BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                    AB 2340


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          Date of Hearing:  April 12, 2016
          Counsel:               Gabriel Caswell


                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                       Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer, Sr., Chair





          AB  
                   2340 (Gallagher) - As Introduced  February 18, 2016


                        MOTION TO GRANT RECONSIDERATION ONLY
                                          

          SUMMARY:  Exempts persons holding valid licenses to carry a  
          concealed firearm (CCW) who are also protected by a domestic  
          violence protective order from both the school zone and the  
          university prohibitions from possessing a firearm on a school  
          zone campus.


          EXISTING LAW:  


          1)Creates the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.  (Pen. Code,   
            626.9 subd. (a).)  

          2)Defines a "school zone" to means an area in, or on the grounds  
            of, a public or private school providing instruction in  
            kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, or within a distance of 1,000  
            feet from the grounds of the public or private school.  (Pen.  
            Code,  626.9, subd. (e).)  



          3)Provides that any person who possesses a firearm in a place  








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            that the person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school  
            zone, unless it is with the written permission of the school  
            district superintendent, or equivalent school authority, is  
            punished as follows: (Pen. Code,  626.9, subds. (f)-(i).)



             a)   Any person who possesses a firearm in, or on the grounds  
               of, a public or private school providing instruction in  
               kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, is subject to  imprisonment  
               for two, three, or five years.

             b)   Any person who possesses a firearm within a distance of  
               1,000 feet from a public or private school providing  
               instruction in kindergarten or grades 1 to 12, is subject  
               to:



               i)     Imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one  
                 year or by imprisonment for two, three, or five years;  
                 or,

               ii)    Imprisonment for two, three, or five years, if any  
                 of the following circumstances apply:



                  (1)       If the person previously has been convicted of  
                    any felony, or of any specified crime.

                  (2)       If the person is within a class of persons  
                    prohibited from possessing or acquiring a firearm, as  
                    specified.



                  (3)       If the firearm is any pistol, revolver, or  
                    other firearm capable of being concealed upon the  
                    person and the offense is punished as a felony, as  
                    specified.









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             c)   Any person who, with reckless disregard for the safety  
               of another, discharges, or attempts to discharge, a firearm  
               in a school zone shall be punished by imprisonment for  
               three, five, or seven years.

             d)   Every person convicted under this section for a  
               misdemeanor violation who has been convicted previously of  
               a misdemeanor offense, as specified, must be imprisoned in  
               a county jail for not less than three months.



             e)   Every person convicted under this section of a felony  
               violation who has been convicted previously of a  
               misdemeanor offense as specified, if probation is granted  
               or if the execution of sentence is suspended, he or she  
               must be imprisoned in a county jail for not less than three  
               months.



             f)   Every person convicted under this section for a felony  
               violation who has been convicted previously of any felony,  
               as specified, if probation is granted or if the execution  
               or imposition of sentence is suspended, he or she must be  
               imprisoned in a county jail for not less than three months.



             g)   Any person who brings or possesses a loaded firearm upon  
               the grounds of a campus of, or buildings owned or operated  
               for student housing, teaching, research, or administration  
               by, a public or private university or college, without the  
               written permission of the university or college president,  
               his or her designee, or equivalent university or college  
               authority, must be punished by imprisonment for two, three,  
               or four years. 











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             h)   Any person who brings or possesses a firearm upon the  
               grounds of a campus of, or buildings owned or operated for  
               student housing, teaching, research, or administration by,  
               a public or private university or college, without the  
               written permission of the university or college president,  
               his or her designee, or equivalent university or college  
               authority, must be punished by imprisonment for one, two,  
               or three years. 



          4)States that the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 does not  
            apply to possession of a firearm under any of the following  
            circumstances:  (Pen. Code,  626.9, subd. (c).) 

             a)   Within a place of residence or place of business or on  
               private property, if the place of residence, place of  
               business, or private property is not part of the school  
               grounds and the possession of the firearm is otherwise  
               lawful.

             b)   When the firearm is an unloaded pistol, revolver, or  
               other firearm capable of being concealed on the person and  
               is in a locked container or within the locked trunk of a  
               motor vehicle.



             c)   The lawful transportation of any other firearm, other  
               than a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being  
               concealed on the person, in accordance with state law.



             d)   When the person possessing the firearm reasonably  
               believes that he or she is in grave danger because of  
               circumstances forming the basis of a current restraining  
               order issued by a court against another person or persons  
               who has or have been found to pose a threat to his or her  
               life or safety, as specified.










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             e)   When the person is exempt from the prohibition against  
               carrying a concealed firearm, as specified. 



          5)States that the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995 does not  
            apply to: (Pen. Code,  626.9, subd. (l).) 

             a)   A duly appointed peace officer;

             b)   A full-time paid peace officer of another state or the  
               federal government who is carrying out official duties  
               while in California;



             c)   Any person summoned by any of these officers to assist  
               in making arrests or preserving the peace while he or she  
               is actually engaged in assisting the officer;



             d)   A member of the military forces of this state or of the  
               United States who is engaged in the performance of his or  
               her duties;



             e)   A person holding a valid license to carry a concealed  
               firearm;



             f)   An armored vehicle guard, engaged in the performance of  
               his or her duties, as specified;



             g)   A security guard authorized to carry a loaded firearm;










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             h)   An honorably retired peace officer authorized to carry a  
               concealed or loaded firearm; or, 



             i)   An existing shooting range at a public or private school  
               or university or college campus.



          6)Specifies that unless it is with the written permission of the  
            school district superintendent, the superintendent's designee,  
            or equivalent school authority, no person shall carry  
            ammunition or reloaded ammunition onto school grounds, except  
            sworn law enforcement officers acting within the scope of  
            their duties or persons exempted under specified peace officer  
            exceptions to concealed weapons prohibitions.  Exempts the  
            following persons:  (Pen. Code,  626.9, subd. (l).)

             a)   A duly appointed peace officer as defined.

             b)   A full-time paid peace officer of another state or the  
               federal government who is carrying out official duties  
               while in California.



             c)   Any person summoned by any of these officers to assist  
               in making an arrest or preserving the peace while that  
               person is actually engaged in assisting the officer. 



             d)   A member of the military forces of this state or of the  
               United States who is engaged in the performance of that  
               person's duties.



             e)   A person holding a valid license to carry the firearm.









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             f)   An armored vehicle guard, who is engaged in the  
               performance of that person's duties. 




          FISCAL EFFECT:  


          COMMENTS: 


          1)Author's Statement:  According to the author, "victims of  
            domestic should be able to protect themselves at all times.  
            Preventing victims who possess a valid CCW permits from  
            carrying firearms on school grounds will only make them more  
            vulnerable to abuse and attacks."


          2)Persons with Concealed Carry Permits may Carry Weapons on  
            School Grounds if Authorized by School Officials:   Under the  
            existing code section for the Gun-Free School Zone Act, any  
            person can possess a concealed weapon on school grounds  
            provided that they have permission from school officials.  The  
            relevant code sections read as follows:  
            
               "[A]ny person who possesses a firearm in a place that the  
               person knows, or reasonably should know, is a school zone,  
               unless it is with the written permission of the school  
               district superintendent, or equivalent school authority, is  
               punished?" (Pen. Code,  626.9, subd  (b).)  (emphasis  
               added.)  

               "Unless it is with the written permission of the school  
               district superintendent, the superintendent's designee, or  
               equivalent school authority, no person shall carry  
               ammunition or reloaded ammunition onto school grounds,  
               except sworn law enforcement officers in the scope of their  
               duties."  (Pen. Code,  30310, subd. (a).)   (emphasis  
               added.)








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            The legislature has made a policy decision, that persons may  
            carry firearms on school grounds with the written permission  
            of school officials.   The reason for this is to enhance  
            public safety.  Specifically, it is in the interests of public  
            safety that school officials know that firearms are being  
            carried on school grounds.  Additionally, if a person has a  
            domestic violence restraining order and the feel the need to  
            carry a concealed weapon at work to defend themselves, school  
            officials should know that danger is looming as well.    
            
          3)Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995:  Enacted by AB 645 (Allen),  
            Chapter 1015, Statutes of 1994, the Gun-Free School Zone Act,  
            hereafter referred to as the "Act," generally provides that   
            any person who possesses, discharges, or attempts to discharge  
             a firearm, in a place that the person knows, or reasonably  
            should know, is a within a distance of 1,000 feet from the   
            grounds of any public or private school, kindergarten or  
            Grades 1 to 12, (a "school zone"), without written permission,  
            may be found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor and is subject   
            to a term in county jail or state prison.   
             
             The Act does not require that notices be posted regarding  
            prohibited conduct under the Act; therefore, it is incumbent  
            on the individual possessing the firearm to be knowledgeable   
            of and adhere to the Act.

            A "school zone" is defined as an area in, or on the grounds  
            of, a public or private school providing instruction in  
            kindergarten or Grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and within a  
            distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of the public or  
            private school.  The Act also provides specific definitions of  
            a "loaded" firearm and a "locked container" for securing  
            firearms.  

          4)Argument in Support:  According to Safari Club International,  
            "it is considered appropriate that persons possessing a permit  
            to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) who are issued a protective  
            order based on a threat of domestic violence be able to defend  
            themselves if necessary while being in a school zone.  They  
            should be able to carry their concealed firearm wherever they  
            go.  Otherwise, they would be left defenseless if assaulted  








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            while within a school zone."


          5)Argument in Opposition:  According to The California Chapters  
            of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, "In furtherance  
            of our goal to reduce firearm violence in our communities,  
            including on school grounds and college campuses, the  
            California Brady Campaign Chapters are taking an oppose  
            position to your bill, AB 2340. 


            "Legislation was enacted last year (SB 707) that prohibits  
            persons holding a valid license to carry a concealed and  
            loaded weapon (CCW) to bring the gun on the grounds of a K-12  
            school or on the campus of a university or college.  Firearms,  
            including concealed, loaded handguns, can still be allowed on  
            school grounds or campuses with the written permission of  
            school officials.  AB 2340 would exempt CCW holders who are  
            protected by a domestic violence protective order from the  
            prohibition.  Such person would also be exempt from the  
            prohibition on carrying ammunition onto school grounds.  The  
            reasons for prohibiting CCW holders from carrying guns on  
            school grounds and campuses have not changed since last year  
            and apply to AB 2340.  


            "Under existing law, county sheriffs issue CCW permits and  
            thereby determine who may carry a concealed, loaded gun on  
            school grounds or campuses.  Although there is a big variance  
            in standards for issuing CCW permits among sheriffs, a permit  
            is valid in any county in the state.  Under AB 2340, a person  
            who obtained a CWW permit in a rural county could be carrying  
            a loaded gun on a campus in an urban setting.  The Brady  
            Campaign strongly believes that the discretion to allow  
            hidden, loaded guns on a school grounds and college or  
            university campuses must ultimately lie with school  
            authorities, who bear the responsibility for the well-being  
            and safety of their students.


            "Moreover, it is very important for school authorities to know  
            who has a loaded, hidden gun on campus.  It has become  








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            standard practice for schools to prepare for a campus shooting  
            incident.  Active shooter drills are conducted and procedures  
            are developed in collaboration with local law enforcement  
            agencies.  In a real school shooting, the presence of an armed  
            person, who is unaware of the preparedness plan and whose  
            intent may be unknown, adds unnecessary confusion and risk to  
            the situation.   


            "The Violence Policy Center has documented homicides,  
            suicides, accidental shootings and at least 29 mass shootings  
            (since May 2007) committed by CCW license holders.  Under  
            existing law, they cannot carry their guns in many sensitive  
            places.  Similarly, those CCW permit holders who are also  
            protected by a domestic violence protective order cannot carry  
            their gun in many locations and schools should be no  
            different.  


            "If a person feels threatened to the point where she or he  
            feels the need to have a gun for a potential shootout, then  
            that person should not be on school grounds or a college  
            campus.  Young children or older students could be killed in  
            the crossfire.  Safely using a firearm in such an emotionally  
            charged or stressful situation would be difficult and would  
            put many at great risk of being shot." 





          6)Prior Legislation:


             a)   SB 707 (Wolk), Chapter 766, Statutes of 2015, specified  
               that persons who possess a concealed weapons permit may not  
               possess that firearm on school grounds as specified.  

             b)   AB 2609 (Lampert), Chapter 115, Statutes of 1998,  
               clarified the Gun Free School Zone Act (Act) to forbid the  
               bringing or possession of any firearm on the grounds of, or  
               in any buildings owned or operated by a public or private  








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               university or college used for the purpose of student  
               housing, teaching, research or administration, that are  
               contiguous or are clearly marked university property.   
               Exempts specified law enforcement and security personnel.

             c)   AB 624 (Allen), Chapter 659, Statutes of 1995, passed  
               the Gun-Free School Zone Act of 1995.



          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:




          Support


          California Rifle and Pistol Association 


          California Sportsmen's Lobby, Inc.  


          National Rifle Association of America 


          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California 


          Peace Officer Research Association of California


          Safari Club International  




          Opposition


          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  








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          Violence 


          California Federation of Teachers 


          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence  

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