BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 1999


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          Date of Hearing:  April 12, 2016
          Consultant:           Matt Dean


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                       Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Chair





          AB  
                      1999 (Achadjian) - As Amended  March 15, 2016




          SUMMARY:  Requires the Department of Justice (DOJ) to both  
          complete an initial review of a match in the Armed Prohibited  
          Persons System (APPS) within seven days of the match being  
          placed in the queue, and periodically reassess whether the  
          department can complete reviews of APPS matches more  
          efficiently.  Specifically, this bill:  

          1)Requires DOJ to complete an initial review of a match in the  
            daily queue of APPS within seven days of the match being  
            placed in the queue.

          2)Requires DOJ to periodically reassess whether the department  
            can complete reviews of APPS matches within the daily queue  
            more efficiently.

          3)Defines the "Armed Prohibited Persons System" (APPS) as "an  
            online database with the purpose of cross-referencing persons  
            who have ownership or possession of a firearm as indicated by  
            the Consolidated Firearms Information System and who,  
            subsequent to the date of that ownership or possession of a  
            firearm, fall within a class of persons who are prohibited  
            from owning or possessing a firearm."  









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          4)Defines "match" as "an entry into the Automated Criminal  
            History System, or into any department automated information  
            system, of the name and other information of an individual who  
            may be prohibited from acquiring, owning, or possessing a  
            firearm, matched with a corresponding record of ownership or  
            possession of a firearm by that individual, as specified."

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Provides for an automated system for tracking firearms and  
            assault weapon owners who might fall into a prohibited status.  
             The online database, which is currently known as the APPS,  
            cross-references all handgun and assault weapon owners across  
            the state against criminal history records to determine  
            persons who have been, or will become, prohibited from  
            possessing a firearm subsequent to the legal acquisition or  
            registration of a firearm or assault weapon.  (Pen. Code,   
            30000, et seq.)
          2)Prohibits persons who know or have reasonable cause to believe  
            that the recipient is prohibited from having firearms and  
            ammunition to supply or provide the same with firearms or  
            ammunition.  (Pen. Code,  27500 and 30306; and Welf. & Inst.  
            Code,  8101.)

          3)Provides that various categories of persons are prohibited  
            from owning or possessing a firearm, including persons  
            convicted of certain violent offenses, and persons who have  
            been adjudicated as having a mental disorder, among others.   
            (Pen. Code,  29800 to 29825, inclusive, 29900, 29905, 30305;  
            and Welf. & Inst. Code,  8100 and 8103.)

          4)Establishes the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS) Account, a  
            special fund, which receives various firearm registration  
            fees, and which may be used by the DOJ for firearms related  
            regulatory activities, including enforcement activities  
            related to possession.   (Pen. Code,  28225 and 28235.)

          5)Establishes the Firearms Safety and Enforcement Special Fund  
            (FSESF), a continuously appropriated fund, for use by the DOJ  
            for specified purposes related to weapons and firearms  
            regulation.  Monies in the fund may be used for the following  
            purposes:








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             a)   Implementing and enforcing the provisions of the Firearm  
               Safety Certificate program;

             b)   Implementing and enforcing various gun law enforcement  
               programs; and,

             c)   Establishment, maintenance, and upgrading of equipment  
               and services necessary for firearms dealers to comply with  
               the DROS system.  (Pen. Code, 28300.)  

          6)Requires the DOJ, 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 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. (Pen. Code,  28200 to  
            28250.)

          7)Mandates those dealers notify DOJ that persons in applications  
            actually took possession of their firearms.  (Pen. Code,   
            28255.)

          8)Requires if a dealer cannot legally deliver a firearm to  
            return the firearm to the transferor, seller, or person  
            loaning the firearm.  (Pen. Code,  28050, subd. (d).)

          9)Requires that in connection with any sale, loan or transfer of  
            a firearm, a licensed dealer must provide the DOJ with  
            specified personal information about the seller and purchaser  
            as well as the name and address of the dealer.  This personal  
            information of buyer and seller required to be provided  
            includes the name; address; phone number; date of birth; place  
            of birth; occupation; eye color; hair color; height; weight;  
            race; sex; citizenship status; and a driver's license number;  
            California identification card number; or, military  
            identification number.  A copy of the DROS, containing the  
            buyer and seller's personal information, must be provided to  
            the buyer or seller upon request.  (Pen. Code,  28160,  








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            28210, and 28215.)

          10)Appropriates $24,000,000 from the DROS Special Account to DOJ  
            to address the backlog in APPS and the illegal possession of  
            firearms by individuals in APPS.  (Pen. Code,  30015.)

          11)Requires DOJ to report, until March 1, 2019, on the following  
            APPS statistics:

             a)   The degree to which the backlog in APPS has been reduced  
               or eliminated;

             b)   The number of agents hired for enforcement of APPS;

             c)   The number of people cleared from APPS;

             d)   The number of people added to APPS;

             e)   The number of people in APPS before and after the  
               relevant reporting period, including a breakdown of why  
               each person in APPS is prohibited from possessing a  
               firearm;

             f)   The number of firearms recovered due to enforcement of  
               APPS;

             g)   The number of contacts made during the APPS enforcement  
               efforts; and

             h)   Information regarding task forces or collaboration with  
               local law enforcement on reducing the APPS backlog.  (Pen.  
               Code,  30015, subds. (b) and (c).)

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

          COMMENTS:  

          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "AB 1999  
            fulfills the recommendations of the State Auditor in requiring  
            the Department of Justice to review an initial match in the  
            Armed Prohibited Persons daily queue within 7 days and  
            periodically reassess whether the Department can complete  








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            those reviews more efficiently. 
            "This bill ensures the Department of Justice manages its  
            priorities and reviews potentially armed prohibited persons  
            accurately and promptly."

          2)Prohibited Persons:  California has several laws that prohibit  
            certain persons from purchasing firearms.  All felony  
            convictions lead to a lifetime prohibition, while specified  
            misdemeanors will result in a 10-year prohibition.  A person  
            may be prohibited due to a protective order or as a condition  
            of probation.  Another prohibition is based on the mental  
            health of the individual.  If a person communicates to his or  
            her psychotherapist a serious threat of physical violence  
            against a reasonably-identifiable victim or victims, the  
            person is prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm for  
            five years, starting from the date the psychotherapist reports  
            to local law enforcement the identity of the person making the  
            threat.  (Welf. & Inst. Code,  8100, subd. (b)(1).)  If a  
            person is admitted into a facility because that person is a  
            danger to himself, herself, or to others, the person is  
            prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm for five years.  
             (Welf. & Inst. Code,  8103, subd. (f).)  For the provisions  
            prohibiting a person from owning or possessing a firearm based  
            on a serious threat of violence or based on admittance into a  
            facility as a threat to self or others, the person has the  
            right to request a hearing whereby the person could restore  
            his or her right to own or possess a firearm if a court  
            determines that the person is likely to use firearms or other  
            deadly weapons in a safe and lawful manner.  (Welf. & Inst.  
            Code,  8100, subd. (b)(1) and 8103, subd. (f).)

          DOJ developed APPS for tracking handgun and assault weapon  
            owners in California who may pose a threat to public safety.   
            (Pen. Code,  30000 et seq.)  APPS collects information about  
            persons who have been, or will become, prohibited from  
            possessing a firearm subsequent to the legal acquisition or  
            registration of a firearm or assault weapon.  DOJ receives  
            automatic notifications from state and federal criminal  
            history systems to determine if there is a match in the APPS  
            for a current California gun owner.  DOJ also receives  
            information from courts, local law enforcement and state  
            hospitals as well as public and private mental hospitals to  








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            determine whether someone is in a prohibited status.  When a  
            match is found, DOJ has the authority to investigate the  
            person's status and confiscate any firearms or weapons in the  
            person's possession.  Local law enforcement also may request  
            from DOJ the status of an individual, or may request a list of  
            prohibited persons within their jurisdiction, and conduct an  
            investigation of those persons.  (Pen. Code,  30010.)  Since  
            the development of APPS, California has added long-gun  
            transactions to the list of registered firearms and has added  
            restraining orders to the list of prohibiting events.  (<  
             http://oag.ca.gov/sites/all/files/agweb/pdfs/publications/sb-14 
            0-supp-budget-report.pdf  >)  These additional requirements  
            have contributed to a backlog in processing APPS matches. 

          3)Backlog of Match Review in APPS:  DOJ has two queues through  
            which it processes matches between any potentially prohibited  
            person and any registered firearm owner or applicant.   
            Although steady progress has been made to reduce the backlog  
            in APPS's two queues, currently there is an average backlog of  
            3,600 matches of potentially prohibited persons to firearm  
            owners in the daily queue of APPS and a backlog of  
            approximately 257,000 potentially prohibited person matches in  
            the historical queue.  The historical queue includes all  
            matched prohibited persons not in the daily queue, which  
            includes all potentially prohibited persons whose reviews were  
            pending before DOJ implemented APPS in 2006.  The daily queue  
            receives information daily from courts and mental health  
            providers regarding individuals who should be prohibited from  
            owning a firearm, as specified, and automatically creates  
            matches of anyone who is currently a firearm owner or who has  
            applied to own a firearm.  (<  
             https://www.bsa.ca.gov/pdfs/factsheets/2015-504.pdf  >)



          To avoid instances of incorrect identification, DOJ conducts a  
            manual review of any person who has been automatically matched  
            in APPS.  This avoids denying access or ownership of firearms  
            to improperly matched individuals, i.e. makes sure that no one  
            is mistakenly prohibited from owning or purchasing a firearm  
            due to any clerical error or other incorrect identifier.  This  
            manual review is the initial review referred to in this bill.   








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            This bill would require this initial review to be completed by  
            DOJ seven days after the automated match is generated in APPS,  
            as recommended by the State Auditor after DOJ received an  
            appropriation for this purpose.

          In 2013, the Legislature appropriated $24 million to DOJ to help  
            clear the APPS backlogs.  However, DOJ assigned APPS unit  
            staff to handle firearm background checks, which have a  
            statutory maximum time period during which background checks  
            must be completed.  APPS, on the other hand, has no such  
            statutory deadline.  In order to further reduce the backlog,  
            the State Auditor has recommended DOJ be mandated to complete  
            the aforementioned initial review of prohibited person matches  
            in APPS daily queue within seven days.  This bill would  
            mandate the State Auditor's recommendation.
          4)Related Legislation: SB 1332 (Mendoza), would require the  
            Department of Justice to modify its registration form so that  
            both spouses or both domestic partners may register as the  
            owners of the firearm and would require the department to  
            maintain both names on the firearm's registry. This bill  
            passed as amended from the Senate Committee on Public Safety  
            and was re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations on  
            April 5, 2016.

          5)Prior Legislation:  

             a)   SB 580 (Jackson), of the 2013-2014 Legislative Session,  
               would have would appropriated the sum of $5,000,000 from  
               the FSESF to the DOJ to contract with local law enforcement  
               agencies to reduce the backlog of individuals who are  
               identified by APPS as illegally possessing firearms. This  
               bill died in the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.

             b)   SB 140 (Leno), Chapter 2, Statutes of 2013, appropriated  
               $24 million from the DROS Special Account to the DOJ for  
               costs associated with regulatory and enforcement of illegal  
               possession of firearms by prohibited persons.

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

          Support
          








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          None

          Opposition
          
          None
            
          Analysis Prepared  
          by:              Matt Dean / PUB. S. / (916) 319-3744