BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 199|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
                                           
                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 199
          Author:   De León (D), Evans (D), Wolk (D), et al.
          Amended:  1/6/14
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  5-1, 1/14/14
          AYES:  Hancock, De León, Liu, Mitchell, Steinberg
          NOES:  Knight
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Anderson

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  5-1, 1/23/14
          AYES:  De León, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NOES:  Gaines
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Walters


           SUBJECT  :    BB devices

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill prohibits the sale of BB devices in  
          California unless the entire exterior surface of the device is  
          brightly colored or the device is transparent, as specified.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing federal law requires that no person shall  
          manufacture, enter into commerce, ship, transport, or receive  
          any toy, look-alike, or imitation firearm ("device"), as  
          defined, unless such device contains, or has affixed to it a  
          bright orange marking, as specified, covering the circumference  
          of the barrel from the muzzle end for a depth of at least six  
          millimeters.  This requirement does not apply to "traditional  
                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          2

          B-B, paint-ball, or pellet-firing air guns that expel a  
          projectile through the force of air pressure."  

          Existing state law:

          1.Prohibits, subject to specific exceptions, purchase, sale,  
            manufacture, shipping, transport, distribution, or receipt, by  
            mail order or in any other manner, of an imitation firearm.   
            Manufacture for export is permitted. 

          2.Defines "imitation firearm" for most purposes to mean any BB  
            device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is  
            so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance  
            to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to  
            perceive that the device is a firearm.  However, for purposes  
            of the prohibition on commercial manufacture, sale, etcetera,  
            "imitation firearm" does not include: 

                 A nonfiring collector's replica that is historically  
               significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a  
               wall plaque or presentation case. 

                 A BB device. 

                 A device where the entire exterior surface of the device  
               is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright  
               green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either  
               singly or as the predominant color in combination with  
               other colors in any pattern, as provided by federal  
               regulations governing imitation firearms, or where the  
               entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent  
               materials which permits unmistakable observation of the  
               device's complete contents, as provided by federal  
               regulations governing imitation firearms.  

          1.Provides that every person who furnishes any BB device to any  
            minor, without the express or implied permission of a parent  
            or legal guardian of the minor, is guilty of a misdemeanor,  
            punishable by up to six months in county jail, a fine of up to  
            $1,000, or both.  

          2.Provides that no person may openly display or expose any  
            imitation firearm in a public place, as defined.  A violation  
            is an infraction punishable by a fine of $100 for the first  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          3

            offense, and $300 for a second offense.  A third or subsequent  
            violation is punishable as a misdemeanor.  

          This bill:

          1.Includes BB devices within the definition of "imitation  
            firearm" for purposes of the prohibition of the purchase,  
            sale, manufacture, and distribution of imitation firearms, but  
            exclude spot marker guns that expel a projectile larger than  
            10 millimeters in caliber.

          2.Specifies that BB devices are subject to specified  
            requirements, which require all BB devices sold, or  
            manufactured for sale in California be either:  (a) white,  
            bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright  
            blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the  
            predominant color in combination with other colors in any  
            pattern, or, (b) constructed of transparent or translucent  
            materials which permits unmistakable observation of the  
            device's complete contents.

          3.Deletes the six millimeter caliber restriction on the  
            projectile size from the definition of a BB device.

           Prior Legislation
           
          SB 798 (De León, 2011) would have made the provision imposing a  
          civil fine on the sale, manufacture, transportation, receipt, or  
          distribution of imitation firearms for commercial purposes  
          applicable to BB devices.  The bill was later amended to remove  
          the state preemption of any local ordinances regarding the  
          manufacture, sale, or possession of imitation firearms, BB  
          devices, and air rifles.  The bill failed passage in the  
          Assembly Public Safety Committee.

          AB 2333 (Solorio, 2012) would have authorized local law  
          enforcement to issue a warning or impose a $100 fine on a parent  
          when his/her child openly displays or exposes a BB device in a  
          public place, as specified.  The bill was vetoed by Governor  
          Brown.

          SB 1315 (De León, Chapter 214, Statutes of 2012) creates an  
          exemption from the general state preemption of the field  
          regarding the regulation of imitation firearms, to allow the  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          4

          County of Los Angeles, and any city within the County, to enact  
          and enforce an ordinance or resolution that is more restrictive  
          than state law regulating the manufacture, sale, possession, or  
          use of any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other  
          device, that is so substantially similar to an existing firearm  
          as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a  
          firearm and expels a projectile that is no more than 16  
          millimeters in diameter.

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

           Non-reimbursable local enforcement costs offset to a degree by  
            fine revenue to the extent the restrictions on the sale and  
            manufacture of imitation firearms to include BB devices result  
            in increased violations of existing law related to imitation  
            firearms.

           Potential near-term loss of sales tax revenue of $40,000  
            (General Fund) for every $1 million in annual BB device sales  
            impacted in California to the extent the restrictions on the  
            purchase, sale, and manufacture of imitation firearms result  
            in reduced sales of BB devices.  Future year impact could be  
            somewhat mitigated to the extent consumers shift to purchases  
            of alternative devices.

           Potential court-related costs (General Fund*) for additional  
            misdemeanor and/or civil court filings resulting from  
            increased violations of law pertaining to imitation firearms.

           While the impact of this bill independently on local jails is  
            likely to be minor, the cumulative effect of expanded  
            misdemeanors could create General Fund cost pressure on  
            capital outlay, staffing, programming, the courts, and other  
            resources in the context of criminal justice realignment. 

           Potential future cost savings in medical, emergency services,  
            administrative and criminal justice costs to the extent the  
            provisions of this bill reduce the incidence of  
            firearms-related injuries and death.

          *Trial Court Trust Fund

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          5


           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  1/23/14)

          City of Los Angeles
          Sonoma County District Attorney, Jill Ravitch
          Sonoma County Sheriff, Steve Freitas

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  1/23/14)

          Airsoft Safety Foundation
          Animal Pest Management Services, Inc.
          California Association of Firearms Retailers
          National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.
          Outdoors Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International
          The California Sportsman's Lobby

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the Los Angeles Airport  
          Peace Officers Association:

            Imitation guns are deliberately fabricated to be  
            indistinguishable from real firearms.  Law enforcement  
            officers have extreme difficulty distinguishing these fake  
            guns from lethal weapons, particularly when officers must  
            react within seconds to emergency situations.  One of the  
            primary dangers posed by replicas is that such guns are used  
            by children and young adults who may not comprehend the  
            seriousness of displaying them around unsuspecting law  
            enforcements officers or around armed individuals.  As a  
            result, officers and community residents can find themselves  
            in precarious situations when unable to distinguish replica  
            guns from handguns and assault weapons.

            On October 22, 2013, a thirteen-year-old boy from Santa Rosa  
            was tragically shot and killed by Sonoma County deputies who  
            mistook the plastic airsoft gun he was carrying for an actual  
            AK-47.  This tragedy is neither new nor uncommon.  A 1990  
            study commissioned by the Department of Justice found that  
            there are well over 200 incidents per year in which imitation  
            guns are mistaken for real firearms.

            By requiring that all BB guns and pellet guns be made in  
            distinguishably bright colors, SB 199 takes a reasonable  
            approach to protect both community residents and police  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          6

            officers.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    According to the National Shooting  
          Sports Foundation, Inc. (NSSF):

            NSSF opposes the intervention of government at any level in  
            the free marketplace by the artificial creation of a  
            competitive advantage for the manufacturers of one product  
            over the manufacturers of another product in the same product  
            category.  This is interference in commerce and, in the case  
            of paintball guns and other BB devices; it is interference in  
            interstate commerce.  Most BB devices are manufactured outside  
            of California.

            It is important to NSSF members that California's BB device  
            laws be consistent with federal law.  The proposed coloration  
            of BB guns and pellet guns in 
            SB 199 is in direct conflict with federal law, and it is  
            strongly opposed.

            BB devices are widely used to train new shooters in the safe  
            use and handling of firearms.  Most new shooters do not shoot  
            a real firearm until after they have been trained with a BB  
            device.  SB 199 could result in many of the most popular  
            training devices being no longer available in California for  
            this purpose.

            Manufacturers cannot violate federal law in order to be in  
            compliance with conflicting, federally preempted state law.

            NSSF believes that California's existing BB device laws are  
            adequate.  SB 199 would not improve public safety, but it  
            would result in costly litigation over conflicts of state law  
            with preemptive federal law.


          JG:k  1/24/14   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****




                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 199
                                                                     Page  
          7














































                                                                CONTINUED