BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                    SB 23|
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                              UNFINISHED BUSINESS

          Bill No:  SB 23
          Author:   Perata (D), et al
          Amended:  7/12/99
          Vote:     21

           SENATE PUBLIC SAFETY COMMITTEE  :  4-0, 3/23/99
          AYES:  Vasconcellos, Burton, Johnston, McPherson
          NOT VOTING:  Polanco, Rainey

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  9-4, 5/27/99
          AYES:  Johnston, Alpert, Bowen, Burton, Escutia, Karnette,  
            McPherson, Perata, Vasconcellos
          NOES:  Johnson, Kelley, Leslie, Mountjoy

           SENATE FLOOR  :  26-13, 7/12/99
          AYES:  Alarcon, Alpert, Bowen, Burton, Chesbro, Costa,  
            Dunn, Escutia, Figueroa, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston,  
            Karnette, McPherson, Murray, O'Connell, Ortiz, Peace,  
            Perata, Polanco, Rainey, Schiff, Sher, Solis, Speier,  
          NOES:  Baca, Haynes, Johannessen, Johnson, Kelley, Knight,  
            Leslie, Lewis, Monteith, Morrow, Mountjoy, Poochigian,  
          NOT VOTING:  Brulte

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  47-26, 7/12/99 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Firearms:  assault weapons

           SOURCE  :     Handgun Control



                                                                 SB 23

           DIGEST  :    This bill:

          1.Provides that it is a crime, punishable by an alternative  
            misdemeanor/ felony ("wobbler"), commencing January 1,  
            2000, for any person to manufacture or cause to be  
            manufactured, import into the state, keep for sale, or  
            offer to expose for sale, or give, or lend any  
            large-capacity magazine (i.e., any ammunition feeding  
            device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds),  
            as specified.

          2.Adds a new "generic" definition list of assault weapons  
            in a new section of the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons  
            Control Act of 1989, as specified (generally punishable  
            as a misdemeanor/felony).

          3.Expands the existing Roberti-Roos exemption for use of  
            assault weapons for peace officers while on duty to allow  
            specified peace officers to use and possess assault  
            weapons on and off duty and after retirement if that  
            weapon is transferred to the retiring officer by the  
            agency he or she is retiring from.

          4.Makes numerous related changes.

           Assembly Amendments  :

          1.Delete reference to "detachable" magazine.  The bill now  
            applies to large capacity magazines.

          2.Adds numerous exemptions to the possession of the bill  
            (p. 4-5 of analysis).

          3.Allows the State Department of Justice to issue exemption  
            permits, as specified in analysis, upon the showing of  
            good cause.

          4.Defines "antique firearm" as being manufactured prior to  
            1899 rather than 1898.

          5.Adds double-joining language to SB 359.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing law, the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons  
          Control Act of 1989, generally prohibits the sale,  



                                                                 SB 23

          manufacture, distribution, transport, import, possession,  
          or lending of assault weapons in California.  Violations of  
          the Act are generally a felony; possession is punishable as  
          a misdemeanor/felony (with an "exception" punishable as an  
          infraction).  The Act contains a list that enumerates the  
          designated semiautomatic rifles, pistols, and shotguns that  
          are assault weapons and subject to the Act.

          The Roberti-Roos Act contains legislative intent language  
          which concludes that it is not the intent of the  
          Legislature in enacting Roberi-Roos "?to place restrictions  
          on the use of those weapons which are primarily designed  
          and intended for hunting, target practice, and other  
          legitimate sports or recreational activities."

          The Attorney General is authorized to file a petition in  
          Superior Court to declare that additional weapons are to be  
          subject to the act's prohibitions on the basis that those  
          weapons are essentially identical to weapons on the list of  
          prohibited assault weapons.

          Persons who lawfully possessed an assault weapon prior to  
          June 1, 1989, were allowed a period of time to register  
          such weapons with the State Department of Justice (DOJ) and  
          to keep such weapons subject to specified restrictions.   
          Any persons lawfully owning weapons subsequently added by  
          the Superior Court to the prohibited category of weapons  
          will be allowed a period of time to register and keep those  
          weapons as well.

          Existing law exempts "the sale to, purchase by, or  
          possession of assault weapons by DOJ, police departments,  
          sheriffs' offices, marshals' offices, the State Department  
          of Corrections (DOC), the State Department of the  
          California Highway Patrol (CHP), district attorneys'  
          offices, or the military or naval forces of this state or  
          of the United States for use in the discharge of their  
          official duties" and provides that nothing shall "prohibit  
          the possession or use of assault weapons by sworn members  
          of these agencies when on duty and the use is within the  
          scope of their duties."

          Existing law contains various penalties for the use of a  
          machinegun or assault weapon in a crime.



                                                                 SB 23

          Existing law provides that if a firearm is used in  
          specified crimes, a penalty enhancement applies of an  
          additional ten or twenty years, or life.

          This bill:

          1.Makes all but the possession of a "detachable  
            large-capacity magazine" a crime:

            Makes it an alternative misdemeanor/felony, commencing  
            January 1, 2000, for any person who manufactures or  
            causes to be manufactured, imports into the state, keeps  
            for sale, or offers or exposes for sale, or who gives, or  
            lends, any large-capacity magazine.  Defines  
            "large-capacity magazine" to mean any ammunition feeding  
            device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds  
            (both centerfire and rimfire/.22 caliber), but "shall not  
            be construed to include a feeding device that has been  
            permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more  
            than 10 rounds nor shall it include any .22 caliber tube  
            ammunition feeding device."

            Exempts from that general prohibition "The sale of,  
            giving of, importation into this state of, or purchase  
            of, any large-capacity ammunition feeding device to or by  
            any federal, state, county, city and county, or city  
            agency that is charged with the enforcement of any law  
            for use by agency employees in the discharge of their  
            official duties whether on or off duty and where the use  
            is authorized by the agency and is within the course and  
            scope of their duties" or "sale, or purchase of any  
            large-capacity ammunition feeding device to or by, a  
            licensed gun dealer."  The bill also exempts the sale to,  
            lending to, transfer to, purchase by, receipt of, or,  
            importation into this state of, a large capacity magazine  
            by a sworn peace officer as defined in Chapter 4.5  
            (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2 who is  
            authorized to carry a firearm in the course and scope of  
            his or her duties.

            The bill also contains the following exemptions and  



                                                                 SB 23

             A.    The loan of a lawfully possessed large-capacity  
                magazine between two individuals if all of the  
                following conditions are met:

                (1)      The person being loaned the large-capacity  
                   magazine is not prohibited by Section 12021,  
                   12021.1, or 12010 of this code or Section 8100 or  
                   8103 of the Welfare and Institutions Code from  
                   possessing firearms or ammunition.

                (2)      The loan of the large-capacity magazine  
                   occurs at a place or location where the possession  
                   of the large-capacity magazine is not otherwise  
                   prohibited and the person who lends the  
                   large-capacity magazine remains in the accessible  
                   vicinity of the person to whom the large-capacity  
                   magazine is loaned.

             B.    The importation of a large-capacity magazine by a  
                person who lawfully possessed the large-capacity  
                magazine in the state prior to January 1, 2000,  
                lawfully took it out of the state, and is returning  
                to the state with the large-capacity magazine  
                previously lawfully possessed in the state.

             C.    The lending or giving of any large capacity  
                magazine to a licensed dealer or to a gunsmith, for  
                the purposes of maintenance, repair, or modification  
                of that large capacity magazine.

             D.    The return of its owner of any large capacity  
                magazine by a person specified above.

             E.    The importation into this state of, or sale of,  
                any large capacity magazine by a person who has been  
                issued a permit to engage in those activities when  
                those activities are in accordance with the terms and  
                conditions of that permit.

             F.    The sale of, giving of, lending of, importation  
                into this state of, or purchase of, any large  
                capacity magazine, to or by entities that operate  
                armored vehicle businesses pursuant to the laws of  
                this state.



                                                                 SB 23

             G.    The lending of large capacity magazines by  
                specified entities to their authorized employees,  
                while in the course and scope of their employment for  
                purposes that pertain to the entity's armored vehicle  

             H.    The return of those large capacity magazines to  
                those entities by those employees specified above.

             I.    The bill provides that upon a showing that good  
                cause exists, DOJ may issue permits for the  
                possession, transportation, or sale between a  
                licensed weapons dealer and an out-of-state client,  
                of large capacity magazines.

             J.    For purposes of this section, "large capacity  
                magazine" shall have the same meaning as that set  
                forth above.

          2.Adds a new "generic" definition list of assault weapons  
            in a new section of the existing Roberti-Roos Assault  
            Weapons Control Act of 1989, as follows:

             A.    A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has the  
                capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any one  
                of the following:

                (1)      A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously  
                   beneath the action of the weapon.
                (2)      A thumbhole stock.
                (3)      A second handgrip.
                (4)      A folding or telescoping stock.
                (5)      A grenade launcher or flare launcher.
                (6)      A threaded barrel capable of accepting a  
                   flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer.
                (7)      Flash suppressor.

             B.    A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has a fixed  
                magazine with the capacity to accept more than ten  

             C.    A semiautomatic, centerfire rifle that has an  
                overall length of less than 30 inches.



                                                                 SB 23

             D.    A semiautomatic pistol that has the capacity to  
                accept a detachable magazine and any of the  

                (1)      A threaded barrel
                (2)      A second vertical handgrip.
                (3)      A shroud that is attached to, or partially  
                   or completely encircles, the barrel that allows  
                   the bearer to fire the weapon without burning his  
                   or her hand, except a slide that encloses the  
                (4)      The capacity to accept a detachable magazine  
                   at some location outside of the pistol grip.

             E.    A semiautomatic pistol with a fixed magazine that  
                has the capacity to accept more than ten rounds.

             F.    A semiautomatic shotgun that has both of the  

                   (1) A folding or telescoping stock.
                   (2) A pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously  
                    beneath the action of the weapon, thumbhole stock  
                    or vertical handgrip.

             G.    A semiautomatic shotgun that has the ability to  
                accept a detachable magazine.

             H.    Any shotgun with a revolving cylinder.

          3.Adds to the Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of  
            1989 provisions to allow for the registration of those  
            "new" assault weapons and makes other changes, as  

             A.    Allows one-year from the effective date of the new  
                "assault weapons" added b this bill to register those  
                weapons as assault weapons.

             B.    Provides that the penalty for the first-time  
                possession of one of the new generic assault weapons  
                shall be punished as:



                                                                 SB 23

                an infraction punishable for a fine of up to $500, if  
                the person was found in possession of no more than  
                two firearms in compliance with the usual  
                requirements of the lawful possession of an assault  
                weapon and the person

                (1)      Proves that he or she lawfully possessed the  
                   assault weapon prior to the dates it was defined  
                   as an assault weapon pursuant to the new section  
                   added by this bill.

                (2)      Is not in possession of an assault weapon  
                   pursuant to the previous definitions in  

                (3)      He or she has not previously been convicted  
                   of violating this section.

                (4)      He or she was found to be in possession of  
                   the assault weapons within one year following the  
                   end of the one-year registration period  
                   established by this bill.

                (5)      He or she has since registered the firearms  
                   and any other lawfully obtained firearms defined  
                   by this bill, as specified.

          4.Expands the existing Roberti-Roos exemption for law  
            enforcement, as follows:

            Deletes the limitation on the existing exemption for  
            specified officers that the possession or use only  
            applies when on duty and the use is within the scope of  
            their duties; instead allows peace officers of DOJ, local  
            police, sheriffs departments, marshals offices, DOC, CHP,  
            district attorneys offices, the State Department of Fish  
            and Game, the State Department of Parks and Recreation,  
            the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, the  
            State Department of Consumer Affairs Division of  
            Investigation, the State Department of Motor Vehicles,  
            the State Department of Insurance Bureau of Fraudulent  
            Claims, or the military or naval forces of this state or  
            of the United States for use in the discharge of their  
            official duties.



                                                                 SB 23

          5.This bill makes a number of related changes to law and  
            contains a severability clause; it also states that it  
            was the original intent of the Roberti-Roos:  "?to ban  
            all assault weapons, regardless of their name, model  
            number, or manufacture" and that "It is the purpose of  
            this act [SB 23] to effectively achieve the Legislature's  
            intent to prohibit all assault weapons."

           DOJ Costs Created by this Bill

           The Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989  
          requires DOJ to "conduct a public education and  
          notification program regarding the registration of assault  
          weapons, including outreach of local law enforcement  
          agencies and utilization of public service announcements in  
          a variety of media approaches, to ensure maximum publicity  
          of the limited forgiveness period of the registration  

          DOJ is to "develop posters describing gun owners'  
          responsibilities under this chapter which shall be posted  
          in a conspicuous place in every licensed gun store in the  
          state during the forgiveness period."

          The costs of that program which cannot be absorbed by DOJ  
          are to be paid for from the Dealer's Record of Sale (DROS)  
          account, which contains the fees paid by applicants to buy  
          firearms and pay for background checks -- upon  
          appropriation by the Legislature.

          Since Roberti-Roos was enacted, the DROS account has been  
          limited by SB 670 (Chapter 901, Statutes of 1996), which  
          limited the maximum DROS fee to $14 -- with a cost of  
          living increased allowed -- and limited the use of the DROS  
          fee account monies to specified items pertaining to  
          background checks.

          Given those existing limitations, the funds available in  
          the DROS account may not be so readily available in 2000 as  
          they may have been in 1990.  Therefore, there may need to  
          be future discussions about the costs of implementing this  
          bill and how DOJ may be able to pay those costs.



                                                                 SB 23

           Prior Legislation

           AB 2560 (Perata, 1997-1998 Session):  Senate Floor Vote:   
          24-12.  Vetoed by the Governor.

          Senate Floor vote:

          AYES:  Alpert, Ayala, Burton, Calderon, Costa, Dills,  
            Greene, Hayden, Hughes, Johnston, Karnette, Kopp,  
            Lockyer, Maddy, McPherson, O'Connell, Polanco, Rosenthal,  
            Schiff, Sher, Solis, Thompson, Vasconcellos, Watson
          NOES:  Brulte, Hurtt, Johannessen, Johnson, Kelley, Knight,  
            Lewis, Monteith, Mountjoy, Peace, Rainey, Wright

          Assembly members who are new Senators votes:

          AYES:  Bowen, Escutia, Figueroa, Murray, Ortiz, Perata
          NOES:  Baca, Morrow, Poochigian

          AB 23 (1997-98 Session):  Senate Floor Vote:  23-14.  Died  
          on the Assembly Floor.

          SB 46X (1993-94 Session).  Failed passage on the Assembly  

          SB 263 - Chapter 954, Statutes of 1991.

          AB 257 - Chapter 19, Statutes of 1989.

          SB 292 - Chapter 18, Statutes of 1989.

          SB 1339 (1997-98 Session).  Provisions deleted on Assembly  
          Floor (re magazine capacity).

          SB 1128 (1993-94 Session).  Died on Assembly Floor (re  
          magazine capacity).

          AB 334 (1989-90 Session).  Died in Conference Committee (re  
          magazine capacity).

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes    
          Local:  Yes



                                                                 SB 23

                          Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions            1999-2000           2000-01           
            2001-02         Fund

           Felonies & sentence     Unknown increased costs, in excess  
          of        General
          Enhancements              $150 annually, and potentially  
                                               For incarceration in  
          state prison

          Misdemeanors              Unknown increased mandated,  
          nonreim-     Local
                                                bursable costs for  
          county jail and 

          DOJ registration and        $885                 $630        
               unknown       Special*
          public education           Potentially fully offset by  
          increased fee

          Courts                           Probably less than $50  
          annually                  Special**
                                for increased workload

          *Dealers' Record of Sale Account
          **Trial Court Trust Fund

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/12/99)

          Legal Community Against Violence
          California Nurses Association
          Lutheran Office of Public Policy
          Los Gatos Town Council
          Chief of Police, Town of Los Gatos and City of Monte Sereno
          Los Angeles County District Attorney
          City of Oakland
          Orange County Citizens for the Prevention of Gun Violence
          League of Women Voters in California

           OPPOSITION  :    (Verified  7/12/99)



                                                                 SB 23

          California Rifle and Pistol Association
          National Rifle Association
          individual letters

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    The provisions in this bill as  
          currently amended essentially reflect another version of AB  
          23 (Perata), which died last year on the Assembly Floor  
          while on concurrence in Senate amendments, and AB 2560  
          (Perata), which was amended with further revised provisions  
          of AB 23 and which was vetoed by the Governor last year.   
          The author indicates the following regarding this bill:

          "The Roberti-Roos Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989  
          restricts assault weapons in California.  In order to add  
          weapons to the banned list, the Attorney General must file  
          a petition with the Superior Court.  For example, the DOJ  
          has been engaged in an ongoing court action to add a  
          'copycat' weapon -- the Colt Sporter -- to the list of  
          restricted weapons.

          "In 1994, Congress enacted a generic ban on assault weapons  
          that relied in part on cosmetic appearances.  It is clear  
          that focusing on cosmetic aspects of the gun's appearance  
          is not a comprehensive approach.  Nor does it really get at  
          the whole problem.
          "It is clear that in the case of rifles, an assault weapon  
          is a semiautomatic centerfire rifle that has one of the  
          characteristics added in my bill, such as a vertical  
          handgrip or a folding or telescoping stock."

          Adding an exemption for those state peace officers would  
          allow them to use both the original Roberti-Roos listed  
          weapons and those assault weapons that are included in the  
          generic definition added by this bill.  CAUSE states that  
          those officers should be exempted from the prohibitions on  
          use and possession of assault weapons and includes the  
          following reasons for such an exemption:

          "These six categories of specialized peace officers  
          represent members of law enforcement under existing law  
          currently use weapons that would be deemed "assault  
          weapons" under SB 23.  While these "tools" are not always  



                                                                 SB 23

          used during the course of their duties, it is important to  
          remember that these specialized peace officers are  
          responsible for serving high risk warrants, patrolling vast  
          expanses of land and for game control, where in some  
          instances animals have attacked humans.  CAUSE knows that  
          under these situations it is not only responsible to equip  
          these peace officers with these firearms it would be  
          irresponsible not to do so."

          The State Parks Peace Officers Association has also  
          written in support of adding those officers as part of an  
          expanded peace officer exemption and state that those  
          officers "no less than any others working dangerous areas  
          and conditions, should be allowed access to whatever  
          means and tools are available to protect and preserve  
          life and property."

           ARGUMENTS IN OPPOSITION  :    The California Rifle and Pistol  
          Association letter in opposition to this bill includes the  

          "The definitions of 'Assault Weapons' status in proposed  
          penal code section 12276.1 are far in excess of similar  
          definitions in the federal 'Assault Weapons' law, and would  
          sweep in traditional hunting and recreational firearms that  
          no one actually familiar with firearms would consider to be  
          'Assault Weapons'.

          "Given the use limitations placed on 'Assault Weapons'  
          under exiting state law, the very restrictive definitions  
          in this proposed section would unfairly impact thousands of  
          lawful firearms owners like those who enjoy hunting and  
          other firearms related sports on public lands such as the  
          state and national forests. . . At a minimum, conformance  
          to the attribute based definitions already in federal law  
          would lead to better public understanding of the state law  
          and facilitate enforcement by officers in the field.

          "CRPA believes the 10 round ammunition capacity limit for  
          magazines is inappropriate as many firearms come factory  
          equipped with larger magazines and, in order to compete in  
          national marksmanship competitions, 20 rounds is required.   
          There are million of magazines currently owned that have  
          capacities greater than 10 rounds.  Will the state  



                                                                 SB 23

          reimburse the owners of these magazines for the costs of  
          having them modified to accept no more than 10 rounds or  
          will the state 'take' these magazines through confiscation  
          or others means?"  

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :
          AYES:  Alquist, Aroner, Bock, Calderon, Cardenas, Cardoza,  
            Cedillo, Corbett, Cunneen, Davis, Dutra, Firebaugh,  
            Floyd, Gallegos, Havice, Hertzberg, Honda, Jackson,  
            Keeley, Knox, Kuehl, Lempert, Longville, Lowenthal,  
            Machado, Maldonado, Mazzoni, Migden, Nakano, Rod Pacheco,  
            Reyes, Romero, Scott, Shelley, Soto, Steinberg,  
            Strom-Martin, Thomson, Torlakson, Vincent, Washington,  
            Wayne, Wesson, Wiggins, Wildman, Zettel, Villaraigosa
          NOES:  Aanestad, Ackerman, Ashburn, Baldwin, Battin, Baugh,  
            Brewer, Briggs, Campbell, Cox, Dickerson, Florez,  
            Frusetta, Granlund, House, Kaloogian, Leonard, Margett,  
            McClintock, Olberg, Oller, Robert Pacheco, Pescetti,  
            Strickland, Thompson, Wright
          NOT VOTING:  Bates, Correa, Ducheny, Leach, Maddox, Papan,  

          RJG:sl  7/19/99   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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