BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  1


          1407 (De León)

          As Amended  August 8, 2016

          Majority vote

          SENATE VOTE:  24-14

          |Committee       |Votes|Ayes                  |Noes                |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Public Safety   |5-2  |Jones-Sawyer, Lopez,  |Melendez, Lackey    |
          |                |     |Low, Quirk, Santiago  |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |Appropriations  |14-5 |Gonzalez, Bloom,      |Bigelow, Gallagher, |
          |                |     |Bonilla, Bonta,       |Jones, Obernolte,   |
          |                |     |Calderon, Daly,       |Wagner              |
          |                |     |Eggman, Eduardo       |                    |
          |                |     |Garcia, Holden,       |                    |
          |                |     |Quirk, Santiago,      |                    |
          |                |     |Weber, Wood, Chu      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |
          |                |     |                      |                    |

          SUMMARY:  Clarifies that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would  


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  2

          be required to maintain and make available information  
          concerning the number of serial numbers or other marks of  
          identification issued pursuant to manufactured or assembled  

          1)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.   

          2)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.  

          3)Allows DOJ, 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.  

          4)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.  


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  3

          5)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.  

          6)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.  

          7)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.  

          8)Requires firearms to be centrally registered at the 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.   

          9)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, 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  


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  4

          10)Allows DOJ 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.  

          11)Permits DOJ to charge a fee sufficient to reimburse it for  
            each of the following but 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:  

             a)   For the actual costs associated with the preparation,  
               sale, processing, and filing of specified forms or reports  
               required or utilized;
             b)   For the actual processing costs associated with the  
               submission of a Dealers' Record of Sale to the DOJ;

             c)   For the actual costs associated with the electronic or  
               telephonic transfer of information; and

             d)   Any costs incurred by DOJ to implement this section  
               shall be reimbursed from fees collected and charged  
               pursuant to this section.  

          12)Requires that the Attorney General 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  


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  5

            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.  
          FISCAL EFFECT:  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, no cost to DOJ.

          COMMENTS:  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 are not sold or transferred. 

          "Unlike all other firearms, homemade guns have no record of  
          existence.  These homemade guns are assembled through the  
          purchase of unfinished receivers, or 80% 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. 

          "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 exist until a crime is committed.   


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  6

          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 last 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."

          Please see the policy committee analysis for a full discussion  
          of this bill.

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


                                                                    SB 1407

                                                                    Page  7