BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          Bill No:    SB 347        Hearing Date:    April 14, 2015    
          
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Author:    |Jackson                                              |
          |-----------+-----------------------------------------------------|
          |Version:   |February 24, 2015                                    |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:    |Yes              |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 
          |Consultant:|JRD                                                  |
          |           |                                                     |
           ----------------------------------------------------------------- 


                       Subject:  Firearms:  Prohibited Persons



          HISTORY
          
          Source:   Author

          Prior Legislation:SB 755 (Wolk)-2013, vetoed
                         SB 819 (Leno) - Chap. 743, Stats. 2011
                         AB 302 (Beall) - Chap. 344, Stats. 2010
                         AB 161 (Steinberg) - Chap. 754, Stats. 2003
                         AB 950 (Brulte) - Chap. 944, Stats. 2001

          Support:  California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent  
                    Gun Violence; Friends Committee on Legislation in  
                    California; Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence; City  
                    of Santa Barbara; Physicians for Social  
                    Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter; San Francisco Bay  
                    Area Physicians for Social Responsibility; Youth  
                    ALIVE;
                     2 Individuals

          Opposition:The California Sportsman Lobby; Gun Owners of  
                    California; Safari Club International; Outdoor  
                    Sportsmen's Coalition of California
           
          PURPOSE
          







          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          2 of ?
          
          
          The purpose of this bill is to add specified offenses to the list  
          of misdemeanors that result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms  
          possession.
          
          Existing law requires that firearms dealers obtain certain  
          identifying information from firearms purchasers and forward  
          that information, via electronic transfer to Department of  
          Justice (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.)

          Existing law 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.)

          Existing law requires firearms to be centrally registered at  
          time of transfer or sale by way of transfer forms centrally  
          compiled by the DOJ.  DOJ is required to keep a registry from  
          data sent to DOJ indicating who owns what firearm by make,  
          model, and serial number and the date thereof.  (Penal Code   
          11106(a) and (c).)

          Existing law requires the Attorney General to establish and  
          maintain an online database to be known as Armed Prohibited  
          Persons System (APPS).  The purpose of the file is to  
          cross-reference persons who have ownership or possession of a  
          firearm on or after January 1, 1991, as indicated by a record in  
          the Consolidated Firearms Information System (CFIS), 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.  The information contained in  
          APPS shall only be available to specified entities through the  
          California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System, for the  
          purpose of determining if persons are armed and prohibited from  
          possessing firearms.  (Penal Code  30000.)

          Existing law provides that the Prohibited Armed Persons File  
          database shall function as follows:  

                   Upon entry into the Automated Criminal History System  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          3 of ?
          
          
                of a disposition for a conviction of any felony, a  
                conviction for any firearms-prohibiting charge specified  
                in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 29800), a conviction  
                for an offense described in Chapter 3 (commencing with  
                Section 29900), a firearms prohibition pursuant to Section  
                8100 or 8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, or any  
                firearms possession prohibition identified by the federal  
                National Instant Criminal Background Check System, DOJ  
                shall determine if the subject has an entry in CFIS  
                indicating possession or ownership of a firearm on or  
                after January 1, 1991 or an assault weapon registration,  
                or a .50 BMG rifle registration;

                   Upon an entry into any department automated  
                information system that is used for the identification of  
                persons who are prohibited by state or federal law from  
                acquiring, owning, or possessing firearms, the department  
                shall determine if the subject has an entry in CFIS  
                indicating ownership or possession of a firearm on or  
                after January 1, 1991, or an assault weapon registration,  
                or a .50 BMG rifle registration;

                   If the department determines that, pursuant to  
                subdivision (a) or (b), the subject has an entry in the  
                CFIS indicating possession or ownership of a firearm on or  
                after January 1, 1991 or an assault weapon registration,  
                or a .50 BMG rifle registration, the following information  
                shall be entered into APPS:

              o     The subject's name;

              o     The subject's date of birth;

              o     The subject's physical description;

              o     Any other identifying information regarding the  
                subject that is deemed necessary
                    by the Attorney General;   

              o     The basis of the firearms possession prohibition; and,  


              o     A description of all firearms owned or possessed by  
                the subject, as reflected by 








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          4 of ?
          
          
                    the Consolidated Firearms Information System.

          (Penal Code  30000.)



          Current federal law provides that certain people are prohibited  
          from owning or possessing a firearm:

          Any person who:

                 Has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable  
               by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year;
                 Is a fugitive from justice;
                 Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled  
               substance, as defined; 
                 Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has  
               been committed to a mental institution;
                 Being an alien -
               o      is illegally or unlawfully in the United States; or
               o      except as specified, has been admitted to the United  
                 States under a nonimmigrant visa, as defined;  
                 Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under  
               dishonorable conditions;
                 Having been a citizen of the United States, has  
               renounced his citizenship;
                 Is subject to a court order that -
                  o         was issued after a hearing of which such  
                    person received actual notice, and at which such  
                    person had an opportunity to participate;
                  o         restrains such person from harassing,  
                    stalking, or threatening an intimate partner of such  
                    person or child of such intimate partner or person, or  
                    engaging in other conduct that would place an intimate  
                    partner in reasonable fear of bodily injury to the  
                    partner or child; and
                               includes a finding that such person  
                      represents a credible threat to the physical safety  
                      of such intimate partner or child; or
                               by its terms explicitly prohibits the use,  
                      attempted use, or threatened use of physical force  
                      against such intimate partner or child that would  
                      reasonably be expected to cause bodily injury; or
                 Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          5 of ?
          
          
               of domestic violence.  

          (18 USC  922(g).)

          Current California law provides that certain people are  
          prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm, including:

          Lifetime Ban
          
                 Anyone convicted of a felony;
                 Anyone addicted to a narcotic drug;
                 Any juvenile convicted of a violent crime with a gun and  
               tried in adult court;
                 Any person convicted of a federal crime that would be a  
               felony in California and sentenced to more than 30 days in  
               prison, or a fine of more than $1,000; 
                 Anyone convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, e.g.,  
               assault with a firearm; inflicting corporal injury on a  
               spouse or significant other, or brandishing a firearm in  
               the presence of a police officer.  

          (Penal Code  29800, 23515 and 29805.)

          Existing law provides that a violation of these provisions is a  
          felony.  (Id.)

          Ten Year Ban
          
          Anyone convicted of numerous misdemeanors involving violence or  
          threats of violence.  (Penal Code  29805.)

          Existing law provides that a violation of these provisions is a  
          wobbler, as specified.  (Id.)

          Five Year Ban
          
          Any person taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a  
          designated facility due to that person being found to be a  
          danger to themselves or others as a result of a mental disorder,  
          is prohibited from possessing a firearm during treatment and for  
          five years from the date of their discharge.  (Welfare and  
          Institutions Code  8100 and 8103(f).)

          Existing law provides that a violation of these provisions is a  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          6 of ?
          
          
          wobbler, as specified.  (Id.)

          Temporary Bans
          
          Persons who are bound by a temporary restraining order or  
          injunction or a protective order issued under the Family Code or  
          the Welfare and Institutions Code, may be prohibited from  
          firearms ownership for the duration of that court order.  (Penal  
          Code  29825.)

          Existing law provides that the violation of these provisions is  
          a wobbler or a misdemeanor, as specified.  (Id.)

          This bill would add the following misdemeanor offenses to those  
          for which a conviction results in a 10-year prohibition on  
          possession of a firearm:

                 Theft of a firearm (Penal Code  490.2);
                 Receipt of stolen property, if the property is a firearm  
               (Penal Code  496); 
                 Sale of a firearm without a license (Penal Code   
               26500);
                 Sale of ammunition to an underage person (Penal Code   
               30300);
                 Possession of ammunition by a person prohibited from  
               possessing a firearm (Penal Code  30305);
                 Sale or supplying ammunition to a person prohibited from  
               possessing a firearm (Penal Code  30306);
                 Bringing ammunition on school grounds (Penal Code   
               30310);
                 Carrying a concealed firearm where the person has been  
               convicted of a drug offense or of a crime against a person  
               or property (Penal Code  25400(c)(5));
                 Carrying a concealed firearm where the firearm was  
               loaded and not registered to the person in possession  
               (Penal Code  25400(c)(6));
                 Carrying a loaded firearm in public where the person has  
               been convicted of a drug offense or of a crime against a  
               person or property (Penal Code  25850(c)(5)); and
                 Carrying a loaded firearm in public where the firearm  
               was not registered to the person in possession.  (Penal  
               Code  25850(c)(6).)

                    RECEIVERSHIP/OVERCROWDING CRISIS AGGRAVATION








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          7 of ?
          
          
                                          
          For the past eight 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:   

                 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 February of this year the administration reported that as "of  
          February 11, 2015, 112,993 inmates were housed in the State's 34  
          adult institutions, which amounts to 136.6% of design bed  
          capacity, and 8,828 inmates were housed in out-of-state  
          facilities.  This current population is now below the  
          court-ordered reduction to 137.5% of design bed capacity."(  
          Defendants' February 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).

          While significant gains have been made in reducing the prison  
          population, the state now 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  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          8 of ?
          
          
               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  
               proportionate, and cannot be achieved through any other  
               reasonably appropriate remedy.







                                      COMMENTS
          
          1.   Need for This Bill
          
          According to the author:

               Firearms laws are a critical component of the state's  
               responsibility to ensure public safety.  According to  
               FBI statistics, in 2013 there were a total of 1,745  
               murders in California and 1,224 of those were firearm  
               related.  In order to prevent gun violence we have  
               adopted policies to prohibit the purchase of guns by  
               persons believed to be high-risk for future criminal  
               activity.

               Federal law makes it unlawful to purchase or possess  
               firearms by people who fall within certain categories  
               such as convicted felons, domestic abusers, and people  
               with specific kinds of mental health histories.   
               California law also imposes prohibitions that can last  
               for various lengths of time including a lifetime ban.   
               Anyone convicted of numerous misdemeanors involving  
               violence or threats of violence is prohibited from  
               owning or possessing a firearm for 10 years.

               In 2001, California was the first in the nation to  
               create the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) as a  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          9 of ?
          
          
               response to high-profile murder cases involving people  
               prohibited from owning firearms.  The Department of  
               Justice (DOJ) operates the APPS, which  
               cross-references the database of criminal convictions  
               and other prohibited persons with the state's firearms  
               registration database known as Automated Firearms  
               System (AFS).  The end result is a database of persons  
               who lawfully purchased/acquired firearms and assault  
               weapons and subsequently became prohibited as a result  
               of a criminal conviction, restraining order, felony  
               arrest warrant, and/or a mental health  
               assessment/adjudication.

               Still, many individuals with a history of criminal  
               activity legally purchase firearms every year.  It is  
               well established that persons with a history of even a  
               single prior arrest are, as a group, substantially  
               more likely than persons with no such history to  
               engage in criminal behavior in the future.   

          2.   Firearms Prohibitions for Misdemeanor Offenses
          
          As detailed above, 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: 









          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          10 of ?
          
          
               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.

          (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.)

          According to the author: 

               [S]tudies demonstrate the need to strengthen our  
               firearms regulations.  In particular, certain  
               firearm-related misdemeanors should have been  
               originally included in the 10-year ban on firearm  
               purchases.

          To this end, this bill would expand the number of misdemeanor  
          convictions resulting in a 10-year prohibition by adding a  
          number of firearm related misdemeanors, including the sale of a  
          firearm without a license, sale of ammunition to an underage  
          person, and carrying a concealed firearm where the firearm was  
          loaded and not registered to the person in possession.

          SHOULD THE NUMBER OF MISDEMEANOR CONVICTIONS RESULTING IN A  
          10-YEAR FIREARM PROHIBITION BE EXPANDED? 

          3.   Proposed Amendments

          The bill will be amended to add a misdemeanor conviction of  
          Penal Code section 29805 (prohibited person in possession of a  
          firearm) to the list of misdemeanors that result in a 10-year  
          prohibition on firearms possession. 

          4.  Argument in Support
          
          The California Chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun  
          Violence states,

               Under existing law, convicted felons are subject to a  
               permanent firearm prohibition and persons who has been  
               convicted of certain specified violent misdemeanors  








          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          11 of ?
          
          
               are prohibited from possessing or purchasing a firearm  
               within 10 years of the conviction, yet many criminals  
               are still able to legally purchase firearms in  
               California.  SB 347 adds a number of firearm and  
               ammunition-related offenses to the list of misdemeanor  
               convictions that carry a 10 year firearm prohibition.   
               These offenses include selling or furnishing  
               ammunition to a person prohibited from possessing  
               ammunition, including minors, and the possession of  
               ammunition by a prohibited person.  Dealing in  
               firearms without a license and carrying a loaded or  
               concealed weapon in certain cases, as well as other  
               offenses, would also cause the 10 year firearm  
               prohibition.  


               Public safety would be furthered by the addition of  
               the temporary firearm prohibitions under SB 347 as  
               research shows that handgun purchasers with prior  
               misdemeanor convictions are at increased risk of  
               future criminal activity, including violent crimes.   
               Specifically, a person in California convicted of one  
               nonviolent firearm offense is over 7 times more likely  
               to commit another nonviolent firearm offense, over 4  
               times more likely to commit a violent offense, and  
               over five times more likely to commit a Violent Crime  
               Index Offense (murder or non-negligent manslaughter,  
               forcible rape, robbery, or aggravated assault).<1>   A  
               temporary firearm prohibition for these at risk  
               individuals would make them unable to pass a  
               background check when attempting to purchase a firearm  
               and place them in the Armed and Prohibited Persons  
               System if they already possess a gun.  

          5.  Argument in Opposition
          
          The Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California (OSCC)  
          states: 

          --------------------------
               <1>
           Wintemute GJ. Prior Misdemeanor Convictions as a Risk Factor  
                             for Later Violent and Firearm0Related Criminal Activity Among  
          Authorized Purchasers of Handguns. Journal of the American  
          Medical Association 1998; 280: 2083-2087.







          SB 347  (Jackson )                                         Page  
          12 of ?
          
          
               The existing provision of state law that mandates a  
               ten year prohibition on the possession of firearms for  
               committing various misdemeanors (29085 pc) has thus  
               far been limited to misdemeanors that are of a violent  
               nature against another person. 

               SB 347 would abandon this principle by including a  
               number of misdemeanors that do not themselves  
               constitute violence against others. 

               Hunters are all firearms owners. The loss of lawful  
               firearms possession as proposed in SB 347 also means  
               the loss of hunting for ten years.  

               The offenses of concern to OSCC are not the kind of  
               violations that should result in the loss of firearms  
               possession for ten years. Existing penalties are  
               sufficient.

               Accordingly, the Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of  
               California is opposed to the enactment of the bill. 


                                      -- END --