

          1)Provides that the Attorney General (AG) shall establish and  
            maintain an online database to be known as the APPS.  The  
            purpose of the file is to cross-reference persons who have  
            ownership or possession of a firearm on or after January 1,  








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            1991, as indicated by a record in the Consolidated Firearms  
            Information System and who, subsequent to the date of that  
            ownership or possession of a firearm, fall within a class of  
            persons who are prohibited from owning or possessing a  
            firearm.  (Penal Code Section 30000, et seq.)

          2)Punishes as a felony any person who has been convicted of a  
            felony or another specified offense under the laws of the  
            United States, this state, or any other state, government, or  
            country or who is addicted to the use of any narcotic drug,  
            and who owns, purchases, receives, or has in his or her  
            possession or under custody or control any firearm.  (Penal  
            Code Section 29800.)

          3)Makes it an alternate felony/misdemeanor for any person who  
            has been convicted of a specified misdemeanor and who, within  
            10 years of the conviction, owns, purchases, receives, or has  
            in his or her possession or under custody or control of any  
            firearm.  (Penal Code Section 29805.)

          4)Requires the court, at the time judgment is imposed, for any  
            person who is prohibited from owning, purchasing, receiving,  
            possessing, or having custody or control of, any firearm to  
            provide on a form supplied by DOJ, a notice to the person  
            informing him or her of the prohibition regarding firearms and  
            include a form to facilitate the transfer of firearms.  [Penal  
            Code Section 29810(a).]

          5)Punishes by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one  
            year or in the state prison, by a fine not exceeding $1,000,  
            or by both a person who purchases or receives, or attempts to  
            purchase or receive, a firearm knowing that the person is  
            prohibited from doing so by a temporary restraining order,  
            injunction, or protective order, as specified.  [Penal Code  
            Section 29825(a).]

          6)Punishes by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one  
            year, by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both a person who  
            owns or possesses a firearm knowing that he or she is  
            prohibited from doing so by a temporary restraining order,  
            injunction, or protective order, as specified.  [Penal Code  
            Section 29825(b).]

          7)Prohibits a person from having in his or her possession or  
            under his or her custody or control, or purchasing or  








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            receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, any firearms  
            whatsoever or any other deadly weapon, if on or after January  
            1, 1992, he or she has been admitted to a facility and is  
            receiving inpatient treatment and, in the opinion of the  
            attending health professional who is primarily responsible for  
            the patient's treatment of a mental disorder, is a danger to  
            self or others, as specified, even though the patient has  
            consented to that treatment. A person is not subject to this  
            subdivision once he or she is discharged from the facility.   
            [Welfare and Institutions Code (WIC) Section 8100(a).]

          8)States that a person shall not have in his or her possession  
            or under his or her custody or control, or purchase or  
            receive, or attempt to purchase or receive, any firearms  
            whatsoever or any other deadly weapon for a period of six  
            months whenever, on or after January 1, 1992, he or she  
            communicates to a licensed psychotherapist, as defined, of a  
            serious threat of physical violence against a reasonably  
            identifiable victim or victims.  The six-month period shall  
            commence from the date that the licensed psychotherapist  
            reports to the local law enforcement agency the identity of  
            the person making the communication.  The prohibition provided  
            for in this subdivision shall not apply unless the licensed  
            psychotherapist notifies a local law enforcement agency of the  
            threat by that person.  The person, however, may own, possess,  
            have custody or control over, or receive or purchase any  
            firearm if a superior court, upon petition of the person, has  
            found, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the person is  
            likely to use firearms or other deadly weapons in a safe and  
            lawful manner.  [WIC Section 8100(b)(1).]

          9)Requires the DOJ, upon receiving a report from the local law  
            enforcement agency of the identity of a person described in  
            the section above, to notify by certified mail a person  
            subject to this prohibition, of the following [WIC Section  
            8100(b)(2)]:

             a)   That he or she is prohibited from possessing, having  
               custody or control over, receiving, or purchasing any  
               firearm or other deadly weapon for a period of six months  
               commencing from the date that the licensed psychotherapist  
               reports to the local law enforcement agency the identity of  
               the person making the communication. The notice shall state  
               the date when the prohibition commences and ends; and,









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             b)   That he or she may petition a court, as provided in this  
               subdivision, for an order permitting the person to own,  
               possess, control, receive, or purchase a firearm.

          10)States a violation of these prohibitions against possessing a  
            firearm or deadly weapon shall be a public offense, punishable  
            by imprisonment in a county jail as a felony for 16 months, 2  
            or 3 years, or as a misdemeanor for not more than one year, by  
            a fine not exceeding one $1,000, or by both that imprisonment  
            and fine.  [WIC Section 8100(g).]

          11)Provides that any person who knowingly supplies, sells,  
            gives, or allows possession or control of a firearm to any  
            person who is prohibited as a mentally disordered person shall  
            be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for two, three,  
            or four years.  [WIC Section 8101(b).]

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  Unknown

           COMMENTS  :   

           1)Author's Statement  :  According to the author, "In an effort to  
            reduce the Armed Prohibited Persons System backlog, SB 140  
            (Leno & Steinberg) was signed by the Governor this year to  
            provide the DOJ with additional resources to accelerate the  
            identification and confiscation of handguns and assault  
            weapons possessed by criminals.  Each month, hundreds of  
            individuals are added to the APPS list when they fall into a  
            prohibited status.  Although the DOJ seizes thousands of  
            firearms each year, it currently does not have the capacity to  
            keep up with the growth of the list.  There are close to  
            20,000 individuals prohibited from possessing firearms on the  
            APPS list who are linked to almost 39,000 handguns and 1,700  
            assault weapons.  The illegal possession of these firearms  
            presents a substantial danger to public safety and every  
            effort must be taken to collect these guns in the immediate  
            future.

          "An amnesty window will further current efforts to get guns out  
            of the hands of criminals by encouraging those on the APPS  
            list to voluntary surrender illegally possessed weapons  
            without fear of prosecution.  Senate Bill 38 would give  
            persons who are armed and prohibited from possessing firearms  
            a brief amnesty where they can voluntarily surrender their  
            guns before the Attorney General executes orders to confiscate  








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            them.  Failure to voluntarily surrender illegally possessed  
            weapons within this window would carry a $2,500 civil fine for  
            each firearm, in addition to existing criminal penalties for  
            the illegal possession of firearms. 

          "Similar programs have proved successful at the local level.  
            Police departments across the country have taken the  
            initiative to organize gun buy-back programs that have helped  
            decreased the number of guns on the streets.  In the City of  
            Los Angeles, in one day alone, 75 assault weapons, 698 rifles,  
            363 shotguns, 901 handguns, and two rocket launchers were  
            submitted to the Los Angeles Police Department.

          "Through a Gun Amnesty Program, non-felonious prohibited persons  
            will have an opportunity to safely surrender their firearms to  
            law enforcement within a fifteen day period.  These  
            individuals will not be charged for the illegal possession of  
            firearms if they submit all of their illegally possessed guns.  
             Nevertheless, the amnesty program will not eliminate  
            liability for any other illegal action committed by prohibited  
            individuals.  Anyone who fails to turn in his or her weapons  
            during the fifteen day amnesty window will have to pay a civil  
            fine for each firearm and will be subject to criminal charges  
            for the illegal possession of firearms.

          "By creating a strong incentive for the submission of illegally  
            possessed firearms, this measure will reduce the backlog on  
            the APPS list.  As a result, DOJ will be able to concentrate  
            resources on the most dangerous criminals."

           REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION  :

           Support 
           
          California Chapter of the American College of Emergency  
          Physicians
          Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
          Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety
           
            Opposition 
           
          Gun Owners of California 


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Gregory Pagan / PUB. S. / (916)  








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          319-3744