BILL ANALYSIS Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary SB 23 (Perata) Hearing Date:5/27/99 Amended:4/6/99 Consultant: Lisa Matocq Policy Vote:Pub Saf 4-0 ____________________________________________________________ BILL SUMMARY: SB 23 (1) expands the scope of various crimes and sentence enhancements by expanding the definition of assault weapons, (2) requires that the "new" assault weapons be registered with DOJ within 1 year, as specified, and (3) makes related changes. Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 Fund Felonies and sentence Unknown increased costs, in excess of General enhancements $150 annually, and potentially significant for incarceration in state prison Misdemeanors Unknown increased mandated, nonreim- Local bursable costs for county jail and probation DOJ registration and $ 885 $ 630 unknown Special* public education potentially fully offset by increased fee revenues Courts Probably less than $50 annually for Special** increased workload *Dealers' Record of Sale Account **Trial Court Trust Fund STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. Under current law, the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989, the sale, manufacture, transportation, importing, or lending of assault weapons is a felony, punishable by 4, 6 or 8 years in state prison. Except as otherwise provided, possession is a wobbler, punishable by up to 1 year in county jail or in state prison. A sentence enhancement of 10 or 20 years, or life applies if a firearm is used in specified crimes. The list of assault weapons includes certain semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns. Persons who lawfully possess an assault weapon are required to register with DOJ. This bill: expands the scope of various crimes and sentence enhancements by redefining "assault weapon" (e.g. any person armed with one of the listed firearms during the commission of a felony is subject to a 3-year enhancement, any person who uses a listed firearm during the commission of a felony is subject to a 5, 6 or 10-year enhancement, and anyone who commits assault on another person with an assault weapon is subject to a 4, 8 or 12-year enhancement) makes it a wobbler, punishable by up to 1 year in county jail or in state prison, to manufacture, import, keep or offer for sale, or give or lend, any detachable large-capacity magazine, as specified, requires that the "new" assault weapons be registered with DOJ within 1 year of the effective date of the bill, as specified, requires DOJ to include the new assault weapons in its public education campaign, exempts certain off-duty and retired law enforcement personnel from the prohibition against possession, purchase, or sale of assault weapons, and makes related changes. Broadening the scope of the ban on manufacture, sale, import, or possession of certain weapons to include large-capacity magazines could result in some persons new to prison. There were 367 prison admissions during 1997-98 for violations of the existing ban. For every 10% of prison admissions affected by this bill, increased incarceration costs are $758,000 annually, beginning 2000-01; $392,000 assuming 50% good-time credits. Expanding the definition of assault weapons could also result in some persons new to state prison and some persons serving additional time. There were 5 prison admissions during 1997-98 for manufacture, sale or import of assault weapons, and 11 for possession. For every 10% of prison admissions impacted by this bill, increased incarceration costs are about $42,000 beginning 1999-2000, increasing by at least $21,000 annually in subsequent years, until reaching about $ 147,000. With regard to the expanded sentence enhancements, during 1997-98, 5 persons received the 3-year enhancement "armed with" offense, 17 persons received the 5, 6 or 10-year enhancement for the "use" offense, and 1 person received the 4, 8 or 12-year enhancement for assault on another with an assault weapon. For every 10% of sentence enhancements affected by this bill, increased incarceration costs are $ 63,000 annually beginning as early as 2000-01, increasing to about $189,000 annually in subsequent years. Overall, there are unknown increased incarceration costs, in excess of $150,000 annually, and potentially significant in out years as longer sentences take effect. For every inmate year, incarceration costs are about $21,000. It would take only 8 inmate years to exceed annual incarceration costs of $150,000. In addition, according to DOJ, there are estimated increased costs of $885,000 in the first year, and $630,000 in the second year for the public education and registration portions of the bill. DOJ believes these costs are fully offset by fee revenues (staff notes the bill does specify that any costs incurred by DOJ for the public education campaign that cannot be absorbed by the department shall be funded from the DROS account, upon appropriation by the Legislature). AB 2560 (Perata) of 1998 was nearly identical to this bill and was vetoed by the Governor. In his veto message, the Governor expressed concerns over the definition of assault weapons. The definition has been changed in this bill.