Amended in Senate April 24, 2014

Amended in Senate April 21, 2014

Amended in Senate March 19, 2014

Senate BillNo. 916


Introduced by Senator Correa

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(Principal coauthor: Senator Block)

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(Coauthor: Senator Galgiani)

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January 27, 2014


An act to amend Sections 32025, 32030, and 32110 of the Penal Code, relating to firearms.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

SB 916, as amended, Correa. Firearms.

(1) Existing law establishes various requirements governing unsafe handguns, as defined. Among other things, existing law makes it a crime, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, to manufacture, import into the state for sale, keep for sale, offer or expose for sale, give, or lend an unsafe handgun. Existing law also requires handguns imported into the state for sale, kept for sale, or offered or exposed for sale, to be tested, as specified, to determine if they are unsafe. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain a roster listing the handguns that have been tested and have been determined not to be unsafe. Existing law specifies various exceptions from these requirements.

Existing law allows a handgun model that has been included in the roster to be retested and allows the handgun model to be removed from the roster if it fails retesting. Existing law allows a handgun model removed from the roster for failing retesting to be reinstated upon a petition to the Attorney General for reinstatement and successful retesting, as specified.

This bill would allow a handgun model removed from the roster for any other reason to be reinstated to the roster upon a petition to the Attorney General for reinstatement and successful retesting, as specified. The bill would require that a handgun model that is reinstated to the roster pursuant to these provisions only meet the requirements for listing as of the date the handgun model was originally submitted for testing.

(2) Under existing law, a firearm is deemed to meet the requirements for being listed on the roster if another firearm made by the same manufacturer is already listed on the roster and the unlisted firearm differs from the listed firearmbegin delete inend deletebegin insert only with regard toend insert certainbegin delete specified waysend deletebegin insert features, as specifiedend insert, including any purely cosmetic feature.

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This bill would require that a firearm be deemed to satisfy the requirements for being listed on the roster if another firearm made by the same manufacturer is already listed on the roster and the unlisted firearm possesses the same make and model designation, is of the same caliber and barrel length, and is identical to the listed firearm except that a part of the firearm has been redesigned, is made using a different manufacturing technique, is made out of a different material, or includes any other noncosmetic change. The bill would require that a firearm deemed to meet the requirements for being listed on the roster pursuant to these provisions only meet the requirements for listing as of the date the similar listed firearm was originally submitted for testing. The bill would require a manufacturer seeking to have a firearm deemed to satisfy the requirements for being listed on the roster to provide the Department of Justice with a declaration, under oath, stating the nature of the change and that the firearm differs from the previous version only in the manner specified. Because a false statement made under oath would be a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

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The bill would prohibit a manufacturer of a firearm that has already been modified in these ways as of January 1, 2015, from being considered to be in violation of the provisions of law prohibiting the sale of unsafe handguns if the manufacturer complies with these requirements and submits the firearm to be tested no later than March 31, 2015.

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This bill would also deem a firearm as meeting the requirements for being listed on the roster if it differs from a listed firearm made by the same manufacturer only in a purely minor feature.

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(3) Existing law provides that the provisions defining and governing unsafe handguns do not apply to certain transactions, including the sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm in a transaction that requires the use of a licensed dealer, or where the sale, loan, or transfer is exempt from the provisions of law requiring the transfer to be conducted through a licensed firearms dealer, among others.

This bill would make the provisions defining and governing unsafe handguns inapplicable to the sale, loan, or transfer of a handgun by a licensed firearms dealer if the firearm previously appeared on the roster but was removed for any reason other than failing retesting and the licensee notified the Department of Justice of the number of qualifying firearms in its inventory within 30 days of the firearm being removed from the roster.

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(4) The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

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This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

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Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: begin deleteyes end deletebegin insertnoend insert.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P3    1

SECTION 1.  

The Legislature finds and declares all of the
2following:

3(a) With limited exceptions, existing law prohibits the
4manufacture, importation, and sale by licensed firearm dealers in
5California of handguns that do not appear on the roster of handguns
6that have been determined not to be unsafe. These firearms are
7considered “unsafe handguns.”

8(b) Existing law requires that a handgun be listed on the roster
9by make, model, gun type, barrel length, caliber, and expiration
10date once the handgun meets certain testing and safety
11requirements.

12(c) Firearm manufacturers are constantly improving their
13firearms to make them more safe, reliable, and functional for the
14general public. These improvements may involve making slight
15modifications in the design of a part, updating manufacturing
16techniques, or using new and stronger materials. Often, as is
17industry practice, these improvements do not change the handgun’s
P4    1make and model designation, and there is no outward difference
2between the original handgun and the improved model. Existing
3law is unclear as to whether these handguns are considered new
4handgun models that would require retesting and relisting on the
5roster.

6(d) Without the change to current law proposed by this act, it
7will remain unclear whether manufacturers are permitted to
8improve the safety of handguns that are already approved for sale
9in California. Additionally, many firearms will be unavailable to
10lawful California firearm owners if manufacturers cannot lawfully
11make these improvements. Law abiding members of the public
12will have increasingly narrower options available to them for
13self-defense. With limited options, normally lawful firearm owners
14will be forced to turn to other sources to acquire firearms available
15in the other 49 states, including black market and illegal firearm
16transactions.

17(e) The purpose of this act is to clarify that manufacturers may
18make improvements to handguns currently on the roster, and to
19allow handguns that have fallen off of the roster for reasons other
20than failing retesting to be returned to the roster by a petition to
21the Attorney General.

22

SEC. 2.  

Section 32025 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

23

32025.  

(a) A handgun model removed from the roster pursuant
24to subdivision (d) of Section 32020 may be reinstated on the roster
25if all of the following are met:

26(1) The manufacturer petitions the Attorney General for
27reinstatement of the handgun model.

28(2) The manufacturer pays the Department of Justice for all of
29the costs related to the reinstatement testing of the handgun model,
30including the purchase price of the handguns, prior to reinstatement
31testing.

32(3) The reinstatement testing of the handguns shall be in
33accordance with subdivisions (b) and (c) of Section 32020.

34(4) The three handgun samples shall be tested only once for
35reinstatement. If the sample fails it may not be retested.

36(5) If the handgun model successfully passes testing for
37reinstatement, and if the manufacturer of the handgun is otherwise
38in compliance with Sections 31900 to 32110, inclusive, the
39Attorney General shall reinstate the handgun model on the roster
40maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 32015.

P5    1(6) The manufacturer shall provide the Attorney General with
2the complete testing history for the handgun model.

3(7) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) of Section 32020, the
4Attorney General may, at any time, further retest any handgun
5model that has been reinstated to the roster.

6(b) (1) A handgun model removed from the roster for any reason
7not specified in subdivision (d) of Section 32020, including, but
8not limited to, a failure to pay the annual fee specified in Section
932015, may be reinstated on the roster if all of the following are
10met:

11(A) The manufacturer petitions the Attorney General for
12reinstatement of the handgun model.

13(B) The testing is conducted in the same manner as the testing
14prescribed in Sections 31900 and 31905.

15(C) The manufacturer provides the Attorney General with the
16complete testing history of the handgun model.

17(2) A handgun model reinstated pursuant to this subdivision
18shall only be required to meet the definitional requirements of
19Section 31910 to avoid being considered an “unsafe handgun” as
20of the date the handgun model was originally submitted for testing
21before it was removed from the roster.

22(3) If the handgun successfully passes testing for reinstatement,
23the Attorney General shall reinstate the handgun model on the
24roster maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 32015.

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25

SEC. 3.  

Section 32030 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

26

32030.  

(a) (1) A firearm shall be deemed to satisfy the
27requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 32015 if another firearm
28made by the same manufacturer is already listed and the unlisted
29firearm differs from the listed firearm only in one or more of the
30following features:

31(A) Finish, including, but not limited to, bluing, chrome-plating,
32oiling, or engraving.

33(B) The material from which the grips are made.

34(C) The shape or texture of the grips, so long as the difference
35in grip shape or texture does not in any way alter the dimensions,
36material, linkage, or functioning of the magazine well, the barrel,
37the chamber, or any of the components of the firing mechanism
38of the firearm.

39(D) Any other purely cosmetic feature that does not in any way
40alter the dimensions, material, linkage, or functioning of the
P6    1magazine well, the barrel, the chamber, or any of the components
2of the firing mechanism of the firearm.

3(2) Any manufacturer seeking to have a firearm listed under
4this subdivision shall provide to the Department of Justice all of
5the following:

6(A) The model designation of the listed firearm.

7(B) The model designation of each firearm that the manufacturer
8seeks to have listed under this subdivision.

9(C) A statement, under oath, that each unlisted firearm for which
10listing is sought differs from the listed firearm only in one or more
11of the ways identified in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) and is in
12all other respects identical to the listed firearm.

13(3) The department may, in its discretion and at any time, require
14a manufacturer to provide to the department any model for which
15listing is sought under this section, to determine whether the model
16complies with the requirements of this section.

17(b) (1) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), a firearm shall be
18deemed to satisfy the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section
1932015 if another firearm made by the same manufacturer is already
20listed and the unlisted firearm meets all of the following
21requirements:

22(A) The firearm possesses the same make and model designation
23as the listed firearm.

24(B) The firearm is of the same caliber and has the same barrel
25 length as the listed firearm.

26(C) The firearm is identical to the listed firearm except as
27follows:

28(i) A part of the firearm has been redesigned so that it does not
29have the same dimensions as the previous part.

30(ii) A part of the firearm is made using a different manufacturing
31technique than a previous part.

32(iii) A part of the firearm is made out of a different material
33than a previous part.

34(iv) The firearm includes any other noncosmetic change not
35specified in subdivision (a).

36(2) A manufacturer seeking to have a firearm deemed to satisfy
37the requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 32015 pursuant to
38this subdivision shall provide the Department of Justice with a
39declaration, under oath, stating the nature of the difference
40described in subparagraph (C) of paragraph (1) and that the firearm
P7    1differs from the previous version only in the manner specified.
2Only one declaration may be submitted per change.

3(3) The department may, in its discretion and at any time, require
4a manufacturer to provide to the department any model for which
5listing is sought under this subdivision, to determine whether the
6model complies with the requirements of this subdivision. The
7department may, in its discretion and at any time, subject any
8model submitted pursuant to this paragraph to retesting pursuant
9to Section 32020. If the handgun model fails retesting, the Attorney
10General shall remove the handgun model from the roster
11maintained pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 32015. If a
12handgun is removed from the roster pursuant to this paragraph, it
13may be reinstated pursuant to Section 32025.

14(4) In addition to the other provisions of this subdivision, a
15manufacturer of a firearm that has already been modified as
16specified in paragraph (1) as of January 1, 2015, is not in violation
17of Section 32000 if the manufacturer complies with the
18requirements of this section and submits the firearm to be tested
19pursuant to Sections 31900 and 31905 no later than March 31,
202015.

21(5) A firearm deemed to satisfy the requirements of subdivision
22(a) of Section 32015 pursuant to this subdivision shall only be
23required to meet the definitional requirements of Section 31910
24to avoid being considered an “unsafe handgun” as of the date the
25similar listed firearm was originally submitted for testing.

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begin insertSEC. 3.end insert  

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begin insertSection 32030 of the end insertbegin insertPenal Codeend insertbegin insert is amended to read:end insert

27

32030.  

(a) A firearm shall be deemed to satisfy the
28requirements of subdivision (a) of Section 32015 if another firearm
29made by the same manufacturer is already listed and the unlisted
30firearm differs from the listed firearm only in one or more of the
31following features:

32(1) Finish, including, but not limited to, bluing, chrome-plating,
33oiling, or engraving.

34(2) The material from which the grips are made.

35(3) The shape or texture of the grips, so long as the difference
36in grip shape or texture does not in any way alter the dimensions,
37material, linkage, or functioning of the magazine well, the barrel,
38the chamber, or any of the components of the firing mechanism
39of the firearm.

P8    1(4) Any other purely cosmeticbegin insert or minorend insert feature that does not in
2any way alter the dimensions, material, linkage, or functioning of
3the magazine well, the barrel, the chamber, or any of the
4components of the firing mechanism of the firearm.

5(b) Any manufacturer seeking to have a firearm listed under
6this section shall provide to the Department of Justice all of the
7following:

8(1) The model designation of the listed firearm.

9(2) The model designation of each firearm that the manufacturer
10seeks to have listed under this section.

11(3) A statement, under oath, that each unlisted firearm for which
12listing is sought differs from the listed firearm only in one or more
13of the ways identified in subdivision (a) and is in all other respects
14identical to the listed firearm.

15(c) The department may, in its discretion and at any time, require
16a manufacturer to provide to the department any model for which
17listing is sought under this section, to determine whether the model
18complies with the requirements of this section.

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SEC. 4.  

Section 32110 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

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32110.  

Article 4 (commencing with Section 31900) and Article
215 (commencing with Section 32000) shall not apply to any of the
22following:

23(a) The sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm pursuant to Chapter
245 (commencing with Section 28050) of Division 6 in order to
25comply with Section 27545.

26(b) The sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm that is exempt from
27the provisions of Section 27545 pursuant to any applicable
28exemption contained in Article 2 (commencing with Section 27600)
29or Article 6 (commencing with Section 27850) of Chapter 4 of
30Division 6, if the sale, loan, or transfer complies with the
31requirements of that applicable exemption to Section 27545.

32(c) The sale, loan, or transfer of any firearm as described in
33paragraph (3) of subdivision (b) of Section 32000.

34(d) The delivery of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
35of being concealed upon the person to a person licensed pursuant
36to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, for the purposes of the
37service or repair of that firearm.

38(e) The return of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of
39being concealed upon the person by a person licensed pursuant to
40Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, to its owner where that firearm
P9    1was initially delivered in the circumstances set forth in subdivision
2(a), (d), (f), or (i).

3(f) The delivery of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
4of being concealed upon the person to a person licensed pursuant
5to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, for the purpose of a
6consignment sale or as collateral for a pawnbroker loan.

7(g) The sale, loan, or transfer of any pistol, revolver, or other
8firearm capable of being concealed upon the person listed as a
9curio or relic, as defined in Section 478.11 of Title 27 of the Code
10of Federal Regulations.

11(h) The sale, loan, or transfer of any semiautomatic pistol that
12is to be used solely as a prop during the course of a motion picture,
13television, or video production by an authorized participant therein
14in the course of making that production or event or by an authorized
15employee or agent of the entity producing that production or event.

16(i) The delivery of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
17of being concealed upon the person to a person licensed pursuant
18to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, where the firearm is being
19loaned by the licensee to a consultant-evaluator.

20(j) The delivery of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable
21of being concealed upon the person by a person licensed pursuant
22to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, where the firearm is being
23loaned by the licensee to a consultant-evaluator.

24(k) The return of a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of
25being concealed upon the person to a person licensed pursuant to
26Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, where it was initially delivered
27pursuant to subdivision (j).

28(l) The sale, loan, or transfer of any pistol, revolver, or other
29firearm capable of being concealed upon the person by a person
30licensed pursuant to Sections 26700 to 26915, inclusive, if all of
31the following requirements are met:

32(1) The licensee is in lawful possession of the firearm.

33(2) The firearm was previously listed on the roster pursuant to
34Section 32015, but was removed from the roster for any reason
35not specified in Section 32020.

36(3) The licensee possessed the firearm within this state for
37purposes of sale before the firearm was removed from the roster.

38(4) The licensee notified the department, on a form provided
39by the department, of the number of firearms meeting the criteria
P10   1of paragraphs (1) to (3), inclusive, within 30 days of the firearm
2being removed from the roster.

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SEC. 5.  

No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to
4Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because
5the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
6district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or
7infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty
8for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of
9the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within
10the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California
11Constitution.

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