BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



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

          Bill No:    SB 1332       Hearing Date:    April 5, 2016    
          
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          |Author:    |Mendoza                                              |
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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



          HISTORY

          Source:   Author

          Prior Legislation:None known

          Support:  Peace Officers Research Association of California;  
                    California Sportsman's Lobby; Outdoor Sportsmen's  
                    Coalition of California; California Chapters of Safari  
                    Club International

          Opposition:Unknown

           
          PURPOSE

          The purpose of this bill is to: (1) provide for joint spousal  
          registration in California, as specified; and (2) modify the  
          firearm loan provisions, as specified.   
          
          Joint Spousal Registration
          
          Existing law states, in order to assist in the investigation of  
          crime, the prosecution of civil actions by city attorneys, the  
          arrest and prosecution of criminals, and the recovery of lost,  







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          stolen, or found property, the Attorney General shall keep and  
          properly file a complete record of all copies of fingerprints,  
          copies of licenses to carry firearms issued as provided,  
          information reported to the Department of Justice (DOJ) as  
          specified, dealers' records of sales of firearms, specified  
          forms and reports, that are not dealers' records of sales of  
          firearms, other specified information, and reports of stolen,  
          lost, found, pledged, or pawned property in any city or county  
          of this state, and shall, upon proper application therefor,  
          furnish this information to the officers authorized to receive  
          state summary criminal history information. (Penal Code   
          11106(a).) 

          Existing law requires the Attorney General to permanently keep  
          and properly file and maintain all information reported to DOJ  
          pursuant to specified provisions of law as to firearms and  
          maintain a registry thereof. (Penal Code  11106 (b).) 

          Existing law provides that any officer referred to in provisions  
          of law related to who may receive state summary criminal history  
          information may disseminate the name of the subject of the  
          record, the number of the firearms listed in the record, and the  
          description of any firearm, including the make, model, and  
          caliber, from the record relating to any firearm's sale,  
          transfer, registration, or license record, or any information  
          reported to DOJ if certain conditions are met. (Penal Code   
          11106(c)(1).)

          This bill would require the Attorney General to permanently keep  
          and properly file and maintain the name of the person and his or  
          her spouse or domestic partner, if the firearm is registered to  
          both individuals, as specified. 

          This bill requires the department to modify its registration  
          forms, if it has not already done so, so that both spouses or  
          both domestic partners may register as the owners of the  
          firearm, as specified. 

          This bill makes a number of findings relating to joint spousal  
          registration, including:

                 There are legitimate concerns that if joint firearm  
               registration is explicitly allowed by virtue of the  
               amendments made to Section 11106 of the Penal Code by the  








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               act that added this section, it may create a number of  
               issues regarding third-party rights when the time comes to  
               dispose of those jointly registered firearms. Those  
               concerns exist now as to jointly registered .50 BMG rifles  
               and assault weapons.

                 Requiring the Attorney General to prepare and submit to  
               the Legislature on or before January 1, 2018, a report  
               concerning all of the following:

                  o         What process is occurring now as to the joint  
                    registration of firearms between spouses and  
                    registered domestic partners pursuant to the operation  
                    of law procedures by virtue of the amendments made to  
                    Section 11106 of the Penal Code by the act that added  
                    this section.

                  o         Any issues that have arisen as to joint family  
                    registration of .50 BMG rifles and assault weapons.

                  o         The barriers that exist, if any, to joint  
                    registration of firearms between spouses and  
                    registered domestic partners that are not obviated by  
                    the amendments made to Section 11106 of the Penal Code  
                    by the act that added this section.

                  o         The feasibility and costs of explicitly  
                    implementing a joint firearm registration system  
                    beyond the provisions of this act made by the  
                    amendments made to Section 11106 of the Penal Code by  
                    the act that added this section without disrupting the  
                    current Dealer Record of Sale system.

                  o         The overall costs of creating and maintaining,  
                    and the costs to the individuals of using, a joint  
                    firearm registration system beyond those changes made  
                    by the amendments made to Section 11106 of the Penal  
                    Code by the act that added this section.

                  o         The effect of an explicit joint firearm  
                    registration system on overall efforts by DOJ in terms  
                    of information and computerized upgrades that the  
                    department is currently undertaking.









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                  o         Recommendations for the disposition of jointly  
                    registered firearms that protect public safety, the  
                    registrants, and third parties.

                  o         Proposals for any specific statutory changes  
                    necessary to implement the recommendations identified,  
                    as specified 

                 It is the intent of the Legislature, if joint firearm  
               registration does not occur pursuant to the amendments made  
               to Section 11106 of the Penal Code by the act that added  
               this section, to enact legislation that will go into effect  
               prior to January 1, 2019, to implement an explicit joint  
               firearm registration system in a user-friendly manner that  
               protects public safety and does not complicate the  
               disposition of firearms that are jointly registered.

                 It is the intent of the Legislature that the DOJ make  
               available on its Internet Web site, in an editable public  
               display format, the form referred to in Section 27882 of  
               the Penal Code.

          Loan Provisions of this Bill
          
          Current federal law requires licensed firearms dealers, before  
          they may deliver a firearm to a purchaser, to perform a  
          background check on the purchaser through the federal National  
          Instant Criminal Background Check System ("NICS").  (18 U.S.C   
          921, et seq.)

          Existing law requires that, except as specified, all sales,  
          loans, and transfers of firearms to be processed through or by a  
          state-licensed firearms dealer or a local law enforcement  
          agency.  (Penal Code  27545.) 

          Existing law provides that there is a 10-day waiting period when  
          purchasing a firearm through a firearms dealer.  During which  
          time, a background check is conducted and, if the firearm is a  
          handgun, a handgun safety certificate is required prior to  
          delivery of the firearm.  (Penal Code  26815, 26840(b) and  
          27540.)

          Existing law creates numerous exceptions to a variety of  
          different and specified firearms transfer requirements,  








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          including penal code section 27545, for loans of firearms under  
          a variety of different circumstances. The general categories of  
          these exceptions are:


                 For target shooting at target facility. (Penal Code   
               26545.)


                 To entertainment production. (Penal Code  26580.)


                 Several exceptions relating to law enforcement officers  
               and government agencies (Penal Code  2660, et seq.)


                 For infrequent loan of non-handgun; curio or relic  
               (Penal Code  27966) [commencing January 1, 2014]


                 To a consultant-evaluator. (Penal Code  27005.)


                 To minors. (Penal Code  27505.)


                 Infrequent loans to persons known to each other. (Penal  
               Code  27880.)


                 Where the firearm stays within the presence of the  
               owner. (Penal Code  27885.)

                 To a licensed hunter. (Penal Code  27950.)

          Existing law that provides for infrequent loans to person known  
          to each other, as specified in penal code section 27880, allows  
          for the loan of a firearm between persons known to each other,  
          if the following requirements are met: 

                 The loan is infrequent, as defined in Section 16730;
                 The loan is for any lawful purpose;
                 The loan does not exceed 30 days in duration; and
                 Until January 1, 2015, if the firearm is a handgun, the  








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               individual being loaned the firearm shall have a valid  
               handgun safety certificate. Commencing January 1, 2015, for  
               any firearm, the individual being loaned the firearm shall  
               have a valid firearm safety certificate, except that in the  
               case of a handgun, an unexpired handgun safety certificate  
               may be used.

          This bill would limit the duration of the infrequent loans to  
          person known to each other to ten days, as specified.  

          This bill provides that section 27545 does not apply to the loan  
          of a firearm provided all of the following are met:

                 If the firearm being loaned is a handgun or  
               semiautomatic center fire rifle, the handgun or rifle is  
               registered to the person making the loan pursuant to  
               Section 11106;
                 The loan occurs within the lender's place of residence  
               or private property, which is not zoned for commercial,  
               retail, or industrial activity;
                 The firearm at all times stays within the lender's place  
               of residence or private property, which is not zoned for  
               commercial, retail, or industrial activity;
                 The individual receiving the firearm is not prohibited  
               by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning,  
               or purchasing a firearm;
                 The individual receiving the firearm is 18 years of age  
               or older; and
                 The individual receiving the firearm has a valid firearm  
               safety certificate, except that if the firearm being loaned  
               is a handgun, the individual may instead have an unexpired  
               handgun safety certificate.
          
          This bill provides that Section 27545 does not apply to the loan  
          of a firearm provided all of the following are met:

                 If the firearm being loaned is a handgun or  
               semiautomatic center fire rifle, the handgun or rifle is  
               registered to the person making the loan pursuant to  
               Section 11106.
                 The firearm being loaned is stored in the receiver's  
               place of residence or in an enclosed structure on the  
               receiver's private property, which is not zoned for  
               commercial, retail, or industrial activity.








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                 The firearm at all times stays within the receiver's  
               place of residence or in an enclosed structure on the  
               receiver's private property, which is not zoned for  
               commercial, retail, or industrial activity.
                 The individual receiving the firearm is not prohibited  
               by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning,  
               or purchasing a firearm.
                 The individual receiving the firearm is 18 years of age  
               or older.
                 The individual receiving the firearm has a valid firearm  
               safety certificate, except that if the firearm being loaned  
               is a handgun, the individual may instead have an unexpired  
               handgun safety certificate.
                 One of the following applies:

               o      The firearm is maintained within a locked container.
               o      The firearm is disabled by a firearm safety device.
               o      The firearm is maintained within a locked gun safe.
               o      The firearm is locked with a locking device, as  
                 defined in Section 16860, which has rendered the firearm  
                 inoperable.

                 The loan does not exceed 30 days in duration.
                 The loan is made without consideration.
                 There is writing in a format prescribed by the  
               Department of Justice that explains the obligations imposed  
               by this section that is signed by both the party loaning  
               the firearm for storage and the person receiving the  
               firearm.
                 Both parties to the loan have signed copies of the  
               writing, as specified.

                    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.   








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          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 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  








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               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: 

          California gun laws do not currently permit joint registration  
          and ownership of a firearm. Joint registration has been  
          occurring by default as a result of some local jurisdictions  
          issuing a license to carry to both spouses for the same handgun.  
          The local jurisdiction then transmits this information to the  
          California Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, joint  
          registration has been occurring when a firearm is brought into  
          California from a state where joint registration is allowed.  
          Joint spousal firearm registration exists in Hawaii, Maryland,  
          and New York.  Allowing for joint spousal registration in  
          California will bring consistency to law for a practice that is  
          already occurring in the state. Joint spousal registration is  
          especially important if one spouse dies, in which case, the  
          firearm would remain safely in the possession of the surviving  
          spouse. 

          Too many preventable incidents occur in which injury is caused  
          by irresponsible firearm use. In 2014, there were a total of  
          33,599 firearm deaths in the United States, 10,945 of which were  
          homicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  
          In California specifically, there were 2,942 firearm deaths and  
          1,813 homicides. In 2015, there were approximately 278  
          unintentional shootings by children aged 17 and under in the  
          United States, resulting in 88 deaths. Because of existing loan  
          exemptions, individuals who are personally known to each other  
          may enter into a firearm loan transfer without going through a  
          licensed firearm dealer and background check, if the loan does  
          not exceed 30 days. This exception provides an opportunity of up  
          to a month for a firearm to be in the possession of individuals  








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          who are legally prohibited from carrying one. Reducing the loan  
          to 10 days decreases the chance of crimes being committed with  
          the firearm, while still allowing for a loan in case there is  
          necessity for it, including during a time of need for emergency  
          protection. 

          According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), about 1.4  
          million firearms were stolen during household burglaries and  
          other property crimes between 2005 and 2010. A 2010 audit  
          conducted by the San Jose Police Department reported that around  
          300 of its firearms could not be accounted for, some of which  
          may have been stolen from officer's homes. Graham Barlowe, Agent  
          of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and  
          Explosives, Sacramento Office, stated that "In this day and age  
          of technology, most of the electronics don't really have any  
          value at all? the firearms do. Even an old firearm is still  
          valuable" (NBC Bay Area, 2015). Although reports vary, stolen  
          guns may account for roughly 15% of guns used in crimes, thus it  
          is essential that a safekeeping program is available when a gun  
          owner leaves their property. 

               This bill will create greater safeguards to prevent  
               firearms from falling into the wrong hands.

          2.  Effect of This Bill 

          This bill:  (1) provides for joint spousal registration in  
          California; and (2) modifies the firearm loan provisions.   

          The provisions of current law which allow for firearms to be  
          infrequently loaned to a person known to the owner, authorizes a  
          firearm to be loaned between persons who are personally known to  
          each other, if all of the following requirements are satisfied:

                 The loan is infrequent, meaning, for handguns, less than  
               six transactions per calendar year and for firearms other  
               than handguns, occasional and without regularity.
                 The loan is for any lawful purpose.
                 The loan does not exceed 30 days in duration.
                 If the firearm is a handgun, the individual being loaned  
               the handgun shall have a valid handgun safety certificate.

            (Penal Code  27880)









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          This bill limits that duration of the loan to 10 days and adds  
          additional loan provisions.  The additional loan provisions  
          would allow a person to loan a handgun or centerfire rifle in  
          certain circumstances.  Members may wish to consider an  
          amendment expanding these exceptions to all firearms.

          This legislation, additionally, requires that the Department of  
          Justice report a variety of information relating to spousal  
          registration by January 1, 2018.  This requirement is in the  
          bill's intent language.  Members may wish to consider  
          recommending that this requirement be codified to ensure that  
          the department is aware that it needs to report to the  
          Legislature in 2018.  

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