BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                            



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                                 UNFINISHED BUSINESS


          Bill No:  SB 683
          Author:   Block (D)
          Amended:  9/3/13
          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

           SENATE FLOOR  :  28-11, 5/29/13
          AYES:  Beall, Block, Calderon, Cannella, Corbett, De León,  
            DeSaulnier, Emmerson, Evans, Galgiani, Hancock, Hernandez,  
            Hill, Hueso, Jackson, Lara, Leno, Lieu, Liu, Monning, Padilla,  
            Pavley, Price, Steinberg, Torres, Wolk, Wright, Yee
          NOES:  Anderson, Berryhill, Correa, Fuller, Gaines, Huff,  
            Knight, Nielsen, Roth, Walters, Wyland
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Vacancy

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 9/9/13 - See last page for vote


           SUBJECT  :    Firearms:  firearm safety certificate

           SOURCE  :     Author


           DIGEST  :    This bill extends the safety certificate requirement  
          for handguns to all firearms and requires the performance of a  
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          safe handling demonstration to receive a long gun.

           Assembly Amendments  (1) add a safe handling demonstration  
          requirement, (2) exempt hunters with a valid or prior season's  
          hunter license from the firearm safety certificate; and (3)  
          exempt individuals with a valid handgun safety certificate (HSC)  
          from the firearm safety certificate for purchasing a handgun.

           ANALYSIS  :    

          Existing law:

           1. Provides that no person shall do either of the following:

              A.    Purchase or receive any handgun, except an antique  
                firearm, without a valid HSC.

              B.    Sell, deliver, loan, or transfer any handgun, except  
                an antique firearm, to any person who does not have a  
                valid HSC.

           1. Requires the license applicant to complete and pass a  
             written test prescribed by the Department of Justice (DOJ)  
             and administered by an instructor certified by DOJ.  

           2. Provides that the DOJ shall develop HSCs to be issued by  
             instructors certified by the DOJ, to those persons who have  
             complied with specified requirements.  

           3. Allows the DOJ to charge a certified instructor up to $15  
             for each HSC issued by that instructor and requires the funds  
             to be deposited in the Firearms Safety and Enforcement  
             Special Fund (Special Fund), which is a continuously  
             appropriated fund.

          This bill:

           1. Extends the safety certificate requirement, starting January  
             1, 2015, for handguns to all firearms and makes conforming  
             changes. 

           2. Requires long-gun recipients, except as specified, to  
             perform a safe handling demonstration before receiving that  
             firearm from a licensed firearm dealer.  Requires DOJ to  

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             adopt regulations by January 1, 2015, establishing a long-gun  
             safe-handling demonstration that includes, at a minimum,  
             loading and unloading the long gun. 

           3. Exempts individuals with valid current-season hunting  
             licenses, or valid hunting licenses from the hunting season  
             immediately preceding the calendar year, from the firearm  
             safety certificate requirement when acquiring a firearm other  
             than handguns.  This exemption is in addition to the current  
             list of exemptions to the HSC requirements. 

           4. Exempts individuals with unexpired HSCs from the firearm  
             safety certificate requirement when acquiring only handguns.

           Background
           
          Beginning in 1993, possession of a HSC was required to transfer  
          firearms.  The DOJ was required to create the requisite process  
          to obtain a HSC.  Exemptions were provided for specified classes  
          of persons who did not need to either successfully take the  
          course or challenge the course with a specified exam. 

          SB 52 (Scott, Chapter 942, Statutes of 2001) repealed the Basic  
          Firearms Safety and Certificate Program and replaced that  
          Program with the more stringent Handgun Safety Licensing  
          Program.  The bill provided that, effective January 1, 2003, no  
          person may purchase, transfer, receive, or sell a handgun  
          without a HSC.  

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  Yes   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee:

             One-time costs of $716,000 (Special Fund) over two years to  
             DOJ to update program materials including safety guides,  
             certificates, the written test, safety video, and related  
             materials.  Costs to be fully covered by fees.

             Annual DOJ enforcement costs of about $500,000 (Special  
             Fund) to be covered by the $15 transaction fee.

             Non-reimbursable local enforcement costs offset to a degree  
             by fine revenue.

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             Non-reimbursable local incarceration costs to the extent  
             persons are convicted of the misdemeanor offenses of  
             falsifying a firearm safety certificate or conducting  
             transactions involving a firearm without a valid firearm  
             safety certificate.

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  9/9/13)

          American Academy of Pediatrics
          American Association of University Women of California
          American Association of University Women, Santa Barbara, Goleta  
          Valley Branch
          American Association of University Women, Santa Maria Branch
          Anti-Defamation League 
          Auburn Area Democratic Club
          Bend the Arc:  Jewish Partnership for Justice
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          California Church Impact
          California Federation of Teachers
          California Medical Association
          Christy Lynne Wilson Foundation
          City of Los Angeles, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa
          City of Santa Monica
          CLUE California
          Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
          County of Santa Clara
          Courage Campaign
          Credo Action
          Democrat Women of Santa Barbara County
          Diablo Valley Democratic Club
          Doctors for America
          Jewish Public Affairs Committee
          Laguna Woods Democratic Club
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
          League of Women Voters of California
          Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck
          Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
          Moms Demand for Gun Sense in America - San Francisco Bay Area  
          Chapter
          National Council of Jewish Women
          Neighbors Untied to Protect our Communities
          Niles Discovery Church

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          Orange County Chapter of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence
          Orange County Democrats
          Partnership for Justice
          Physicians for Social Responsibility
          PICO California
          Santa Barbara Rape Crises Center
          Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange
          South County Citizens Against Gun Violence
          Tri-Cities Democratic Forum
          Tri-City Interfaith Council
          Violence Policy Center
          Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles 
          Violence Prevention Coalition of Orange County
          Women For:  Orange County
          Youth ALIVE!

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  9/9/13)

          California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees
          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          National Rifle Association
          Shasta County Cattlemen's Association

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author:

             It is important that the State of California ensures that  
             everyone who buys a firearm is a responsible gun-owner with  
             demonstrated knowledge of safe handling and gun laws.   
             Currently, California requires potential handgun owners to  
             take and pass a safety certificate test designed to ensure  
             that the buyer understands the law and knows how to safely  
             handle a handgun.  To buy a long gun, however, a buyer is not  
             required to show that he or she is proficient in the safe  
             handling of the gun or knows the laws associated with the  
             long gun.

             Expanding the Safety Certificate to include long guns ensures  
             that everyone who buys a firearm is an educated and  
             responsible gun-owner.  A long gun can be a dangerous weapon  
             without knowledge of proper handling procedures.  First-time  
             buyers are often not aware of the proper and safe handling of  
             a firearm.  They are also frequently unaware of California's  
             complicated firearm laws.

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             This bill seeks to increase the number of responsible gun  
             owners by requiring a Firearm Safety Certificate to buy any  
             firearm.  This will increase the knowledge gun owners have  
             regarding their own weapons for the purpose of encouraging  
             responsible gun ownership and use, and preventing accidents  
             from happening.

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    California Association of Federal  
          Firearms Licensees writes:

            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.

            Handgun purchasers seeking to exercise Second Amendment rights  
            acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court in D.C., at al. v.  
            Heller, 128 S.Ct. 2783 (2008), would no longer just need to  
            know the details of handguns.  Under SB 683, they would also  
            need to learn, know, and pass a test on the intricacies of  
            firearm categories like rifles, shotguns, other long guns, and  
            firearms Federally classified as Any Other Weapons, each  
            having myriad action types such as lever, pump,  
            semi-automatic, single-shot, and others -- this despite the  
            fact that they may never chose to own any of them.

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  46-30, 9/9/13
          AYES:  Alejo, Ammiano, Atkins, Bloom, Bocanegra, Bonilla, Bonta,  
            Bradford, Brown, Buchanan, Ian Calderon, Campos, Chau,  
            Chesbro, Daly, Dickinson, Fong, Garcia, Gatto, Gomez,  
            Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Hall, Roger Hernández, Holden,  
            Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lowenthal, Mitchell, Mullin, Muratsuchi,  
            Nazarian, Pan, Perea, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Rendon, Skinner,  
            Stone, Ting, Weber, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A.  
            Pérez
          NOES:  Achadjian, Allen, Bigelow, Chávez, Conway, Cooley, Dahle,  
            Donnelly, Fox, Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gorell, Grove, Hagman,  
            Harkey, Jones, Linder, Logue, Maienschein, Mansoor, Melendez,  
            Morrell, Nestande, Olsen, Patterson, V. Manuel Pérez, Salas,  
            Wagner, Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Eggman, Medina, Vacancy, Vacancy



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          JG:k  9/9/13   Senate Floor Analyses 

                           SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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