BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        SB 374|
          |Office of Senate Floor Analyses   |                              |
          |1020 N Street, Suite 524          |                              |
          |(916) 651-1520         Fax: (916) |                              |
          |327-4478                          |                              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           
                                           
                                    THIRD READING


          Bill No:  SB 374
          Author:   Steinberg (D), Hancock (D), and Yee (D)
          Amended:  5/28/13
          Vote:     21

           
           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 4/16/13
          AYES:  Hancock, Block, De León, Liu, Steinberg
          NOES:  Anderson, Knight

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  5-2, 5/23/13
          AYES:  De León, Hill, Lara, Padilla, Steinberg
          NOES:  Walters, Gaines


           SUBJECT  :    Firearms:  assault weapons

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill amends the definition of assault weapon as  
          it pertains to rifles and defines fixed magazine and detachable  
          magazine.  This bill requires that a person who lawfully  
          possessed an assault weapon, as specified, that does not have a  
          fixed magazine, to register the firearm by July 1, 2014, with  
          the Department of Justice (DOJ).  This bill enacts provisions  
          concerning requirements for a Firearm ownership Record, as  
          specified.  

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law:

          1.Contains legislative findings and declarations that the  
            proliferation and use of assault and .50 BMG rifles poses a  
                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          2

            threat to the health, safety, and security of all citizens of  
            California.

          2.States legislative intent to place restrictions on the use of  
            assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles and to establish a  
            registration and permit procedure for their lawful sale and  
            possession. 

          3.Defines "assault weapon" as one of certain specified rifles  
            and pistols or as:

             A.   A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the capacity  
               to accept a detachable magazine and has at least one of the  
               following:

                     A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath  
                 the action of the weapon;
                     A thumbhole stock;
                     A vertical handgrip;
                     A folding or telescoping stock;
                     A grenade launcher or flare launcher;
                     A flash suppressor; or
                     A forward handgrip.

             A.   A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed  
               magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds;
             B.   A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall  
               length of less than 30 inches; 
             C.   A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to accept a  
               detachable magazine and has at least one of the following:

                     A threaded barrel, capable of accepting a flash  
                 suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
                     A second handgrip;
                     A shroud that is attached to, or partially or  
                 completely encircles, the barrel that allows the bearer  
                 to fire the weapon without burning his or her hand,  
                 excepting a slide that encloses the barrel; or
                     The capacity to accept a detachable magazine at some  
                 location outside of the pistol grip.

             A.   A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that has  
               the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds;
             B.   A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the following:

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          3


                     A folding or telescoping stock; and,
                     A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath  
                 the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock, or vertical  
                 handgrip.

             A.   A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to accept a  
               detachable magazine; and
             B.   Any shotgun that has a revolving cylinder.  

          1.Defines a "detachable magazine" as any ammunition feeding  
            device that can be removed readily from the firearm with  
            neither disassembly of the firearm action nor use of a tool  
            being required. A bullet or ammunition cartridge is considered  
            a tool. Ammunition feeding device includes any belted or  
            linked ammunition, but does not include clips, en bloc clips,  
            or stripper clips that load cartridges into the magazine. 

          2.Provides that unlawful possession of an assault weapon is an  
            alternate felony-misdemeanor and shall be punished by  
            imprisonment in a county jail for a period not exceeding one  
            year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of  
            Section 1170 (16 months, two or three years).  Notwithstanding  
            the above, a first violation of these provisions is punishable  
            by a fine not exceeding $500 if the person was found in  
            possession of no more than two firearms and certain specified  
            conditions are met. 

          3.Requires that any person who lawfully possesses an assault  
            weapon, as specified, must register the firearm with DOJ, as  
            specified. 

          This bill:

          1.Requires that on and after July 1, 2014, a Firearm Ownership  
            Record shall be submitted by prepaid mail or delivered in  
            person to the DOJ for every firearm an individual owns or  
            possesses. The following firearms are exempt from this  
            requirement:

             A.   Handguns purchased from a licensed firearms dealer and  
               documented by a Dealers' Record of Sale transaction on and  
               after January 1, 1991.
             B.   Rifles without detachable magazines and shotguns  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          4

               purchased prior to January 1, 2014.
             C.   Assault weapons registered with the DOJ, as specified.
             D.   Firearms for which a Firearm Ownership Record has been  
               previously filed by the current owner.

          1.Authorizes DOJ to charge a fee in an amount sufficient to  
            reimburse it for the reasonable costs of maintaining the  
            Firearm Ownership Record program, but in no case more than $19  
            per transaction to process the Firearm Ownership Record. After  
            the DOJ establishes the fee amount, it may adjust the fee  
            amount annually as necessary to cover the reasonable costs of  
            administering the program. The fees shall be deposited into  
            the Dealers' Record of Sale Special Account.

          2.Amends the definition of an assault weapon as it pertains to  
            rifles only. The new definition would be that a rifle is an  
            assault weapon if it is:

             A.   A semiautomatic, rimfire or centerfire rifle that does  
               not have a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept no  
               more than 10 rounds, or
             B.   A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an overall  
               length of less than 30 inches.

          1.Defines a "detachable magazine" as "an ammunition feeding  
            device that can be removed readily from the firearm without  
            disassembly of the firearm action."

          2.Defines a "fixed magazine" as an ammunition feeding device  
            contained in, or permanently attached to, a firearm in such a  
            manner that the device cannot be removed without disassembly  
            of the firearm action.

          3.Provides that a person who, between January 1, 2001, and prior  
            to January 1, 2014, lawfully possessed an assault weapon that  
            does not have a fixed magazine, as defined, and including  
            those weapons with an ammunition feeding device that can be  
            removed readily from the firearm with the use of a tool, shall  
            register the firearm by July 1, 2014, with the DOJ pursuant to  
            procedures determined by the DOJ.

          4.Provides that the department may charge a fee for registration  
            of up to $20 per person but not to exceed the actual  
            processing costs of the department.  After the department  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          5

            establishes fees sufficient to reimburse the department for  
            processing costs, fees charged shall increase at a rate not to  
            exceed the department's actual processing costs.  The fees  
            shall be deposited into the Dealers' Record of Sale Special  
            Account.

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

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

                 One-time costs of $24.6 million (Special Fund*) over two  
               years for the DOJ to process firearm ownership records for  
               an estimated five million firearm owners in the state, as  
               well as process registration submittals for lawfully  
               possessed assault weapons over six months until July 2014.

                 Annual ongoing processing costs of about $175,000  
               (Special Fund*) to process 30,000 to 50,000 firearm  
               ownership records to be fully offset by transaction fees  
               collected from registrants. 

                 Unknown, increased annual state incarceration costs  
               potentially in the millions of dollars (General Fund).  For  
               every 100 new felony convictions (both for  
               manufacturing/sale and possession), costs in the range of  
               $2.8 million to $6 million, compounding to $11.2 million to  
               $24 million for overlapping sentences.

                 Increased annual local incarceration costs potentially  
               in the millions of dollars (Local) for various felony and  
               misdemeanor violations.

                 Potential near-term loss of sales tax revenue of $1.6  
               million (General Fund) per 10% of annual rifle sales in  
               California.  Future year impact could be somewhat mitigated  
               to the extent consumers shift to purchases of alternative  
               firearms.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  5/28/13)

          AAUW, Santa Barbara - Goleta Valley Branch
          AAUW, Santa Maria Branch
          ADL, Anti-Defamation League 

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          6

          Alameda County District Attorney, Nancy O'Malley
          Alameda Police Department, Chief Michael Noonan
          Auburn Area Democratic Club
          Bend the Arc: Jewish Partnership for Justice
          California Chapter of the American College of Emergency  
          Physicians (California ACEP)
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          California Church Impact
          California Federation of Teachers 
          Christy Lynn Wilson Foundation Violence Prevention Coalition,  
          Greater Los                                                  
          Angeles 
          Chula Vista Police Department, Chief David Bejarano
          City of Oakland
          Clue California
          Coalition Against Gun Violence, a Santa Barbra County Coalition 
          Contra Costa County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Courage Campaign
          CREDO Action 
          Democrat Women of Santa Barbara County
          Doctors for America
          Friends Committee on Legislation of California
          Laguna Woods Democratic Club
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
          Livermore Chief of Police, Randy Sonnenberg
          Long Beach Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
          Los Angeles County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Los Angeles County Sheriff, Leroy Baca
          Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
          Los Angeles Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck
          Marin County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
          National Council of Jewish Women
          Neighbors United to Protect our Communities
          Nevada County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Oakland/Alameda County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent  
          Gun                                                    Violence 
          Orange County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          7

          Orange County Democrats
          PICO California
          Pomona Valley Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          San Diego County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          San Fernando Valley Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          San Francisco Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence 
          San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee
          San Joaquin County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          San Mateo County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Santa Barbara Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Santa Barbara County District Attorney, Joyce Dudley
          Santa Barbara Rape Crises Center
          Santa Clara County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Santa Cruz County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
          Solano County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Sonoma County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          South County Citizens Against Gun Violence, Orange County 
          Tri-Cities Democratic Forum
          Tri-City Interfaith Council
          Ventura County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Lost Angeles
          Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County
          Women Against Gun Violence
          Women For:  Orange County
          Youth Alive!

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  5/28/13)

          California Association of Firearms Retailers

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          8

          California Federation of Federal Firearms Licensees
          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          California Right to Carry
          California Sportsman's Lobby, Inc.
          Crossroads of the West
          National Rifle Association
          National Shooting Sports Foundation
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International
          Shasta County Sheriff

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The California Chapters of the Brady  
          Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence states:

               The California Legislature has struggled with an assault  
               weapons ban since the Stockton school yard shootings in  
               1989.  The Roberti-Roos Act was passed that year, but minor  
               changes to the named assault weapons allowed the firearm  
               industry to easily evade the intent of the law. The assault  
               weapon law was expanded in 1991 and in 1999, the  
               Legislature updated the law by banning weapons with  
               detachable magazines and one or more military style  
               features.  However, once again the industry has been able  
               to exploit a loophole in the regulations that allows for  
               the continued sale and possession of fully functional  
               assault weapons.  Senate Bill 374 seeks to definitively  
               close the loopholes in a manner that will prevent the  
               firearm industry from continuing to market these lethal  
               military style weapons in California.

               Mass shootings perpetrated by unbalanced individuals using  
               assault weapons are reported all too often in the news.  As  
               was tragically demonstrated at Sandy Hook School, the  
               ability to rapidly reload added enormously to the carnage.   
               An exchangeable magazine can be reloaded in one second and  
               is the key feature that enables the rapid rate of  
               continuous fire that can kill many people very quickly.   
               Requiring a fixed magazine on future sales or transfers of  
               long guns would, over time, decrease the lethality in  
               future mass shootings.

               SB 374 will finally control this situation with a clear,  
               simplified, and strengthened assault weapons law.  Current  
               owners of long guns with detachable magazines will be able  

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          9

               to keep their weapons and law abiding hunters and sport  
               shooters will be minimally impacted.  

               Senate Bill 374 also requires the submission of a Firearm  
               Ownership Record to the Department of Justice for rifles  
               with a detachable magazine purchased before January 1, 2014  
               and handguns purchased prior to 1991.    These records will  
               significantly increase the data in the Armed Prohibited  
               Persons System program and enhance public safety.  The  
               records would enable the Department of Justice to disarm  
               potentially dangerous persons if they were to become  
               prohibited from possessing firearms.  Additionally, the  
               records will assist law enforcement efforts to trace  
               firearms and solve gun crime.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    Crossroads of the West Gun Shows  
          states:

               By defining any semiautomatic rifle that can accept a  
               detachable magazine, or that has a fixed magazine with a  
               capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, to be an assault  
               rifle, SB 374 would ban the future sale of many popular  
               makes and models of both rimfire and centerfire rifles  
               commonly used for hunting, target practice, competition,  
               recreational shooting, firearms training, and other lawful  
               purposes.

               These civilian firearms are rarely used in the commission  
               of a crime. There is no justifiable reason to ban them.

               The bill would result in the loss of revenue for firearms  
               dealers at the shows, a decline in the size of the shows,  
               fewer lawful business transactions conducted by non-dealer  
               vendors, and thus less sales tax income for the state of  
               California.

               The real focus of the Legislature should be on the people  
               who actually do commit crimes involving use or possession  
               of firearms such as criminals, the mentally ill, and users  
               of mind altering drugs and other substances.

               Unfortunately, such people will always be able to obtain  
               the firearms SB 374 would ban, if they want them, in the  
               underground market or from outside of California's borders.

                                                                CONTINUED





                                                                     SB 374
                                                                     Page  
          10



          JG:nl:d  5/28/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

                                   ****  END  ****






































                                                                CONTINUED