BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                  SB 38
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          Date of Hearing:   August 14, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    SB 38 (De Leon) - As Amended:  August 6, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Public  

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


          This bill requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to establish  
          a 30-day amnesty period, beginning not later than July 1, 2015,  
          during which time a person prohibited from possessing a gun may  
          surrender any gun to local law enforcement without prosecution  
          for that possession.  Specifically, this bill:   

          1)Requires DOJ to provide written notification of the amnesty  
            period to all prohibited persons eligible to participate in  
            the amnesty period (no felons are eligible to participate in  
            the amnesty program) by first-class mail no later than 60  
            calendar days prior to the amnesty period.  The notification  
            shall specify the guns possessed by the prohibited person and  
            provide instructions for the surrender of the weapon(s).

          2)Requires that for each gun received by a local law enforcement  
            agency from a prohibited person during amnesty, the agency  
            shall submit to the DOJ the following information:

             a)   The name of the prohibited person that surrendered the  
             b)   The person's date of birth.
             c)   A description of the gun(s) surrendered, including  
               serial numbers. 
             d)   Any other information deemed necessary by the DOJ.

          3)Requires DOJ to enter the information received from local law  
            enforcement in the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) to  
            create a record of each gun surrendered during the amnesty  


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          4)Provides that at the end of the amnesty period, a person  
            prohibited from possessing a gun and eligible to participate  
            in the amnesty program, who maintains possession of a gun, is  
            subject to a civil fine of up to $2,500 per gun, in addition  
            to existing criminal penalties. 

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

           FISCAL EFFECT

           1)One-time special fund (Dealer Record of Sale Account (DROS))  
            costs to DOJ, likely less than $150,000, to enter information  
            received from local law enforcement into APPS.  This assumes  
            12,000 amnesty-eligible persons in APPS (excludes an estimated  
            8,000 felons) and minor data base adjustments.
          2)One-time DROS costs to DOJ, likely in the $75,000 range, to  
            provide notification by mail to non-felons on the APPS list.  
            According to DOJ, this process will require manual sorting.   

          3)One-time minor state-reimbursable costs (DROS), likely less  
            than $75,000, for local law enforcement agencies to report  
            specified information to DOJ regarding guns surrendered via  
            amnesty. This assumes about 25% of those eligible surrender  

          4)Potential DROS savings to DOJ, potentially in the low millions  
            of dollars, to the extent amnesty reduces the number of APPS  
            investigations and confiscations, which require a significant  
            amount of personnel hours. 

          5)Potential state and local law enforcement and incarceration  
            savings, potentially in the hundreds of thousands of dollars,  
            to the extent prohibited persons who surrender guns would have  
            otherwise been charged, convicted, and committed for illegal  

          6)Increase in civil fine revenues, potentially in the low  
            millions of dollars, to the extent the $2,500 civil fee is  

          (DROS is projected to have a year-end fund balance of $10.9  
          million in 2013-14, $10.6 million  in  2014-15, and $11.9  
          million in 2015-16.  This presumes the $24 million SB 140  


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          appropriation is expended equally over the three fiscal years.)

           1)Rationale  . DOJ estimates there are about 20,000 persons with  
            about 39,000 guns, including almost 2,000 assault weapons, on  
            the APPS list. These persons, by law, are not allowed to  
            possess guns. Due primarily to state and local fiscal  
            constraints, this backlog continues to grow. The author's  
            intent is to provide a one-time cost-effective amnesty window  
            to reduce this growing backlog.

           2)DOJ's Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS)  is an online  
            database that cross-references persons who possess a gun and  
            who, subsequent to possession of that gun, become a member of  
            the class of persons legally prohibited from possessing a gun.  
            Prohibition ranges from lifetime bans for anyone convicted of  
            a felony or addicted to a narcotic, as well as specified  
            violent misdemeanors, to 10-year bans for numerous  
            misdemeanors involving violence, to five-year bans for   
            specified misdemeanors or for being found to be a danger to  
            self or others, to temporary bans based on protective orders. 

            Law enforcement agencies have access to APPS and are thus able  
            to identify persons prohibited from possessing a gun. 

            According to DOJ, about half of the persons on the APPS list  
            are prohibited due to criminal history; about 30% due to  
            mental health status, and about 20% due to restraining orders.


           3)Current law authorizes DOJ to use DROS  , which is funded by a  
            $19 fee on gun purchases at the point-of-sale, for gun-related  
            regulatory activities, including enforcement activities  
            related to APPS (SB 819 (Leno), Statutes of 2011).

           4)Clarification recommended.  It is not clear how the timing  
            would work between DOJ's notification to persons on the APPS  
            list that an amnesty period will begin on a specified date and  
            the start of the amnesty period. Would ongoing efforts by DOJ  
            and local law enforcement to disarm prohibited persons  


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            continue up to and during the amnesty period? 

           5)The proposed amnesty cannot address prohibited possession of  
            long guns  because, prior to January 1, 2014, only transfer  
            records pertaining to handguns and assault weapons are  
            maintained by DOJ. Thus APPS does not include rifles or  
            shotguns prohibited persons possess pre-2014. A person who  
            appears on the APPS list due to having purchased a handgun may  
            have in their possession that handgun and a long gun, or  
            several long guns, meaning a prohibited person could  
            participate in the amnesty program by turning in the handgun  
            that DOJ records reflect them having legally acquired, while  
            maintaining illegal possession of long guns that DOJ has no  
            record of that person possessing. 

           6)Related legislation  includes SB 140 (Leno), Statutes of 2013,  
            which appropriated $24 million from DROS to DOJ to fund  
            enforcement of illegal gun possession by relieving weapons  
            from prohibited persons. 

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