BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY
                             Senator Loni Hancock, Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:    AB 2510       Hearing Date:    June 21, 2016    
          
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          |Author:    |Linder                                               |
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          |Version:   |February 19, 2016                                    |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
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          |Consultant:|JRD                                                  |
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              Subject:  Firearms:  License to Carry Concealed:  Uniform  
 
                                       License



          HISTORY

          Source:   California State Sheriffs' Association

          Prior Legislation:None known

          Support:  Association of Los Angeles Deputy Sheriffs; California  
                    Police Chiefs Association; California Rifle and Pistol  
                    Association; Los Angeles County Professional Peace  
                    Officers Association; Los Angeles Police Protective  
                    League; National Rifle Association; Riverside  
                    Sheriffs' Association; Rick Farinelli, District 3  
                    Supervisor, County of  Madera 

          Opposition:California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees;  
                    Firearms Policy Coalition

          Assembly Floor Vote:                 77 - 0


          PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to (1) require the Attorney General  







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          to develop a license to carry a concealed firearm (CCW), with  
          uniform information and criteria, that may be used as indicia of  
          proof of licensure throughout the state, and (2) approve the use  
          of licenses issued by local agencies and to retain exemplars of  
          approved licenses and a list of agencies issuing local licenses,  
          as specified. 

          Existing law states that a county sheriff or municipal police  
          chief may issue a license to carry a handgun capable of being  
          concealed upon the person upon proof of all of the following:

                 The person applying is of good moral character (Penal  
               Code  26150 and 26155(a)(1));

                 Good cause exists for the issuance (Penal Code  26150  
               and 26155(a)(2));

                 The person applying meets the appropriate residency  
               requirements (Penal Code  26150 and 26155(a)(3)); and, 

                 The person has completed the appropriate training  
               course, as specified.  (Penal Code  26150 and  
               26155(a)(4)).

          Existing law states that a county sheriff or a chief of a  
          municipal police department may issue a license to carry a  
          concealed handgun in either of the following formats:

                 A license to carry a concealed handgun upon his or her  
               person (Penal Code  26150 and 26155(b)(1)); or,

                 A license to carry a loaded and exposed handgun if the  
               population of the county, or the county in which the city  
               is located, is less than 200,000 persons according to the  
               most recent federal decennial census.  (Penal Code  26150  
               and 26155(b)(2).)

          Existing law provides that a license may include any reasonable  
          restrictions or conditions that the issuing authority deems  
          warranted.  (Penal Code  26200.)

          Existing law specifies that applications for CCW licenses,  
          applications for amendments to CCW licenses, amendments to CCW  
          licenses, and CCW licenses under this article shall be uniform  








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          throughout the state, upon forms to be prescribed by the  
          Attorney General.  (Penal Code  26175 (a)(1).)  

          Existing law provides that the Attorney General shall convene a  
          committee composed of one representative of the California State  
          Sheriffs' Association, one representative of the California  
          Police Chiefs Association, and one representative of the  
          Department of Justice to review, and as deemed appropriate,  
          revise the standard application form for CCW licenses. The  
          committee shall meet for this purpose if two of the committee's  
          members deem that necessary.  (Penal Code  26175(a)(2).)  

          Existing law states that the application shall include a section  
          summarizing the statutory provisions of state law that result in  
          the automatic denial of a license.  (Penal Code  26175(b).)  

          Existing law provides that the standard application form for CCW  
          licenses shall require information from the applicant,  
          including, but not limited to, the name, occupation, residence,  
          and business address of the applicant, the applicant's age,  
          height, weight, color of eyes and hair, and reason for desiring  
          a license to carry the weapon.  (Penal Code  26175(c).)  

          Existing law specifies that applications for licenses shall be  
          filed in writing and signed by the applicant.  (Penal Code   
          26175(d).)  

          Existing law provides that applications for amendments to CCW  
          licenses shall be filed in writing and signed by the applicant,  
          and shall state what type of amendment is sought and the reason  
          for desiring the amendment.  (Penal Code  26175(e).) 

          Existing law states that the forms shall contain a provision  
          whereby the applicant attests to the truth of statements  
          contained in the application.  (Penal Code  26175(f).)  

          Existing law provides that an applicant shall not be required to  
          complete any additional application or form for a license, or to  
          provide any information other than that necessary to complete  
          the standard application form, except to clarify or interpret  
          information provided by the applicant on the standard  
          application form.  (Penal Code  26175(g).)  

          Existing law states that the standard application form is deemed  








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          to be a local form expressly exempt from the requirements of the  
          Administrative Procedures Act.  (Penal Code  26175(h).)  

          Existing law provides that any CCW license issued upon the  
          application shall set forth the licensee's name, occupation,  
          residence and business address, the licensee's age, height,  
          weight, color of eyes and hair, and the reason for desiring a  
          license to carry the weapon, and shall, in addition, contain a  
          description of the weapon or weapons authorized to be carried,  
          giving the name of the manufacturer, the serial number, and the  
          caliber. The license issued to the licensee may be laminated.   
          (Penal Code  26175(i).)  

          This bill requires the Attorney General to develop a uniform CCW  
          license that may be used as indicia of proof of licensure  
          throughout the state. 


          This bill requires the Attorney General to approve the use of  
          licenses issued by local agencies if they contain specified  
          information and a recent photograph of the applicant. 


          This bill requires the Attorney General to retain exemplars of  
          approved licenses and maintain a list of agencies issuing local  
          licenses.


                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION

          For the past several years this Committee has scrutinized  
          legislation referred to its jurisdiction for any potential  
          impact on prison overcrowding.  Mindful of the United States  
          Supreme Court ruling and federal court orders relating to the  
          state's ability to provide a constitutional level of health care  
          to its inmate population and the related issue of prison  
          overcrowding, this Committee has applied its "ROCA" policy as a  
          content-neutral, provisional measure necessary to ensure that  
          the Legislature does not erode progress in reducing prison  
          overcrowding.   

          On February 10, 2014, the federal court ordered California to  
          reduce its in-state adult institution population to 137.5% of  
          design capacity by February 28, 2016, as follows:   








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                 143% of design bed capacity by June 30, 2014;
                 141.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2015; and,
                 137.5% of design bed capacity by February 28, 2016. 

          In December of 2015 the administration reported that as "of  
          December 9, 2015, 112,510 inmates were housed in the State's 34  
          adult institutions, which amounts to 136.0% of design bed  
          capacity, and 5,264 inmates were housed in out-of-state  
          facilities.  The current population is 1,212 inmates below the  
          final court-ordered population benchmark of 137.5% of design bed  
          capacity, and has been under that benchmark since February  
          2015."  (Defendants' December 2015 Status Report in Response to  
          February 10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge  
          Court, Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  One  
          year ago, 115,826 inmates were housed in the State's 34 adult  
          institutions, which amounted to 140.0% of design bed capacity,  
          and 8,864 inmates were housed in out-of-state facilities.   
          (Defendants' December 2014 Status Report in Response to February  
          10, 2014 Order, 2:90-cv-00520 KJM DAD PC, 3-Judge Court, Coleman  
          v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (fn. omitted).)  
           
          While significant gains have been made in reducing the prison  
          population, the state must stabilize these advances and  
          demonstrate to the federal court that California has in place  
          the "durable solution" to prison overcrowding "consistently  
          demanded" by the court.  (Opinion Re: Order Granting in Part and  
          Denying in Part Defendants' Request For Extension of December  
          31, 2013 Deadline, NO. 2:90-cv-0520 LKK DAD (PC), 3-Judge Court,  
          Coleman v. Brown, Plata v. Brown (2-10-14).  The Committee's  
          consideration of bills that may impact the prison population  
          therefore will be informed by the following questions:

              Whether a proposal erodes a measure which has contributed  
               to reducing the prison population;
              Whether a proposal addresses a major area of public safety  
               or criminal activity for which there is no other  
               reasonable, appropriate remedy;
              Whether a proposal addresses a crime which is directly  
               dangerous to the physical safety of others for which there  
               is no other reasonably appropriate sanction; 
              Whether a proposal corrects a constitutional problem or  
               legislative drafting error; and
              Whether a proposal proposes penalties which are  








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               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy.

                                      COMMENTS
          
          1.  Need for Legislation 
          
          According to the author: 

               Existing law requires that licenses permitting persons to  
               lawfully carry a concealed firearm (CCW) must be uniform  
               throughout the state.  However, the current form/license  
               approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) is a paper  
               document that does not lend itself to being easily carried  
               on one's person.  Nothing in existing law specifically  
               permits CCW-authorizing agencies to issue its own CCW  
               identity document in a more user-friendly format.

          2.  Effect of Legislation 

          This bill specifies that the Attorney General develop a uniform  
          CCW license that may be used as indicia of proof of licensure  
          throughout the state.  The information on the license should be  
          uniform and consistent.  However, the bill does not require that  
          the licenses themselves be identical in the same way that a  
          California Driver's License is, other than the specified  
          information.  Opponents of the bill would like the information  
          and appearance of the concealed carry license to be consistent  
          across the state.  However, the proponents of the bill are  
          concerned that by mandating such consistency, that the costs to  
          certain jurisdictions to update their systems to meet those  
          requirements would be prohibitive.  


          The bill additionally requires the Attorney General to approve  
          the use of licenses issued by local agencies if they contain  
          specified information and a recent photograph of the applicant.   
          The opponents argue that this provision will further provide for  
          inconsistencies appearing in licenses throughout the state.  The  
          proponents of the legislation are more concerned with requiring  
          consistent content on the licenses, and providing a card that  
          can be carried upon the licensee easier than the paper permit.   
          By not requiring the paper permit and permitting an  
          identification card to be used as a CCW, proponents argue that  








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          public safety is enhanced because more people will have their  
          license with them while they are carrying a concealed weapon. 





          3.  Argument in Support 

          According to the California State Sheriffs' Association:

               Existing law, Penal Code Section 26175, generally governs  
               the process for the issuance of licenses that permit  
               persons to lawfully carry concealed firearms.  The  
               application and the licenses themselves must be uniform  
               throughout the state.  Any license issued must include the  
               licensee's name, occupation, residence and business  
               address, age, height, weight, color of eyes and hair, and  
               the reason for desiring a license to carry the weapon.  The  
               license is also required to contain a description of the  
               weapon or weapons authorized to be carried, including the  
               name of the manufacturer, the serial number, and the  
               caliber.   

               As a practical matter, the current CCW license is not  
               produced in a format that is easy to carry on one's person.  
                In response, some sheriff offices currently provide a  
               county identification card, which provides additionally  
               security features, and often includes a photograph of the  
               licensee.  This county-issued card cannot take the place of  
               the standard DOJ CCW license, however, and licensees end up  
               carrying both documents.  


               It makes sense to carry one's CCW license on his or her  
               person when armed.  It also stands to reason that issuers  
               of CCW licenses should be able to provide these documents  
               in a more convenient way that improves public safety by  
               allowing better identification of CCW holders.  This bill  
               simply authorizes county-issued CCW identification to be  
               carried in lieu of the standard DOJ form, as long as it  
               contains all of the information currently required by law,  
               as well as a photograph of the licensee.  Nothing in AB  
               2510 requires a permitting agency to do anything different  








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               than what they currently do - the bill merely provides an  
               alternative avenue to ensure proper licensure and  
               identification.


          4.  Argument in Opposition 

          According to the Firearms Policy Coalition: 

               Current law requires that all licenses to carry in  
               California to be uniform throughout the state. An officer  
               who encounters a license from El Dorado County should be  
               seeing the exact same permit as from Riverside County-- and  
               it should be readily identifiable as such. 

               AB 2510 undoes this longstanding, successful scheme and  
               creates a patchwork quilt of licenses that must be  
               presented upon request (or sometimes even without a  
               request, depending on local policies) to any law  
               enforcement officer during a stop or other contact. 

               If all 450 or so issuing agencies (58 sheriffs and over 400  
               chiefs of police) were to make up their own permit, it  
               would cause confusion, put our members and law enforcement  
               in danger-- not only in California--but in those states  
               that honor our licenses. 

               In addition, it would put Federal Firearms Licensees  
               (FFL's) in the awkward and criminally liable position of  
               judging which of the 400-plus licenses are valid, in order  
               to comply with statutory exemptions for proof of residency  
               and firearms safety certificates at the point of sale. 

               Sadly, some local sheriffs have taken it upon themselves to  
               issue local identification cards or quasi-licenses, despite  
               the clear prohibition against it. Now, they have sponsored  
               AB 2510 to grant themselves absolution without any respect  
               for the purposes of the law enforcement committee that  
               originally chose the uniform standard per the penal code. 

               The proponents may argue that the current unnecessary and  
               superfluous local licenses or identification cards they  
               issue for various non-statutory reasons are simply  
               supplemental, simply to be easier to carry, simply more  








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               attractive, or some other rationalization --so they have  
               come to the legislature seeking validation of their  
               irresponsible conduct. The proponents have argued that the  
               measure actually creates uniformity, when in fact it does  
               just the opposite. The proponents have argued that there  
               will be training when, in fact, there is none. The  
               proponents have argued that it will make the license modern  
               and more secure, but nothing in the measure points to  
               anything related to that. 

               Regardless of how it is explained away, the creation of  
               potentially 450 unique licenses is irresponsible,  
               unnecessary, dangerous and expensive. It is akin to having  
               hundreds of local drivers' licenses. 

               In order to comply with AB 2510, the California Department  
               of Justice (CADOJ) will have to hire or reassign multiple  
               full time equivalent staff to implement the new state  
               mandates; create an optional license (counter-intuitively  
               named "uniform"), review and approve all non-uniform local  
               licenses and retain and update the exemplars in perpetuity.  
               In order for the system to work, they will also have to  
               keep all FFL's and law enforcement officers and agencies  
               abreast - in real time-of any changes to any of the  
               400-something local licenses in perpetuity. 

               CADOJ will have to change their forms, policies and  
               regulations to create a new, optional, tragically mis-named  
               "uniform" license-which the local issuing authorities may  
               use. The CADOJ then shall be forced to give their stamp of  
               approval when any local sheriff or police chief makes a  
               change to the size, shape, color, material, tamper  
               resistance (if any) or logo (if any) on the card as long as  
               it has basic information on it. To what end? Why create new  
               mandates on a state agency to justify the whimsy of local  
               politicians who want to leave their personal brand on what  
               is supposed to be a statewide license?

                                      -- END -













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