BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     SB 347  


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          Date of Hearing:  August 19, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          SB 347  
          (Jackson) - As Amended July 8, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  YesReimbursable:   
          No


          SUMMARY:


          This bill adds specified offenses to the list of misdemeanors  
          that result in the defendant being prohibited from possessing a  
          firearm for ten years; a violation of this prohibition is an  








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          alternate felony/misdemeanor and/or a fine of up to $1,000.


          FISCAL EFFECT:


          1)Annual ongoing costs of over $220,000 (Dealer's Record of Sale  
            Fund) to the Department of Justice to address the additional  
            workload and enhance the Consolidated Firearms Information  
            System and the Automated Firearms System.


          2)Unknown nonreimbursable local law enforcement and  
            incarceration costs offset to a degree by increased fine  
            revenue.


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose.  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."

            "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.  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  








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            murder, rape, robbery, or aggravated assault than a person  
            with no prior convictions."



            "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)Background.  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.

            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.  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, and people under domestic  
            violence restraining orders are subject to a prohibition for  
            the duration of that court order.  


          3)Argument in Support:  According to the California Chapters of  
            the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, "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  








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            aggravated assault).  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."

          4)Argument in Opposition:  According to the Shasta County  
            Sheriff, "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 relatives 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."  

          5)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  
            abuse for which a violation of two or more within a three-year  
            period would have resulted in a 10-year prohibition on  
            firearms possession. SB 755 was vetoed by the governor. 

          Analysis Prepared by:Pedro R. Reyes / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081













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