BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    






                                                                     SB 347


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          Date of Hearing:  June 30, 2015


          Counsel:               Gabriel Caswell








                         ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON PUBLIC SAFETY


                                  Bill Quirk, Chair





          SB  
          347 (Jackson) - As Amended June 2, 2015


                       As Proposed to be Amended in Committee








          SUMMARY:  Adds specified offenses to the list of misdemeanors  
          that result in the defendant being prohibited from possessing a  
          firearm for ten years.    Specifically, this bill: adds the  
          following misdemeanor offenses to the list of crimes that result  
          in a ten-year prohibition on possession of a firearm:  











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          1)Dealing in handguns without a license.

          2)Selling any ammunition to a person under 21 years of age.

          3)Prohibited person owning or possessing ammunition.

          4)Supplying ammunition to a prohibited person. 

          5)Bringing or carrying ammunition onto school grounds. 

          6)Petty theft if property taken was a firearm.

          7)Buying or receiving stolen property if the property consists  
            of a firearm.

          8)Carrying a concealed firearm if the person has been convicted  
            of a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or  
            dangerous drug violation.

          9)Carrying a loaded firearm if the person has been convicted of  
            a crime against a person or property, or of a narcotics or  
            dangerous drug violation.

          10)Violating the 10-year prohibition on possessing a firearm.

          EXISTING LAW:  

          1)Provides that certain people are prohibited from owning or  
            possessing a firearm for life, including:  (Pen. Code,   
            29800, 23515 and 29805.)  

             a)   Anyone convicted of a felony;

             b)   Anyone addicted to a narcotic drug;

             c)   Any juvenile convicted of a violent crime with a gun and  
               tried in adult court;












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             d)   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; 

             e)   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.  

          2)Provides that a violation of a lifetime ban on possession of a  
            firearm is a felony.  (Pen. Code,  29800, 23515 and 29805.)   


          3)Provides that anyone convicted of numerous misdemeanors  
            involving violence or threats of violence are subject to a  
            ten-year ban on possession of a firearm.  Provides that a  
            violation of these provisions is an alternate  
            felony/misdemeanor.  (Pen. Code,  29805.)  

          4)Provides that 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.  Provides that a violation of these provisions is  
            an alternate felony/misdemeanor.  (Welf. and Inst. Code,   
            8100 and 8103(f).)

          5)Provides that 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.  Provides that the violation of these provisions  
            is a wobbler or a misdemeanor, as specified. (Pen. Code,   
            29825.)

          6)Requires that firearms dealers obtain certain identifying  
            information from firearms purchasers and forward that  
            information, via electronic transfer to Department of Justice  











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            (DOJ) to perform a background check on the purchaser to  
            determine whether he or she is prohibited from possessing a  
            firearm.  (Pen. 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.  (Pen. Code,  28220.)

          8)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.  (Pen. Code,  11106(a)  
            and (c).)

          9)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.  (Pen. Code,  30000.)

          10)Provides that the Prohibited Armed Persons File database  
            shall function as follows:  (Pen. Code,  30000.)

             a)   Upon entry into the Automated Criminal History System 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  











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               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;

             b)   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;

             c)   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:

               i)     The subject's name;

               ii)    The subject's date of birth;

               iii)   The subject's physical description;

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

               v)     The basis of the firearms possession prohibition;  
                 and, 












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               vi)    A description of all firearms owned or possessed by  
                 the subject, as reflected by the Consolidated Firearms  
                 Information System.

          11)Provides, under federal law, that certain people are  
            prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm:  (18 USC   
            922(g).)  Any person who:

             a)   Has been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable  
               by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year; 

             b)   Is a fugitive from justice;

             c)   Is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled  
               substance, as defined; 

             d)   Has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has  
               been committed to a mental institution;

             e)   Being an alien is illegally or unlawfully in the United  
               States; or except as specified, has been admitted to the  
               United States under a nonimmigrant visa, as defined;  

             f)   Has been discharged from the Armed Forces under  
               dishonorable conditions;

             g)   Having been a citizen of the United States, has  
               renounced his citizenship;

             h)   Is subject to a court order that: 

               i)     was issued after a hearing of which such person  
                 received actual notice, and at which such person had an  
                 opportunity to participate;

               ii)    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  











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                 reasonable fear of bodily injury to the partner or child;  
                 and

                  (1)       includes a finding that such person represents  
                    a credible threat to the physical safety of such  
                    intimate partner or child; or

                  (2)       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

               iii)   Has been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor  
                 crime of domestic violence.  

          FISCAL EFFECT:  Unknown

          COMMENTS:  

          1)Author's Statement:  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.














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            "In 2001, California was the first in the nation to create the  
            Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) as a 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.<1>   
             In fact, studies have shown that handgun purchasers who have  
            had a single prior conviction for a nonviolent firearm-related  
            offense are 7 times as likely to be charge with new nonviolent  
            firearm offenses, 4 times as likely to be charged with new  
            violent offenses, and 5 times as likely to be charged with  
            murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault than a person  
            with no prior convictions.<2> 

            --------------------------
          <1>


           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.
          <2> 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.










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            "These studies demonstrate the need to strengthen our firearms  
            regulations.  In particular, certain firearm-related  
            misdemeanors that should have been originally included in the  
            10-year ban on firearm purchases.  It is vital that we protect  
            our communities by reducing unnecessary gun violence."

          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. Section 922(g);  
            Pen. Code, Section 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.  (Pen. Code, Section 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 Sections   
            8100, 8103(f)], and people under domestic violence restraining  
            orders are subject to a prohibition for the duration of that  
            court order.  (Pen. Code, Section 29825.)

            This bill would expand the number of misdemeanor convictions  
            resulting in a 10-year prohibition by adding a number of  
            offenses involving misdemeanor firearms and ammunition  
            violations.  This bill would expand the existing firearms  
            prohibitions by creating a class of misdemeanor offenses.  


          3)SB 755 (Wolk), 2014:  SB 755 (Wolk), of the 2013-2014  
            legislative session, added specified offenses to the list of  
            misdemeanors that result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms  
            possession, and adds certain misdemeanors related to substance  
            abuse for which a violation of two or more within a three-year  
            period will result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms  
            possession. SB 755 was vetoed by the governor.  The governor  











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            issued the following message with his veto:  
            
            "This bill adds substance-abuse offenses and court orders to  
            undergo mental health outpatient treatment to criteria that  
            result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms possession.

            "I am not persuaded that it is necessary to bar gun ownership  
            on the basis of crimes that are non-felonies, non-violent and  
            do not involve misuse of a firearm."
            
          4)Argument in Support:  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, the  
            California Brady Campaign has designated Senate Bill 347 as a  
            priority bill and is in strong support. 
            
            "The Brady Campaign believes that a key strategy for reducing  
            gun violence is to keep firearms out of the hands of  
            individuals who, based on their condition or past behavior,  
            are determined to be at risk of future acts of violence.  Such  
            individuals include criminals, domestic abusers, persons who  
            are dangerously mentally ill and children; under existing law  
            these individuals cannot purchase or possess firearms.  With  
            its strong gun laws, California does a better job than other  
            states of keeping firearms out of dangerous hands and  
            consequently, our firearm death rate has dropped  
            significantly.  In fact, between 1990 and 2013, California  
            reduced its firearm mortality rate by 51.6 percent, which was  
            double the reduction made in the rest of the country (25.2%).   
            Nonetheless, over 6,000 people are shot in California each  
            year and nearly half of them die.



            "Under existing law, convicted felons are subject to a  
            permanent firearm prohibition and persons who has been  
            convicted of certain violent misdemeanors are prohibited from  
            possessing or purchasing a firearm within 10 years of the  
            conviction, yet many criminals are still able to legally  











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            purchase firearms in California.  SB 347 adds specified  
            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 handguns 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).<3>   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.  


            "Irresponsible gun owners who break firearm laws should be  
            held accountable and be subject to a temporary firearm  
            prohibition.  This is a logical and appropriate consequence  
            that supports the Brady Campaign's core mission of keeping  
            weapons out of dangerous hands.  Accordingly, the California  
            Brady Campaign Chapters are in strong support of SB 347 and  
            request your AYE vote."





            --------------------------
          <3>










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          5)Argument in Opposition:  According to the Shasta County  
            Sheriff, "Existing law generally prohibits a person who has  
            been convicted of certain specified misdemeanors from  
            possessing a firearm within 10 years of the conviction.  Under  
            existing law, a violation of this prohibition is a crime,  
            punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one  
            year or in the state prison for 16 months, or 2, or 3 years,  
            by a fine not exceeding $1,000, or by both fine and  
            imprisonment.  
            
            "SB 347 would add to the list of misdemeanors, the conviction  
            for which is subject to the above prohibition on possessing a  
            firearm within 10 years of the conviction, misdemeanor  
            offenses of transferring a firearm without a firearms license,  
            selling or giving possession of ammunition to a minor, selling  
            handgun ammunition to a person under 21 years of age, carrying  
            ammunition onto school grounds, carrying a loaded or concealed  
            weapon if the firearm is not registered.  The addition of  
            these misdemeanor offenses to the prohibited category that  
            include the 'transfer' of firearms or ammunition could entrap  
            family members that are giving firearms to relative and are  
            unaware of the requirements for firearms transfers through  
            licensed dealers.  The addition of the 'giving possession' of  
            ammunition to 'minors' to the prohibited category could  
            criminalize the simple act of a family member providing  
            ammunition to other family members that are hunting or  
            recreationally shooting.  

            "There are provisions of SB 347 that add to the list of  
            prohibiting misdemeanors carrying a 'loaded' and 'concealed'  
            firearm as defined in PC 25400 and 25400(c)(6).  This will  
            lead to the prosecution of a person that makes the simple  
            mistake of not locking or securing a handgun when they are  
            transporting it in a vehicle."  

          6)Prior Legislation:  SB 755 (Wolk), of the 2013-2014  
            legislative session, added specified offenses to the list of  
            misdemeanors that result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms  
            possession, and adds certain misdemeanors related to substance  











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            abuse for which a violation of two or more within a three-year  
            period will result in a 10-year prohibition on firearms  
            possession. SB 755 was vetoed by the governor.    

          REGISTERED SUPPORT / OPPOSITION:

          Support
          
          California Chapters of the Brady Campaign 
          California State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police 
                 Coalition Against Gun Violence 
          Courage Campaign 
          Friends Committee on Legislation of California 
          Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
          Long Beach Police Officers Association 
          Los Angeles County Professional Peace Officers Association 
          Physicians for Social Responsibility, Sacramento Chapter 
          Physicians for Social Responsibility, San Francisco Chapter 
          Sacramento County Deputy Sheriffs' Association  
          Santa Ana Police Officers Association
          Santa Barbara Police Department  
          Violence Prevention Coalition 
          Youth Alive 

          5 private individuals 

          Opposition
          
          California Attorneys for Criminal Justice 
          California Public Defenders Association 
          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          California Sportsmen's Lobby,  Inc. 
          California Waterfowl  
          Firearms Policy Coalition 
          Gun Owners of California 
          National Rifle Association of America
          Outdoor Sportsmen's Coalition of California  
          Safari Club International 
          Shasta County Sheriff 











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