BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                  SB 683
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   August 21, 2013

                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                    SB 683 (Block) - As Amended:  August 7, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                             Public  
          SafetyVote:4-2 

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

           SUMMARY  

          This bill, effective January 1, 2015, extends the safety  
          certificate requirement for handguns, including a written or  
          oral test regarding gun laws and safety issues, to all guns and  
          requires a safe handling demonstration to take possession of a  
          long gun.  Specifically, this bill:

          1)Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to adopt regulations  
            by January 1, 2015 establishing a long-gun safe-handling  
            demonstration, as specified. 

          2)Exempts individuals with hunting licenses from the gun safety  
            certificate requirement when acquiring a gun other than  
            handguns. This exemption is in addition to the current lengthy  
            list of exemptions to the handgun safety certificate  
            requirements, which under this bill would include long guns.  
            The exemptions include law enforcement and gun dealers.  
            Exempts individuals with unexpired handgun safety certificates  
            from the firearm safety certificate requirement when acquiring  
            only handguns.

          3)Extends the $15 fee for handgun safety certification to long  
            guns. 

           FISCAL EFFECT 

           One-time special fund (Firearms Safety and Enforcement Fund)  
          costs in the range of $400,000 to update the gun safety  
          certificate program - safety guides, videos, test materials,  
          etc. -  to include long guns costs covered by fee.  









                                                                  SB 683
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          COMMENTS

           1)Rationale  .  This bill extends the current requirement to learn  
            basic safety and laws regarding handguns to long guns. The  
            author contends gun safety should apply to all guns.

            According to the author, "SB 683 is about education and  
            preventing unintended injuries. Currently anyone age 18 or  
            older can buy a long gun without having to show that he or she  
            understands how to safely use and properly store it in the  
            home. Long guns can be just as dangerous as hand guns. And  
            long gun laws are just as complicated as hand gun laws. So it  
            makes sense to establish similar requirements to buy a long  
            gun as those required to purchase a hand gun. 
           2)Current law  prohibits a dealer, except as specified, from  
            delivering a handgun unless the person receiving the handgun  
            presents to the dealer a valid handgun safety certificate.  
            Makes it a misdemeanor for any person to purchase or receive  
            any handgun, without a valid safety certificate, or to sell,  
            deliver, loan, or transfer any handgun to a person who does  
            not have a valid safety certificate. 

            Requires the safety certificate applicant to complete and pass  
            a written test prescribed by DOJ and administered by a  
            DOJ-certified instructor.  

            Requires DOJ to develop handgun safety certificates, which  
            expire 5 years after the date of issue, to be issued by  
            DOJ-certified instructors. 

           3)Support  includes a lengthy list of gun safety advocate  
            entities, as well as the CA Medical Association and American  
            Academy of Pediatrics. According to the Law Center to Prevent  
            Gun Violence, "SB 683 would require every firearm purchaser to  
            have a valid Firearm Safety Certificate before buying a  
            weapon, regardless of whether the firearm to be acquired is a  
            handgun or a long gun.  This expansion reflects the prominent  
            role that long guns (rifles and shotguns) play in our gun  
            violence epidemic. For example, of the 26,682 crime guns  
            entered into the state's Automated Firearm System (AFS)  
            database in 2009, 11,500 were long guns.  Moreover, requiring  
            long gun owners to obtain a Firearm Safety Certificate will  
            help ensure that all gun owners know how to handle their  
            weapons safely and understand their responsibilities under  
            California law."








                                                                  SB 683
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           4)Opposition  includes several gun-related entities. According to  
            the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees,  
            "This measure would make the qualification test for a 'firearm  
            safety certificate' unnecessarily difficult as it will require  
            detailed knowledge of the many firearm types that a purchaser  
            doesn't - and may never - own.

           5)Amendment regarding the loaning of long guns  . Under current  
            law, there is an exception for a minor possessing a handgun  
            safety certificate when a handgun is temporarily loaned for  
            the purpose of the minor engaging in lawful, recreational  
            sport (such as competitive shooting) or other specified  
            activities. The author has indicated a desire to extend this  
            exception to long guns.


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