BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS
                             Senator Ricardo Lara, Chair
                            2015 - 2016  Regular  Session

          AB 950 (Melendez) - Firearms:  gun violence restraining orders
          
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          |Version: February 26, 2015      |Policy Vote: PUB. S. 7 - 0      |
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          |Urgency: No                     |Mandate: Yes                    |
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          |Hearing Date: June 29, 2015     |Consultant: Jolie Onodera       |
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          This bill may meet the criteria for referral to the Suspense  
          File. 


          Bill  
          Summary:  AB 950 would allow a person who is subject to a gun  
          violence restraining order (GVRO) to transfer his or her  
          firearms and ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer for the  
          duration of the prohibition. This bill would also entitle a  
          person who is prohibited from owning or possessing ammunition to  
          transfer or cause to be transferred the ammunition to a licensed  
          firearms dealer, as specified.


          Fiscal  
          Impact:  
              Non-reimbursable local costs associated with requirements  
              on local law enforcement agencies relating to the transfer  
              of firearms to licensed firearms dealers, as existing law  
              authorizes local agencies to impose a fee equal to its  
              administrative costs relating to the seizure, impounding,  
              storage, or transfer of a firearm to a licensed firearms  
              dealer.
              Potential state-reimbursable costs (General Fund) to local  







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              law enforcement agencies related to the transfer of  
              ammunition to licensed firearms dealers, as existing law  
              does not authorize local agencies to impose a fee to cover  
              its administrative costs related to the transfer of  
              ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer. Costs would be  
              dependent on the number of persons requesting transfer and  
              the volume of ammunition to be transferred, which is  
              unknown, although it is assumed persons requesting transfer  
              would be those owners of sizeable amounts of ammunition.
              Minor, absorbable workload impact to the Department of  
              Justice (DOJ) related to the notification to DOJ by licensed  
              firearms dealers of the date ammunition is taken into  
              possession. 
              Minor one-time costs of less than $10,000 (General Fund*)  
              to the Judicial Council to modify the GVRO form.

          *Trial Court Trust Fund


          Background:  Under recently enacted AB 1014 (Skinner) Chapter 872/2014, a  
          person subject to a GVRO is required to either surrender all  
          firearms and ammunition to the local law enforcement agency or  
          sell all firearms and ammunition to a licensed firearms dealer,  
          as specified. Under existing law, any firearms or ammunition  
          surrendered to the law enforcement agency must be retained by  
          the law enforcement agency until the expiration of the GVRO.  
          (Penal Code (PC)  18120(b)-(c).)

          Under existing law, any person who is prohibited from owning or  
          possessing a firearm may transfer or cause to be transferred,  
          any firearm or firearms in his or her possession, or of which he  
          or she is the owner, to a firearms dealer licensed for storage  
          during the duration of the prohibition, if the prohibition on  
          owning or possessing the firearm will expire on a date specified  
          in the court order. (PC  29830(a).)



          Existing law provides that a firearms dealer who stores a  
          firearm pursuant to the above may charge the owner a fee for the  
          storage of the firearm. Additionally, a firearms dealer who  
          stores a firearm is required to notify the Department of Justice  
          (DOJ) of the date that the firearms dealer has taken possession  
          of the firearm. (PC 29830(b)-(c).)








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          AB 539 (Pan) Chapter 739/2013 created a process whereby persons  
          subject to domestic violence restraining orders could transfer  
          their firearms to a federally licensed firearms dealer for the  
          duration of the restraining order. This bill seeks to provide a  
          similar option to persons subject to a GVRO, as well as expand  
          the option to include the transfer of ammunition to a licensed  
          firearms dealer for the duration of the restraining order.


          Proposed  
          Law:  This bill would allow a person who is subject to a GVRO to  
          transfer his or her firearms and ammunition to a licensed  
          firearms dealer for the duration of the prohibition.  
          Additionally, this bill:
                 Entitles a person whose firearms or ammunition have been  
               surrendered to a law enforcement agency due to the issuance  
               of a GVRO to have the firearms or ammunition transferred to  
               a licensed firearms dealer, as specified.
                 Provides for the transfer of ammunition to a licensed  
               firearms dealer by any person who is prohibited from owning  
               or possessing ammunition.
                 Provides that a firearms dealer who stores ammunition  
               for a person prohibited from owning or possessing  
               ammunition to notify the DOJ of the date that the dealer  
               has taken possession of the ammunition.


          Related  
          Legislation:  AB 1014 (Skinner) Chapter 872/2014 provides for  
          the issuance of GVROs by the court upon request by an immediate  
          family member or a law enforcement officer under which persons  
          subject to a GVRO are required either to sell or surrender all  
          firearms and ammunition in the person's possession or ownership.
          AB 539 (Pan) Chapter 739/2013 authorizes a person who is  
          temporarily prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm to  
          transfer his or her firearm to a licensed firearms dealer for  
          storage for the duration of the prohibition, as specified.


          Staff  
          Comments:  By entitling a person whose firearms and ammunition have been  








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          surrendered to a law enforcement agency due to the issuance of a  
          GVRO to have the firearms or ammunition transferred to a  
          licensed firearms dealer, as well as entitling a person  
          prohibited from owning or possessing ammunition for any reason  
          under existing law, to transfer the ammunition to a licensed  
          firearms dealer during the period of the prohibition, this bill  
          creates a state-mandated local program by increasing the duties  
          of local law enforcement agencies. 

          Under existing law PC  33880, state and local agencies may  
          adopt a regulation, ordinance, or resolution imposing a charge  
          equal to its administrative costs relating to the seizure,  
          impounding, storage, or release of a firearm. The fee must not  
          exceed the actual costs incurred for the expenses directly  
          related to taking possession of a firearm, storing the firearm,  
          and surrendering possession of the firearm to a licensed  
          firearms dealer or to the owner. As a result, any additional  
          costs to local law enforcement agencies related to the transfer  
          of firearms to licensed firearms dealers pursuant to the  
          provisions of this bill are estimated to be non-reimbursable and  
          recoverable through fees. However, any costs related to the  
          transfer of ammunition are not similarly authorized under  
          existing law to be recovered through the imposition of fees to  
          cover administrative costs. As a result, to the extent the  
          increase in local law enforcement workload and costs for the  
          transfer of ammunition qualify as a reimbursable state mandate,  
          local agencies could submit claims for reimbursement of these  
          costs. Potential annual costs would be dependent on the number  
          of persons requesting transfer and the volume of ammunition to  
          be transferred in any one year, which is unknown at this time,  
          although it is assumed persons requesting transfer would be  
          those owners of sizeable amounts of ammunition.

          The provisions of this bill may require the Judicial Council to  
          revise the GVRO form. One-time costs of less than $10,000  
          (General Fund) are estimated to revise the form and make  
          necessary translations. 

          The DOJ has indicated no significant impact associated with the  
          provision of this measure that requires licensed firearms  
          dealers to notify the DOJ of the date that ammunition is taken  
          into possession from individuals prohibited from owning or  
          possessing firearms and ammunition.









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          Recommended Amendments:  To address the potential reimbursable  
          mandate on local law enforcement agencies for the transfer of  
          ammunition to licensed firearms dealers, staff recommends the  
          following amendments to PC  33880 to authorize state and local  
          agencies to adopt ordinances to impose a charge equal to its  
          administrative costs:


          CHAPTER 2. Return or Transfer of Firearm  or Ammunition  in  
          Custody or Control of Court or Law Enforcement Agency [33850 -  
          33895]

          33880.  (a) A city, county, or city and county, or a state  
          agency may adopt a regulation, ordinance, or resolution imposing  
          a charge equal to its administrative costs relating to the  
          seizure, impounding, storage, or release of a firearm  or  
          ammunition  .
          (b) The fee under subdivision (a) shall not exceed the actual  
          costs incurred for the expenses directly related to taking  
          possession of a firearm  or ammunition  , storing the firearm  or  
          ammunition  , and surrendering possession of the firearm  or  
          ammunition  to a licensed firearms dealer or to the owner.

          (c) The administrative costs described in subdivisions (a) and  
          (b) may be waived by the local or state agency upon verifiable  
          proof that the firearm  or ammunition  was reported stolen at the  
          time the firearm  or ammunition  came into the custody or control  
          of the law enforcement agency.

          (d) The following apply to any charges imposed for  
          administrative costs pursuant to this section:

          (1) The charges shall only be imposed on the person claiming  
          title to the firearm  or ammunition  .

          (2) Any charges shall be collected by the local or state  
          authority only from the person claiming title to the firearm  or  
          ammunition  .

          (3) The charges shall be in addition to any other charges  
          authorized or imposed pursuant to this code.

          (4) No charge may be imposed for any hearing or appeal relating  
          to the removal, impound, storage, or release of a firearm  or  








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          ammunition  , unless that hearing or appeal was requested in  
          writing by the legal owner of the firearm  or ammunition  . In  
          addition, the charge may be imposed only upon the person  
          requesting that hearing or appeal.

          (e) No costs for any hearing or appeal related to the release of  
          a firearm  or ammunition  shall be charged to the legal owner who  
          redeems the firearm  or ammunition  , unless the legal owner  
          voluntarily requests the post-storage hearing or appeal. No  
          city, county, city and county, or state agency shall require a  
          legal owner to request a post-storage hearing as a requirement  
          for release of the firearm or ammunition  to the legal owner.




          Staff also recommends the following technical amendment to PC   
          18120 to correct a potential conflict with paragraph (2) of  
          subdivision (c) of that section:


          18120. (c) (1)  Except as provided in paragraph (2), any   Any  
           firearms or ammunition surrendered to a law enforcement officer  
          or law enforcement agency pursuant to this section shall be  
          retained by the law enforcement agency until the expiration of  
          any gun violence restraining order that has been issued against  
          the restrained person. Upon expiration of any order, any  
          firearms or ammunition shall be returned to the restrained  
          person in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 2  
          (commencing with Section 33850) of Division 11 of Title 4.  
          Firearms or ammunition that are not claimed are subject to the  
          requirements of Section 34000.
          (2) A restrained person who owns any firearms or ammunition that  
          are in the custody of a law enforcement agency pursuant to this  
          section is entitled to sell any firearms or ammunition to a  
          licensed firearms dealer or transfer  any firearms or ammunition  
          to a licensed firearms dealer in accordance with Section 29830,   
          provided that the firearm or firearms or ammunition are  
          otherwise legal to own or possess and the restrained person  
          otherwise has right to title of the firearm or firearms or  
          ammunition.











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