BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  1





          GOVERNOR'S VETO


          AB  
          1673 (Gipson)


          As Enrolled  July 1, 2016


          Majority vote


           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |ASSEMBLY:  |      | (June 1,      |SENATE: |      |(June 30, 2016)  |
          |           |44-33 |2016)          |        |23-14 |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |-----------+------+---------------+--------+------+-----------------|
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |           |      |               |        |      |                 |
          |ASSEMBLY:  |      | (June 30,     |        |      |                 |
          |           |46-33 |2016)          |        |      |                 |
           -------------------------------------------------------------------- 


          Original Committee Reference:  PUB. S.


          SUMMARY:  Defines a frame or receiver as that part of a firearm  
          which provides housing for the hammer, bolt, or breechblock, and  
          firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward  
          portion to receive the barrel, and would include within this  
          definition a frame or receiver blank, casting, or machined body  
          that requires further machining or molding to be used as part of  
          a functional weapon so long as it has been designed and is  
          clearly identifiable as being used exclusively as part of a  
          functional weapon.









                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  2






          The Senate amendments:


          1)Redefine a frame or receiver as that part of a firearm which  
            provides housing for the hammer, bolt, or breechblock, and  
            firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward  
            portion to receive the barrel, and would include within this  
            definition a frame or receiver blank, casting, or machined  
            body that requires further machining or molding to be used as  
            part of a functional weapon so long as it has been designed  
            and is clearly identifiable as being used exclusively as part  
            of a functional weapon.


          2)Double join this bill with SB 894 (Jackson) of 2016, SB 1407  
            (de León) of the current legislative session, and AB 857  
            (Cooper), Chapter 60, Statutes of 2016, to avoid chaptering  
            out issues.


          EXISTING LAW:


          1)Requires licensed importers and licensed manufacturers to  
            identify each firearm imported or manufactured by using the  
            serial number engraved or cast on the receiver or frame of the  
            weapon, in such manner as prescribed by the Attorney General  
            (AG).   


           2)Specifies that the United States Undetectable Firearms Act of  
            1988 makes it illegal to manufacture, import, sell, ship,  
            deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm that is not  
            as detectable by walk-through metal detection as a security  
            exemplar containing 3.7 oz. of steel, or any firearm with  
            major components that do not generate an accurate image before  
            standard airport imaging technology.  









                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  3






          3)Prohibits a person, firm, or corporation licensed to  
            manufacture firearms pursuant to United States Code Title 18  
            Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) from manufacturing  
            firearms in California, unless the person, firm or corporation  
            is also licensed under California law (Penal Code Section  
            29010).  This prohibition does not apply to a person licensed  
            under federal law, who manufactures less than 100 firearms a  
            calendar year.  


          4)Makes it illegal to change, alter, remove, or obliterate the  
            name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number, or other mark  
            of identification on any pistol, revolver, or any other  
            firearm, without first having secured written permission from  
            the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make that change,  
            alteration, or removal.  


          5)Allows the DOJ, upon request, to assign a distinguishing  
            number or mark of identification to any firearm whenever the  
            firearm lacks a manufacturer's number or other mark of  
            identification, or whenever the manufacturer's number or other  
            mark of identification, or a distinguishing number or mark  
            assigned by the department has been destroyed or obliterated.   



          6)Makes it a misdemeanor, with limited enumerated exceptions,  
            for any person to buy, receive, dispose of, sell, offer to  
            sell or have possession any pistol, revolver, or other firearm  
            that has had the name of the maker or model, or the  
            manufacturer's number or other mark of identification changed,  
            altered, removed, or obliterated.  


          7)Requires a person be at least 18 years of age to purchase a  
            rifle or shotgun.  To purchase a handgun, a person must be at  
            least 21 years of age.  As part of the Dealer Record of Sale  








                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  4





            (DROS) process, the purchaser must present "clear evidence of  
            identity and age" which is defined as a valid, non-expired  
            California Driver's License or Identification Card issued by  
            the Department of Motor Vehicles.  


          8)Requires purchasers to present a handgun safety certificate  
            prior to the submission of DROS information for a handgun or  
            provide the dealer with proof of exemption pursuant to  
            California Penal Code Section 31700.  Beginning on January 1,  
            2015, this requirement will be extended to all firearms.  


          9)Requires that firearms dealers obtain certain identifying  
            information from firearms purchasers and forward that  
            information, via electronic transfer to the DOJ to perform a  
            background check on the purchaser to determine whether he or  
            she is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  


          10)Requires firearms to be centrally registered at the time of  
            transfer or sale by way of transfer forms centrally compiled  
            by the DOJ.  The DOJ is required to keep a registry from data  
            sent to the DOJ indicating who owns what firearm by make,  
            model, and serial number and the date thereof.  


          11)Requires that, upon receipt of the purchaser's information,  
            the DOJ shall examine its records, as well as those records  
            that it is authorized to request from the State Department of  
            Mental Health pursuant to Welfare and Institutions Code  
            Section 8104, in order to determine if the purchaser is  
            prohibited from purchasing a firearm because of a prior felony  
            conviction or because they had previously purchased a handgun  
            within the last 30 days, or because they had received  
            inpatient treatment for a mental health disorder, as  
            specified.  










                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  5





          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Senate Appropriations  
          Committee:


          1)Department of Justice (DOJ):  Estimated one-time costs of  
            $250,000 in Fiscal Year (FY) 2016-17, $270,000 in FY 2017-18,  
            and $42,000 in FY 2018-19 (Special Fund*/General Fund) to  
            complete the necessary enhancements to various automation  
            systems.  Costs include staff overtime and external  
            consultants for software development, testing, and  
            implementation to enable the registration of additional  
            firearms, as redefined. 


          2)Firearms violations:  Potential state and local incarceration  
            costs (General Fund/Local Funds) to the extent the expanded  
            definition of firearm results in the enforcement of felony and  
            misdemeanor violations related to the registration, purchase,  
            possession, and/or transfer of firearms, as redefined. 


          3)Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS)  
            enforcement/administration:  Potential increase in costs to  
            the DOJ for administration and enforcement of the Armed  
            Prohibited Persons List (Special Fund*) resulting from the  
            revised definition of a firearm.


          4)Potential litigation:  Unknown, potentially significant future  
            costs for litigation (General Fund) to the extent the revised  
            definition of "firearm" is challenged as unconstitutionally  
            vague. 


          *Dealers' Record of Sale (DROS) Account - Staff notes the DROS  
          Account is structurally imbalanced, with an estimated reserve  
          balance of less than $1 million by year-end FY 2016-17.  Current  
          revenues to the DROS Account may be insufficient to cover the  
          costs of this bill in conjunction with the numerous other  








                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  6





          legislative measures requiring funding from the DROS Account,  
          should they be enacted.  As a result, an appropriation from an  
          alternate fund source, potentially the General Fund, may be  
          required to support the costs of this measure.


          AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY, this bill expanded the definition of  
          "firearm" to include the frame or receiver of the weapon or a  
          frame or receiver "blank," "casting," or "machined body" that is  
          designed and clearly identifiable as a component of a functional  
          weapon, from which is expelled through a barrel, a projectile by  
          the force of an explosion or other form of combustion.


          COMMENTS:  According to the author, "AB 1673 will expand the  
          definition of a firearm, to include 'unfinished frames and  
          receivers,' which will close a dangerous loophole that allows  
          anyone to sell, trade and manufacture in partial-completion the  
          only part of a firearm that is subject to serial-number  
          identification and registration.  The change will treat  
          unfinished receivers and frames the same way a finished receiver  
          is treated, and require background checks in order to be sold,  
          prohibit them from the possession of the mentally ill and  
          convicted felons, and require mandatory serial number  
          application.  This expanded definition will not affect the  
          activities of gun manufacturers or home firearm-crafting  
          enthusiasts.  Gun manufacturers and home firearm-crafting  
          enthusiasts will however be required to register their firearms  
          as they manufacture them."


          GOVERNOR'S VETO MESSAGE:


          I am returning Assembly Bill 1673 without my signature.


          This bill seeks to stem the growing tide of untraceable homemade  
          firearms on our streets.








                                                                    AB 1673


                                                                    Page  7







          While I appreciate the author's intent, the actual wording of  
          this bill is unduly vague and could have far reaching and  
          unintended consequences.  By defining certain metal components  
          as a firearm because they could ultimately be made into a  
          homemade weapon, this bill could trigger potential application  
          of myriad and serious criminal penalties.




          Analysis Prepared by:                                             
                          Gabriel Caswell / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744  FN:  
          0003611