BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó




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                                   THIRD READING 


          Bill No:  AB 1695
          Author:   Bonta (D) 
          Amended:  5/31/16 in Assembly
          Vote:     21 

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE:  5-2, 6/14/16
           AYES:  Hancock, Glazer, Leno, Liu, Monning
           NOES:  Anderson, Stone

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE:  5-2, 6/20/16
           AYES:  Lara, Beall, Hill, McGuire, Mendoza
           NOES:  Bates, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  51-28, 6/1/16 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Firearms:  false reports of stolen firearms


          SOURCE:    Author
          
          DIGEST:   This bill (1) makes it a misdemeanor to falsely report  
          that a firearm has been stolen, as specified; and (2) adds  
          misdemeanor falsely reporting that a firearm has been stolen to  
          offenses for which a conviction results in a 10-year prohibition  
          on possession of a firearm.  


          ANALYSIS:  


          Existing law: 


          1)Provides that persons licensed to make, import, collect, or  
            deal in firearms are required to report the loss or theft of  








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            firearms they possess, to a law enforcement agency.  For  
            example, Penal Code Section 26885 requires licensed dealers to  
            report losses within 48 hours and Penal Code Section 29115(a)  
            requires licensed firearms manufacturers - whether of handguns  
            or long guns - to report the loss or theft of firearms within  
            48 hours to specified law enforcement agencies.





          2)Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to keep a registry  
            from data sent to DOJ indicating who owns firearms by make,  
            model, and serial number and the date thereof. (Penal Code §  
            11106(a) and (c).) Law enforcement agencies must promptly  
            report to DOJ all reports they receive of lost, stolen, and  
            found property. (Penal Code §§ 11107, 11108.) DOJ must keep a  
            centralized and computerized list of all lost, stolen, and  
            found serialized property reported to it. (Penal Code §  
            11106(a).) 


          3)Provides that in addition to the requirements of Penal Code  
            Section 11108 that apply to a local law enforcement agency's  
            duty to report to the DOJ the recovery of a firearm, a police  
            or sheriff's department shall, and any other law enforcement  
            agency or agent may, report to the department in a manner  
            determined by the Attorney General (AG) in consultation with  
            the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives all  
            available information necessary to identify and trace the  
            history of all recovered firearms that are illegally  
            possessed, have been used in a crime, or are suspected of  
            having been used in a crime.  In addition, any law enforcement  
            agency or agent may report to the AG pursuant to this section  
            all information pertaining to any firearm taken into custody,  
            except where the firearm has been voluntarily placed with the  
            law enforcement agency for storage.  (Penal Code § 11108.3.)


          4)Provides that if any weapon has been stolen and is thereafter  
            recovered from the thief or his or her transferee, or is used  
            in such a manner as to constitute a nuisance because it was  

                                   






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            unlawfully carried or used without the prior knowledge of its  
            lawful owner that it would be so used, it shall be restored to  
            the lawful owner, as soon as its use as evidence has been  
            completed.  The lawful owner must identify the weapon and  
            provide proof of ownership.  (Penal Code § 18005(b).)


          5)Requires that any person seeking the return of a firearm in  
            the custody or control of a court or law enforcement agency  
            must submit specified information, including for handguns the  
            firearm's make, model, caliber, barrel length, handgun type,  
            country of origin, and serial number.  If the firearm has been  
            reported lost or stolen to a law enforcement agency, as  
            specified, the agency shall notify the owner or person  
            entitled to possession of the firearm.  The person seeking  
            return of the firearm shall be subject to a background check,  
            as specified.  (Penal Code §§ 33850, 33855.)


          6)Requires that firearms dealers obtain certain identifying  
            information from firearms purchasers and forward that  
            information, via electronic transfer to DOJ to perform a  
            background check on the purchaser to determine whether he or  
            she is prohibited from possessing a firearm.  (Penal Code §  
            28160-28220.)


          7)Requires that, upon receipt of the purchaser's information,  
            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 Section 8104 of the Welfare and  
            Institutions Code, in order to determine if the purchaser is  
            prohibited from purchasing a firearm.  (Penal Code § 28220.)


          8)Prohibits anyone convicted of numerous misdemeanors involving  
            violence or threats of violence are prohibited from owning or  
            possessing a firearm for 10 years.  And, provides that a  
            violation of these provisions is a wobbler, as specified.   
            (Penal Code § 29805.)



                                   






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          This bill: 


          1)Makes it a misdemeanor to report to a local law enforcement  
            agency that a firearm has been lost or stolen, knowing the  
            report to be false.


          2)Adds falsely reporting that a firearm has been stolen to  
            offenses for which a conviction results in a 10-year  
            prohibition on possession of a firearm, as specified.  


          Comments


          Current state and federal laws prohibit persons who have been  
          convicted of specific crimes from owning or possessing firearms.  
           For example, anyone convicted of any felony offense is  
          prohibited for life from firearms ownership under both federal  
          and state law.  (18 U.S.C. § 922(g); Penal Code § 29800.)   
          California goes further and imposes a 10-year firearms  
          prohibition on persons convicted of numerous misdemeanor  
          offenses that involve either violence or the threat of violence.  
           (Penal Code § 29805.)   Additionally, anyone who has been found  
          to be a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness is  
          subject to a five-year prohibition (Welfare and Institutions  
          Code §§ 8100, 8103(f)), and people under domestic violence  
          restraining orders are subject to a prohibition for the duration  
          of that court order.  (Penal Code § 29825.)


          According to a study published in the Journal of American  
          Medical Association: 


            Handgun purchasers with only 1 prior misdemeanor  
            conviction and no convictions for offenses involving  
            firearms or violence were nearly 5 times as likely as  
            those with no prior criminal history to be charged with  
            new offenses involving firearms or violence.


                                   






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          (Wintemute GJ. Prior Misdemeanor Convictions as a Risk Factor  
          for Later Violent and Firearm Related Criminal Activity Among  
          Authorized Purchasers of Handguns. Journal of the American  
          Medical Association 1998; 280: 2083-2087.)


          To this end, this bill does not only make it a misdemeanor to  
          falsely report a firearm lost or stolen, but also expands the  
          number of misdemeanor convictions resulting in a 10-year  
          prohibition by adding falsely reporting a lost or stolen  
          firearm.




          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   Yes

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee: 

           New misdemeanor:  Potential non-reimbursable local costs for  
            enforcement and incarceration offset to a degree by fine  
            revenue for convictions for falsely reporting to a local law  
            enforcement agency that a firearm has been lost or stolen.
           APPS enforcement administration:  Potential increase in DOJ  
            administration and enforcement costs (Special Fund*) for  
            increases to the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) list  
            resulting from the expanded application of the 10-year  
            firearms prohibition. The workload impact would be dependent  
            on the number of persons convicted of the new misdemeanor  
            established by this bill. 
           Violations of the 10-year firearms ban:  Potential increase in  
            state (General Fund) and local (Local Funds) incarceration  
            costs for violations of the 10-year firearms ban, which is an  
            alternate felony-misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in  
            state prison for 16 months, two years, or three years, or in  
            county jail for up to one year. Department of Corrections and  
            Rehabilitation data indicates only 20 commitments per year for  
            violations of the 10-year firearms prohibition. While the  
            impact of this bill on the state prison population is likely  
            minor, even two commitments to state prison in any one year  

                                   






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            would cost $58,000 based on the estimated contract bed cost of  
            $29,000 per inmate.

          *Dealers' Record of Sale (DROS) Account - Appropriation  
          Committee 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 additional costs  
          resulting from this bill in conjunction with the numerous other  
          legislative measures requiring funding from the DROS Account,  
          should they be enacted. 


          SUPPORT:   (Verified6/21/16)


          American Academy of Pediatrics
          California Chapter of the American College of Emergency  
                    Physicians
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
                    Violence
          California Police Chiefs Association
          City of Oakland
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence


          OPPOSITION:   (Verified6/21/16)


          Firearms Policy Coalition
          National Rifle Association
          National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc.
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California
          Safari Club International
          The California Sportsman's Lobby, Inc.
          Several individuals


          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     According to the author: 

            The failure to report firearms as lost or stolen, as well  
            as the false reporting of firearms as lost or stolen,  

                                   






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            remains a significant hindrance to the tracking of these  
            firearms. There is a concern that a straw purchaser, who  
            legally buys a firearm with the intent of illegally  
            selling it to another individual, would falsely report  
            that firearm as lost or stolen in order to place distance  
            between themselves and any crimes committed with that  
            firearm. AB 1695 makes filing a report that a firearm has  
            been lost or stolen-knowing the report to be false-a  
            misdemeanor. Additionally, AB 1695 places the convicted  
            individual on the prohibited persons list, barring them  
            from owning a firearm for the following ten years. This  
            prohibition will prevent an individual convicted of this  
            crime from subsequently acquiring additional firearms and  
            making further illegal sales.

          ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION:  The Firearms Policy Coalition states:
          
            AB 1695 creates a new misdemeanor crime of 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 for a non-violent,  
            paperwork crime. 

            With more than 500 law enforcement agencies in the  
            State-some which are tasked with enforcing local  
            ordinances that mandate specific reporting  
            requirements-it's difficult to conceive of a uniform  
            prosecution scheme under AB 1695. 

            Each city, county, and special district may have its own  
            form. Some might take the report online, and some might  
            require a phone report. And some require that you report  
            to the jurisdiction where the firearm was lost or stolen,  
            not the city in which you live. The potential for  
            mistakes and misinformation is great. 

            Yet, AB 1695 purports to sweep in and save the day with a  
            brand-new crime to fix a non-existent problem (and, upon  
            a conviction for that crime, tack on yet another person  
            to the failed Armed Prohibited Persons System). 



                                   






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          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  51-28, 6/1/16
          AYES:  Alejo, Arambula, Atkins, Baker, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta,  
            Brown, Burke, Calderon, Campos, Chang, Chau, Chiu, Chu,  
            Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd, Eggman, Cristina Garcia,  
            Eduardo Garcia, Gatto, Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Roger  
            Hernández, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lopez, Low,  
            McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Nazarian, O'Donnell, Quirk,  
            Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Santiago, Mark Stone, Thurmond,  
            Ting, Weber, Williams, Wood, Rendon
          NOES:  Achadjian, Travis Allen, Bigelow, Brough, Chávez, Dahle,  
            Frazier, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Gray, Grove, Hadley, Harper,  
            Jones, Kim, Lackey, Linder, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes,  
            Melendez, Obernolte, Patterson, Salas, Steinorth, Wagner,  
            Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Olsen

          Prepared by:Jessica Devencenzi / PUB. S. / 
          6/22/16 15:15:17


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