BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó



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

          Bill No:    SB 1407       Hearing Date:    April 19, 2016    
          
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          |Author:    |De León                                              |
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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:  Identifying Information



          HISTORY

          Source:   Author

          Prior Legislation:SB 808 (De León) - 2013, vetoed
                         AB 809 (Feuer) - Chap. 745, Stats. of 2011
                         AB 302 (Beall) - Chap. 344, Stats. of 2010
                                   AB 1810 (Feuer) - 2010, failed passage  
          on the Senate floor
                                   AB 161 (Steinberg) - Chap. 754, Stats.  
          of 2003
                                   AB 950 (Brulte) - Chap. 944, Stats. of  
          2001
                                   AB 2188 (Scott) - Chap. 398, Stats. of  
          1998


          Support:  California Academy of Family Physicians; California  
          Police Chiefs Association

          Opposition:California Rifle and Pistol Association; Gun Owners  
                    of California; National Rifle Association of America

           
          PURPOSE








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          The purpose of this legislation is to require: (1) a person,  
          commencing July 1, 2018, to apply to and obtain from the  
          Department of Justice (DOJ) a unique serial number or other mark  
          of identification prior to manufacturing or assembling a  
          firearm, as specified; and (2) by January 1, 2019, any person  
          who, as of July 1, 2018, owns a firearm that does not bear a  
          serial number assigned to it to obtain a unique serial number or  
          other mark of identification prior to manufacturing or  
          assembling a firearm, as specified.

          Existing federal law requires licensed importers and licensed  
          manufacturers to identify each firearm imported or manufactured  
          by using the serial number engraved or cast on the receiver or  
          frame of the weapon, in such manner as prescribed by the  
          Attorney General.  (18 U.S.C. § 923(i).) 

          Under existing federal law, the United States Undetectable  
          Firearms Act of 1988 makes it illegal to manufacture, import,  
          sell, ship, deliver, possess, transfer, or receive any firearm  
          that is not as detectable by walk-through metal detection as a  
          security exemplar containing 3.7 oz of steel, or any firearm  
          with major components that do not generate an accurate image  
          before standard airport imaging technology.  (18 U.S.C. §  
          922(p).)  

          Existing law prohibits a person, firm, or corporation licensed  
          to manufacture firearms pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with  
          Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code from  
          manufacturing firearms in California, unless the person, firm or  
          corporation is also licensed under California law.  This  
          prohibition does not apply to a person licensed under federal  
          law, who manufactures less than 100 firearms a calendar year.   
          (Penal Code § 29010.)

          Existing law makes it illegal to change, alter, remove, or  
          obliterate the name of the maker, model, manufacturer's number,  
          or other mark of identification on any pistol, revolver, or any  
          other firearm, without first having secured written permission  
          from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to make that change,  
          alteration, or removal.  Anyone who is found to have violated  
          this section shall be punished by imprisonment pursuant to  
          subdivision (h) of Section 1170.  (Penal Code § 23900.)










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          Existing law allows the Department of Justice, upon request, to  
          assign a distinguishing number or mark of identification to any  
          firearm whenever the firearm lacks a manufacturer's number or  
          other mark of identification, or whenever the manufacturer's  
          number or other mark of identification, or a distinguishing  
          number or mark assigned by the department has been destroyed or  
          obliterated.  (Penal Code § 23910.)

          Existing law makes it misdemeanor, with limited enumerated  
          exceptions, for any person to buy, receive, dispose of, sell,  
          offer to sell or have possession any pistol, revolver, or other  
          firearm that has had the name of the maker or model, or the  
          manufacturer's number or other mark of identification changed,  
          altered, removed, or obliterated.  (Penal Code §§ 23920 and  
          23925.)

          Existing law requires a person be at least 18 years of age to  
          purchase a rifle or shotgun.  To purchase a handgun, a person  
          must be at least 21 years of age.  As part of the Dealer Record  
          of Sales (DROS) process, the purchaser must present "clear  
          evidence of identity and age" which is defined as a valid,  
          non-expired California Driver's License or Identification Card  
          issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.  (Penal Code §§  
          27510 and 16400.) 

          Existing law requires purchasers to present a handgun safety  
          certificate prior to the submission of DROS information for a  
          handgun or provide the dealer with proof of exemption pursuant  
          to California Penal Code Section 31700.  Beginning on January 1,  
          2015, this requirement was extended to all firearms.  (Penal  
          Code § 26840.)
           
           Existing law requires that firearms dealers obtain certain  
          identifying information from firearms purchasers and forward  
          that information, via electronic transfer to 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 firearms to be centrally registered at the  
          time of transfer or sale by way of transfer forms centrally  
          compiled by the Department of Justice.  The Department of  
          Justice is required to keep a registry from data sent to DOJ  
          indicating who owns what firearm by make, model, and serial  









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          number and the date thereof.  (Penal Code § 11106(a) and (c).) 

          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 because of a  
          prior felony conviction or because they had previously purchased  
          a handgun within the last 30 days, or because they had received  
          inpatient treatment for a mental health disorder, as specified.   
          (Penal Code § 28220.) 

          Existing law allows the Department of Justice to require the  
          dealer to charge each firearm purchaser a fee not to exceed $14,  
          except that the fee may be increased at a rate not to exceed any  
          increase in the California Consumer Price Index as compiled and  
          reported by the Department of Industrial Relations.  This fee,  
          known as the DROS fee, shall be no more than is necessary to  
          fund specific codified costs.  (Penal Code § 28225.)

          Under existing law, the Department of Justice may charge a fee  
          sufficient to reimburse it for each of the following but not to  
          exceed fourteen dollars ($14), except that the fee may be  
          increased at a rate not to exceed any increase in the California  
          Consumer Price Index as compiled and reported by the Department  
          of Industrial Relations:

                 For the actual costs associated with the preparation,  
               sale, processing, and filing of forms or reports required  
               or utilized pursuant to any provision listed in subdivision  
               (a) of Section 16585.

                 For the actual processing costs associated with the  
               submission of a Dealers' Record of Sale to the department.

                 For the actual costs associated with the preparation,  
               sale, processing, and filing of reports utilized pursuant  
               to Sections 26905, 27565, or 28000, or paragraph (1) of  
               subdivision (a) of Section 27560.

                 For the actual costs associated with the electronic or  
               telephonic transfer of information pursuant to Section  
               28215.









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                 Any costs incurred by the Department of Justice to  
               implement this section shall be reimbursed from fees  
               collected and charged pursuant to this section.  No fees  
               shall be charged to the dealer pursuant to Section 28225  
               for implementing this section.  (Penal Code § 28230.)

          Under existing law, the Attorney General shall establish and  
          maintain an online database to be known as the Prohibited Armed  
          Persons File.  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, 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.  (Penal Code § 30000.) 

          This bill defines "manufacturing" or "assembling" a firearm as  
          "to fabricate or construct a firearm, or to fit together the  
          component parts of a firearm to construct a firearm."  

          This bill, commencing July 1, 2018, requires any person who  
          manufactures or assembles a firearm to: 

                 Apply to the Department of Justice for a unique serial  
               number or other mark of identification, as specified; 

                 Within ten days of manufacturing or assembling the  
               firearm, to engrave or permanently affix the unique serial  
               number or other mark to that firearm, as specified; and, 

                 Notify the DOJ once the serial number or other mark is  
               affixed to the firearm, as specified.

          This bill states that by January 1, 2019, any person who, as of  
          July 1, 2018, owns a firearm that does not bear a serial number,  
          as specified, must:

                 Apply to the Department of Justice for a unique serial  
               number or other mark of identification, as specified.

                 Within ten days of manufacturing or assembling the  
               firearm, to engrave or permanently affix the unique serial  
               number or other mark to that firearm, as specified; and, 









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                 Notify the DOJ once the serial number or other mark is  
               affixed to the firearm, as specified.

          This bill specifies, prior to the DOJ providing the person with  
          a unique serial number or other mark, the person must: 

                 Present proof the applicant is not prohibited by state  
               or federal law.

                 Present proof of age and identity.  The applicant must  
               be 18 years of age or older to obtain a unique serial  
               number or mark of identification for a firearm that is not  
               a handgun, and must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a  
               unique serial number or mark of identification for a  
               handgun.

                 Provide a description of the firearm that he or she owns  
               or intends to manufacture or assemble, in a manner  
               prescribed by the department.

                 Have a valid firearm safety certificate or handgun  
               safety certificate.

          This bill prohibits the sale or transfer of ownership of a  
          firearm manufactured or assembled pursuant to the provisions of  
          this legislation, but allows for the transfer, surrender, or  
          sale of a firearm to a law enforcement agency, as specified.

          This bill exempts the following from the provisions of this  
          legislation:

                 A firearm that has a serial number assigned, as  
               specified.

                 A firearm made or assembled prior to December 16, 1968,  
               that is not a handgun.

                 A firearm which was entered into the centralized  
               registry, as specified, prior to July 1, 2018, as being  
               owned by a specific individual or entity if that firearm  
               has assigned to it a distinguishing number or mark of  
               identification to that firearm by virtue of the department  
               accepting entry of that firearm into the centralized  









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               registry.

                 An antique firearm, as specified. 

          This bill provides if the firearm is a handgun, a violation of  
          this section is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not  
          to exceed one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand  
          dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.  For  
          all other firearms, a violation of this section is punishable by  
          imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed six months, or by a  
          fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both  
          that fine and imprisonment.  Each firearm found to be in  
          violation of this section constitutes a distinct and separate  
          offense. This section does not preclude prosecution under any  
          other law providing for a greater penalty.

          This bill requires the DOJ to maintain electronic records of all  
          persons that receive a unique serial number or other mark, and  
          notify the DOJ that it has been engraved or affixed to the  
          firearm.  

          This bill requires DOJ to maintain and make available upon  
          request information concerning both of the following:

                 The number of serial numbers issued, as specified.

                 The number of arrests for violations of Section 29180.

          This bill allows the DOJ to charge a fee for applications to  
          administer the costs of electronic tracking and would authorize  
          the DOJ to use the Dealer Record of Sales (DROS) account to  
          cover actual costs associated with this legislation. 

                    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  









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          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 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: 

               Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, it is illegal for  
               an unlicensed person to make a firearm for sale or  
               distribution.  However a loophole in the law allows  
               for the construction of firearms by unlicensed  
               individuals so long as the firearms are made for  
               personal use and not sold or transferred. These  
               homemade guns are assembled through the purchase of  
               unfinished receivers, or 80 percent completed lower  
               receivers.  Unfinished receivers, the engine of a  
               firearm, are not technically considered firearms  
               because of their incomplete stage and thus do not  
               require a serial number or background check for  
               purchase.  With an unfinished receiver, a firearm  
               parts kit, and basic drilling machinery, an individual  
               can assemble a fully functional firearm without being  
               subject to the requirements placed on all other  
               firearms transactions-no serialization or background  
               check on the owner. 

               This loophole poses an increasingly daunting challenge  
               for law enforcement. As reported in the Sac Bee  
               (December 19, 2015) "California black market surges  
               for 'ghost guns'," there is an emerging black market  
               for these homemade guns, or ghost guns, because they  
               allow criminals and other dangerous individuals to  
               circumvent background checks and other California  
               firearms laws, including the state's assault weapons  
               ban.  Because these firearms are assembled privately  
               and do not produce a sales record, no one knows they  









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               exist until a crime is committed.  Federal and state  
               officials have seized hundreds of these weapons in a  
               series of ongoing undercover operations.

               Another telling example is the June 2013 shooting in  
               Santa Monica by John Zawahri, who killed five people  
               using a gun assembled at home. Although Zawahri was  
               denied a firearms purchase by the Department of  
               Justice because of mental illness concerns, he was  
               able to skirt the law by purchasing a lower receiver  
               online, which he modified to craft the AR-15 style  
               rifle that was used in the shooting. Similarly, just  
               law year, ghost guns were used in a murder-suicide in  
               Walnut Creek. 

               The development of technologies that make the  
               manufacture of weapons accessible to the general  
               public raises questions about whether homemade guns  
               are being made by gang members, felons, and other  
               prohibited individuals. Without specific measures that  
               address the dangers posed by these self-made guns,  
               criminals will exploit the technologies at the expense  
               of public safety-as is proving to be the case  
               throughout the state.
          
          2.Recent Events
          
          According to a July 15, 2013, briefing prepared by the Minority  
          Staff of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, United States  
          House of Representatives: 

               On June 7, 2013, John Zawahri, 23, killed five people and  
               injured several more during a shooting rampage that lasted  
               approximately 13 minutes in Santa Monica, California.  He  
               first shot and killed his father, Samir Zawahri, and  
               brother, Christopher, at their home.  He then pulled over  
               and carjacked Laurie Sisk, forcing her to drive at gunpoint  
               to Santa Monica College.  Zawahri shot at numerous cars,  
               pedestrians, and a bus en route, killing the college's  
               groundskeeper, Carlos Franco, and his daughter, Marcela.   
               Upon arriving at the campus, he then fatally shot another  
               woman, Margarita Gomez.  He then entered the school  
               library, where he attempted to kill several library patrons  
               who were hiding in a safe room.  Police, who had been  









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               alerted to the shooting and to Zawahri's location by  
               numerous 911 calls, exchanged gunfire in the library with  
               the shooter and pronounced him dead at the scene.   
               According to authorities, Zawahri fired approximately 100  
               rounds in total.

               Zawahri had a history of mental illness.  In 2006, a  
               teacher at his high school discovered Zawahri researching  
               assault weapons online.  School officials contacted the  
               police and he was subsequently admitted to the psychiatric  
               ward at the University of California, Los Angeles Medical  
               Center.  Zawahri attempted to buy a weapon in 2011, but a  
               background check conducted by the California Department of  
               Justice found him ineligible and denied the purchase.  The  
               reasons for this denial have not been publicly released.
                                                            
               Zawahri used a modified AR-15 rifle in the shooting and  
               also carried a .44-caliber handgun.  He possessed more  
               than 1,300 rounds of ammunition.  The AR-15 rifle is the  
               same type of gun used in the mass shootings that occurred  
               in Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut.  The AR-15  
               firearm held 30 rounds.  California state law bans the  
               sale of AR-15 rifles with a magazine capacity greater than  
               ten rounds.  Authorities believe that Zawahri assembled  
               his AR-15 rifle using parts he bought in pieces from a  
               number of different sources, including an 80% completed  
               lower receiver.  Police found a drill press at Zawahri's  
               home, a tool that can make holes in the lower receiver to  
               complete the weapon.  (Citations Omitted.)  

          The manufacturing and selling of illegal guns continues to  
          be an issue in California: 
                                                
               Manufacturing and selling illegal guns -- including  
               so-called "ghost guns" -- is the most common type of  
               investigation the Sacramento Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco  
               and Firearms deals with.

               "Ghost guns" are missing a serial number and have been  
               manufactured with parts likely bought online.

               "In this office we find quite a few of them and we have  
               made a number of cases over the last few years of people  
               that are selling these firearms for profit, and I would  









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               expect that we continue to make those types of cases," said  
               ATF spokesman Graham Barlowe.

               Last October, two brothers were indicted for illegally  
               manufacturing and selling guns in Sacramento. Agents seized  
               345 guns as part of that investigation.

               Daniel Crowninshield, who is also known as "Dr. Death," was  
               also indicted last year for manufacturing unlicensed  
               firearms, using computer-controlled machines at a North  
               Sacramento metal shop.

               In Elk Grove, machinist Richard Gray usually restores cars  
               at his shop, but said he has had people bring in parts  
               claiming they need a broken gun fixed.

               "But (I) then started realizing that wasn't exactly what  
               they were doing. What they were really doing was trying to  
               create a gun that didn't have any serial numbers on it,"  
               Gray said.

               Now, Gray said he won't accept any type of firearm.

               "We just tell them straight up that we're not in that kind  
               of business." 

               He's a supporter for stricter legislation on assembling  
               guns, but thinks it'll make illegal gun manufacturers more  
               desperate.

               "They're gonna go someplace else. They're gonna get the  
               parts and bring them in here by hook or crook," he said.

               There are several websites dedicated to selling parts to  
               build any firearm.

               "We do have cases ongoing at this time, and as I said, I  
               would expect that we'll have cases, we'll be opening cases  
               in the months and year following until, really until  
               there's a change in the way that we see this problem,"  
               Barlowe said.

          (Dana Griffin, ATF: 'Ghost guns' a growing trend in Sacramento  
          area, August 6, 2015,  









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          http://www.kcra.com/news/atf-ghost-guns-a-growing-trend-in-sacram 
          ento-area/34586452.) 

          In 2016, the federal grand jury returned an indictment against  
          Craig Mason, of Auburn, charging him with unlawful dealing and  
          manufacturing firearms: 

               According to court documents, Mason and others  
               involved in the scheme sold the parts necessary to  
               assemble a firearm. Mason operated a workshop on his  
               property that he used to manufacture firearms by  
               converting AR-15-style blanks into lower receivers.

               A "blank" is a metal casting that is not considered a  
               firearm by ATF. It is converted into a "lower  
               receiver" by using a drill press or automated machine  
               to create the precise shape and space necessary for  
               the lower receiver to accept the parts that will allow  
               the firing of a projectile. These parts (e.g., the  
               hammer, bolt or breechlock, and firing mechanism) are  
               the internal mechanical parts that combine with a  
               trigger, firing pin, and other parts to form a  
               functioning firearm. Once the blank is converted to a  
               lower receiver, it is considered firearm by statute,  
               even if there is no barrel, handle, or trigger, etc.,  
               and it is subject to regulation.

               On April 23, 2013, Mason manufactured two AR-15-style  
               lower receivers for an ATF confidential informant.  
               Despite being told that the confidential informant had  
               been to prison and therefore prohibited from  
               possessing a firearm, Mason created the firearms and  
               sold his services to the confidential informant.

          (https://www.atf.gov/news/pr/auburn-man-indicted-illegally-m 
          anufacturing-firearms.) 

          3.  Effect of This Legislation 
          
          SB 1407 would require any person who manufactures or assembles a  
          firearm to first obtain a serial number from the DOJ and  
          demonstrate that he or she is not prohibited from owning  
          firearms.  Specifically, any person who manufactures or  
          assembles a firearm will be required to: 









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                 Obtain a unique serial number or other mark from the  
               Department of Justice 
               prior to making or assembling a firearm; 
                 Within ten days of making or assembling to engrave or  
               permanently affix the unique serial number or other mark to  
               the firearm; and, 
                 Notify the Department of Justice once the serial number  
               or other mark is affixed to the firearm.

          Prior to the DOJ providing the person with a unique serial  
          number or other mark, the person must: 

                 Present proof the applicant is not prohibited by state  
               or federal law.
                 Present proof of age and identity.  The applicant must  
               be 18 years of age or older to obtain a unique serial  
               number or mark of identification for a firearm that is not  
               a handgun, and must be 21 years of age or older to obtain a  
               unique serial number or mark of identification for a  
               handgun.
                 Provide a description of the firearm that he or she owns  
               or intends to manufacture or assemble, in a manner  
               prescribed by the department.
                 Have a valid firearm safety certificate or handgun  
               safety certificate.

          There are no provisions in existing law that prevent a person  
          from buying an 80% lower receiver<1> and then making it into a  
          fully functional firearm.  Because 80% lower receivers are not  
          considered firearms, a person purchasing them does not have to  
          go through a federal firearms dealer, and does not have to  
          undergo a background check.  According to the author, SB 1407  
          will help to close this loophole. 

          4.  Senate Bill 808 Veto Message
          
          In 2014, the Governor vetoed a virtually identical piece of  
          legislation, SB 808 (De León), stating: 
          ---------------------------
          <1> According to Tactical Machining, "An 80% Receiver is a  
          partially completed piece of material that requires special  
          tooling and skills to be completed and considered a firearm."   
          (http://www.tacticalmachining.com/80-lower-receiver.html.) 









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               I am returning Senate Bill 808 without my signature.

               SB 808 would require individuals who build guns at home to  
               first obtain a serial number and register the weapon with  
               the Department of Justice.

               I appreciate the author's concerns about gun violence, but  
               I can't see how adding a serial number to a homemade gun  
               would significantly advance public safety. 

          5.  Argument in Support

          According to the California Police Chiefs Association: 

               The California Police Chiefs Association supports Senate  
               Bill 1407, which would require a person who manufactures or  
               assembles a firearm, or owns a firearm that does not bear a  
               serial number, to apply to the Department of Justice for a  
               unique serial number or other identifying mark. 

               There are no provisions in existing law that prevent a  
               person from manufacturing or buying an 80% lower  
               receiver-the basis of a firearm-and then making it into a  
               fully functional firearm.  Furthermore, the accessibility  
               of these parts have become increasingly easier to acquire  
               with the invention of 3D printers.  Because 80% lower  
               receivers are not considered firearms, a person purchasing  
               them does not have to go through a federal firearms dealer,  
               and does not have to undergo a background check.  This has  
               created a loophole that allows prohibited felons, gang  
               members, and mentally ill individuals to obtain firearms  
               against the intent of our laws.

               California has some of the strictest firearm regulations in  
               the nation.  The laws are meant to keep our neighborhoods  
               safer and aid law enforcements fight against gun violence,  
               while still protecting the rights of responsible gun  
               owners.  Essential to each, in the ability to track and  
               verify the ownership of each firearm in the state.  It is  
               detrimental to public safety and law enforcement's ability  
               to solve crimes if there are innumerable firearms in  
               circulation without serialization or registration.  If we  
               do not begin to address this problem now, the number of  









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               shootings involving untraceable firearms will become a much  
               heavier burden on law enforcement, and the victims of gun  
               violence, in the future.  

          6.  Argument in Opposition

          According to the National Rifle Association: 

               SB 1407 would make it a crime under California law for an  
               individual to manufacture a firearm without first obtaining  
               California Department of Justice (DOJ) approval to do so  
               and subsequently engraving a DOJ-provided serial number on  
               the firearm.  This legislation should be opposed because it  
               will effectively nullify the long-standing and  
               constitutionally protected activity of building one's own  
               firearms.  Additionally, SB 1407 will promote the  
               destruction and devaluation of existing firearms without  
               any tangible public safety benefit.
                
               First, precluding an individual from manufacturing a  
               firearm without first obtaining government approval  
               infringes on the longstanding American tradition of  
               manufacturing a personal firearm.  From prior to the  
               Revolution to the Civil War most Americans were intimately  
               involved in constructing and designing their own firearms.  
               (See Peter Jensen-Haxel,3D Printers, Obsolete Firearm  
               Supply Controls, and the Right to Build Self-Defense  
               Weapons Under Heller, 42 Golden Gate U. L. Rev. 447, 477-78  
               (2012).)  Even though this involvement faded somewhat in  
               other parts of the country with the rise of  
               nineteenth-century industrialization, it remained a  
               fundamental part of Californian identity well into the  
               twentieth-century, as many in the unpopulated frontier of  
               the American West continued to manufacture their own  
               firearms. (Lawrence P. Shelton, California Gunsmiths  
               1846-1900, 5 (1977).)  This tradition continues to this  
               day, with many Californians manufacturing their own  
               firearms without seeking government permission to do so.
                
               As the U.S. Supreme Court has made clear, the Second  
               Amendment protects the "ancient" and "natural" right to  
               keep and bear arms. (District of Columbia v. Heller, 554  
               U.S. 570, 599 (2008).)  The Court went to great lengths to  
               explain that the scope of that right is defined by the  









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               public's understanding of the Second Amendment at the time  
               of the founding. (Id. at 605.)  Accordingly, given this  
               unobstructed and long-standing tradition of personally  
               manufacturing firearms stretching from the Revolutionary  
               War to the present, SB 1407's requirement that individuals  
               receive government approval to manufacture their personal  
               firearms violates the Second Amendment.
                
               Moreover, the restrictions imposed by this legislation are  
               wholly unwarranted.  State and federal laws already  
               prohibit people from possessing dangerous firearms.  For  
               example, it is already illegal for any member of the  
               general public to make or possess an assault weapon. (See  
               Cal. Penal Code §§ 30600 and 30605.)  Similarly, the  
               manufacture and possession of machineguns, short-barreled  
               shotguns and short-barreled rifles are highly regulated  
               under state and federal and law. (26 U.S.C. § 5861; Cal.  
               Penal Code §§ 32625, 33210.)  And potentially dangerous  
               people convicted of felony offenses, subject to a  
               restraining order, or adjudicated mentally defective,  
               already may not possess firearms. (18 U.S.C. § 922(g); Cal.  
               Penal Code §§ 29800, 29825; Cal. Welf. & Inst. Code §  
               8103.)  Because it is already a crime for people to possess  
               these dangerous firearms, and for potentially dangerous  
               people to possess any firearms, it is highly unlikely that  
               SB 1407 will do anything of use to keep potentially  
               dangerous weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn't  
               have them. Thus, SB 1407 will only serve to waste scarce  
               law enforcement resources by creating additional red-tape  
               to regulate the activities of responsible firearm owners.
                
               Make no mistake, SB 1407 will effectively end the practice  
               of personally manufacturing firearms in California. Section  
               5 of this bill requires that each person, within one day of  
               manufacturing or assembling a firearm, affix a unique  
               serial number provided by DOJ, and that the number be  
               engraved in a manner that meets or exceeds the requirements  
               imposed on federally licensed firearms manufactures.  The  
               problem is the federal requirements, designed for companies  
               that are in the business of manufacturing firearms for  
               national distribution, are extensive.  A manufacture must  
               stamp, at a minimum depth of .003 inch, the firearm's  
               serial number, model, and caliber, as well as the name of  
               the manufacturer, and the city and state where  









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               manufactured. 27 C.F.R. § 478.92.[1]  Needless to say,  
               precisely engraving all this information requires highly  
               sophisticated equipment that most Californian manufacturing  
               hobbyists do not have and cannot afford.  Thus, SB 1407  
               will without a doubt price most Californians out of  
               personal firearms manufacturing.
                
               Additionally, this legislation would cause firearm owners  
               to damage and/or significantly diminish the value of their  
               firearms.  This bill etches out minor exceptions to its  
               requirements.  One being the fact that it does not require  
               the markings for a "firearm made or assembled prior to  
               December 16, 1968, that is not a handgun."  The year 1968  
               is significant because that is the year the federal Gun  
               Control Act was enacted.  The Gun Control Act significantly  
               enhanced the 1958 Treasury Department regulations  
               promulgated under the Federal Firearms Act, which required  
               that firearms be stamped with a specific serial number.   
               Gun Control Act of 1968 § 923(i).  While this law creates  
               an exception for non-handguns, it requires handguns made  
               prior to 1968 to be defaced by adding a serial number.  Any  
               make defacing a firearm of that age will result in a  
               diminution of that firearm's value.
                
               Finally, SB 1407 creates significant confusion over when  
               manufacturers must have their firearms engraved.   
               Specifically, this bill defines "firearm" to include the  
               unfinished frame or receiver of a weapon that can be  
               "readily converted" to the functional condition of a  
               finished frame or receiver.  Accordingly, personal firearm  
               manufactures are required to obtain and affix a DOJ serial  
               number, at some undefined point in the middle of the  
               manufacturing process when the raw materials for a firearm  
               are "readily convertible" into a firearm.  And to make  
               matters worse, SB 1407 never defines the term "readily  
               convertible," leaving it up to personal manufactures to  
               guess if they are far enough in the manufacturing process  
               to obtain a serial number and affix it to an unfinished  
               frame and receiver.  If the manufacturer guesses wrong, he  
               or she is guilty of a crime.

          

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