BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                    AB 1695

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          Date of Hearing:  April 6, 2016


                               Lorena Gonzalez, Chair

          1695 (Bonta) - As Introduced January 21, 2016

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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   


          This bill: 


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          1)Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to send a notice  
            during the 10-day waiting period to every person who applies  
            to purchase a gun informing him or her of gun laws relating to  
            gun transfers and storage, as specified. And requires the  
            notice to include a website for DOJ's summary of gun laws and  
            requires DOJ to update the summary annually.

          2)Makes it a misdemeanor to knowingly submit a false report to a  
            local law enforcement agency that a firearm has been lost or  
            stolen, and institutes a 10-year ban on owning a firearm for  
            those convicted of making a false report. For these purposes,  
            AB 1695 includes the frame or receiver of the weapon, a  
            rocket, rocket propelled projectile launcher, or similar  
            devise in the definition of a firearm. 

          FISCAL EFFECT:

          Significant ongoing cost to DOJ in the range of $420,000 to  
          $520,000 (Firearms Safety and Enforcement Special Fund - a  
          continuously appropriated fund) to program, process and provide  
          upwards of 730,000 notices per year, and maintain and update gun  
          laws website.  All costs will be recovered with the existing fee  

          Moderate nonreimbursable local costs for incarceration, offset  
          to a degree by fee revenue.


          1)Background.  Current law requires all handgun purchasers in  
            California to take an exam on handgun safety and obtain a 75%  
            passing score to receive a certificate, and requires the  
            completion of the California Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS)  


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            form and a background check.  DOJ is required, upon submission  
            of firearm purchaser information, to examine its records to  
            determine if the purchaser is prohibited from possessing,  
            receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm. Existing law also  
            prohibits the delivery of a firearm within 10 days of the  
            application to purchase, or, after notice by the department,  
            within 10 days of the submission to the department of any  
            corrections to the application to purchase, or within 10 days  
            of the submission to the department of a specified fee.
            Current law also provides a life-time or 10-year ban on owning  
            a gun for anyone convicted of specific crimes and provides  
            specific penalties for those violations.
          2)Purpose.  According to the author, AB 1695 seeks to reduce the  
            flow of firearms onto the black market. The bill targets straw  
            purchases, where a person who can pass a background check  
            legally buys a gun and then resells it to someone who was  
            prohibited from purchasing a firearm. Additionally, this bill  
            makes knowingly falsely reporting a gun as lost or stolen a  
            misdemeanor, a tactic of straw purchasers seeking to distance  
            themselves from the gun.

          3)Support.  According to the California Chapters of the Brady  
            Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence,  "In 2007, Greg Ridgeway  
            conducted a study to determine whether sending a notification  
            to gun buyers during the ten day waiting period could affect  
            behavior. The notification or letter informed them that law  
            enforcement had a record of their gun purchase and that the  
            gun buyer should properly record any future transfers of the  
            gun. Those receiving the letter reported their guns lost or  
            stolen with almost twice the frequency of those who did not  
            receive the letter, and at least initially, those receiving  
            the letter were less likely to return to pick up their gun.

            Ridgeway concluded that straw purchasers were much more likely  
            to report their firearms lost or stolen as a defense when guns  
            recovered in a crime were traced to them. It follows  
            therefore, that the act of knowingly filing a false report  
            should have criminal consequences in order to discourage the  


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          5)Opposition.  According to the Firearms Policy Coalition, "The  
            senseless redundancy of AB 1695 is many-fold.  Many laws cited  
            in the notice content are, in fact, the same laws that the  
            purchaser is complying with by conducting a lawful firearm  
            transfer to a licensed dealer.  Those same laws are required  
            to be posted in plain view at the point of sale.  
            And how many times must a purchaser pay for the same notice  
            with the same content to be mailed to them?

            With the Department of Justice processing nearly one million  
            firearm transactions in California on an annual basis, AB 1695  
            represents the needless waste of forests of paper, pallets of  
            printer toner, and tons of disposed DOJ junk mail every year.   

            AB 1695 also creates a new misdemeanor crime for falsifying a  
            report of a lost or stolen firearm, then makes that crime one  
            which subjects the violator to a 10-year total prohibition on  
            firearm possession."

          6)Prior Legislation:
             a)   AB 1020 (Bonta), of the 2013-2014 legislative session,  
               required the DOJ to send a letter during the 10-day waiting  
               period to each individual who has applied to purchase a  
               firearm informing him or her of firearms laws relating to  
               gun trafficking and safe storage.  AB 1020 was held in this  
               Committee's Suspense file.  

             b)   SB 819 (Leno), Chapter 743, Statutes of 2011, provides  
               that DOJ may use dealer record of sale funds for costs  
               associated with its firearms-related regulatory and  
               enforcement activities regarding the possession as well as  
               the sale, purchase, loan, or transfer of firearms, as  



                                                                    AB 1695

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          Analysis Prepared by:Pedro Reyes / APPR. / (916)