August 2022 Legislation/Litigation Update
August Focus–Senate Bill 906: School safety: mass casualty threats: firearm disclosure
The original bill would have required the parents or guardians of a pupil to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the pupil and to answer questions about the ownership, storage, and accessibility by the pupil of the firearms. This provision was amended out of the bill before it was passed.
This law requires, on or before July 1, 2023, the State Department of Education, in consultation with relevant local educational agencies, civil rights groups, and the Department of Justice, to develop model content that includes, at a minimum, content that informs parents or guardians of California’s child access prevention laws and laws relating to the safe storage of firearms. The law requires, commencing with the 2023–24 school year, local educational agencies maintaining kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to, informed by the model content, include information related to the safe storage of firearms in an annual notification provided to the parents or guardians of pupils. The law requires a school official whose duties involve regular contact with pupils in any of grades 6 to 12, inclusive, as part of a middle school or high school, and who is alerted to or observes any threat or perceived threat to immediately report the threat or perceived threat to law enforcement, as provided. The law requires, with the support of the local educational agency, the local law enforcement agency or schoolsite police, as applicable, to immediately conduct an investigation and threat assessment, as specified. The law requires the investigation and threat assessment to include a review of the firearm registry of the Department of Justice and, if justified by a reasonable suspicion that it would produce evidence related to the threat or perceived threat, a schoolsite search.
This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, signed by the Governor, and takes effect July 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 915 Firearms: state property
This law, except as exempted, prohibits a state officer or employee, or operator, lessee, or licensee of any state-owned property, from contracting for, authorizing, or allowing the sale of any firearm, firearm precursor part, or ammunition on state property. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, signed by the Governor, and goes into effect January 1, 2023.
Assembly Bill 311 Firearms: Del Mar Fairgrounds
Prohibit guns shows and sale of firearms, ammunition, and firearm precursor parts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, signed by the Governor, and took effect immediately.
Assembly Bill 1769 Firearms: prohibited places
This law prohibits the sale of firearms, firearm precursor parts, and ammunition at the Ventura County Fair and Events Center. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, signed by the Governor, and takes effect January 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 1327 Firearms: private rights of action
This law creates a private right of action for any person against any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, or causes to be distributed or transported or imported into the state, keeps for sale or offers or exposes for sale, or gives or lends any firearm lacking a serial number required by law, assault weapon, .50 BMG rifle, or firearm precursor part, subject to certain exceptions, as specified. There is a provision that anyone who sues the state or local government for declaratory or injunctive relief regarding a gun law or regulation, essentially to block new gun laws, will be liable for the government’s legal expenses for the lawsuit if unsuccessful. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, signed by the Governor, and took effect immediately.
Senate Bill 1384 Firearms: dealer requirements.
This bill would require a licensed firearm dealer to have a digital video surveillance system, burglary alarm system, and keyless entry system on their business premises, as specified, and would require that dealer to carry a policy of general liability insurance, as specified. The bill would require a licensee and any employees that handle firearms to annually complete specified training. The bill would require the Department of Justice to develop and implement an online training course, as specified, including a testing certification component. PASSED by the Senate and referred to the Assembly. Amended in the Assembly 6/23. Awaiting third reading and concurrence with amendments.
Assembly Bill 2552 Firearms: gun shows and events
This bill increases signage requirements for gun show organizers, increases paperwork for gun show vendors, and bans the sale of black powder, unfinished receivers, unfinished frames, and conversion kits designed to convert a handgun into a short barreled rifle or assault weapon at gun shows. Vendors also will be prohibited from inciting or encouraging hate crimes. Passed by the Assembly and ordered to the Senate. Amended and passed in the Senate 6/28. Awaiting third reading and concurrence with amendments.
Assembly Bill 1227 Firearms and ammunition: excise tax.
This bill, the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act, would, commencing July 1, 2023, impose an excise tax in the amount of 10% of the sales price of a handgun and 11% of the sales price of a long gun, rifle, firearm precursor part, and ammunition, as specified. The tax would be collected by the state pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law. The bill would require that the revenues collected be deposited in the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund, which the bill would establish in the State Treasury. Passed in the Assembly and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Referred to suspense file on 8/2.
Senate Bill 505, as amended, Civil law: firearms liability and insurance.
This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2024, make a person who owns a firearm strictly civilly liable for each incidence of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from the use of their firearm. This bill would provide that strict liability does not apply if the owner of the firearm has reported their firearm to local law enforcement as lost or stolen prior to the damage, injury, or death. The bill would additionally require a person who owns a firearm to obtain and continuously maintain in full force and effect a homeowner’s, renter’s, auto, or gun liability insurance policy specifically covering losses or damages resulting from any negligent or accidental use of that firearm, including, but not limited to, death, injury, or property damage. This bill would require a person to keep written evidence of coverage in the place where a firearm is stored. By creating new requirements for firearm owners, violations of which would be punishable as misdemeanors, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the Insurance Commissioner to develop a standardized form of evidence of liability coverage. Passed in the Assembly and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Referred to suspense file on 8/3.
Senate Bill 918 Firearms
This bill has wide-ranging changes for firearms laws in California, including changing and new requirements for CCW holders.
It removes “Good Cause” and “Good Character” requirements for CCW. Under the bill, the applicant would not be a qualified person if they have engaged in a threat of violence, act of violence, or used unlawful physical force against another person or themselves, as specified.
This bill would add the requirement that the applicant be the recorded owner, with the Department of Justice, of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
This bill would change the training requirement to be no less than 16 hours in length and would add additional subjects to the course including, among other things, the safe storage and legal transportation of firearms.
This bill would authorize a licensing authority to charge additional processing fees for a license renewal and would permit the licensing authority to collect the first 50% of the fee upon filing of the application. The bill also removes the prohibition on licensing authority requirements for additional fees or liability insurance.
Existing law authorizes a licensing authority to require psychological testing for a new license or a license renewal. Under existing law, an applicant may be required to pay the actual cost of testing, not to exceed $150. This bill would increase the amount that an applicant may be required to pay to $200 and would allow that amount to be increased by the California cost of living, as specified.
Existing law prohibits a person from knowingly possessing a firearm in a sterile area of an airport, passenger vessel terminal, or public transit facility, as defined. This bill would expand that prohibition to include any building, real property, or parking area under the control of an airport or passenger vessel terminal or a public transit facility, as specified.
While carrying a firearm, this bill would prohibit a licensee from, among other things, consuming an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute. Passed in the Assembly, amended in the Senate, and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations. August 3, placed in suspense file
Note, to find current, reliable information on any bill before the California legislature you can go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/home.xhtml
Boland v Bonta is a new lawsuit challenging the California “Not-Unsafe” handgun roster. This case is still awaiting scheduling by the court.
Rupp v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, had been pending the Bruen decision. This case has been remanded back to the trial court.
Miller v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, has been pending the Bruen decision. Now that the decision has been received a petition was filed to certify the trial court ruling and dismiss the appeals. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated the ruling and remanded the case back to the trial court. Judge Benitez ordered both sides to file briefs regarding the case in light of the Bruen decision.
Duncan v Bonta: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc panel has overturned the district court ruling that found the California “Large Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional. The lawsuit challenges the ban of possession of large capacity magazines that was approved by California voters in Prop 63. Enforcement of the ban was stayed, pending disposition of a petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit En Banc judgement, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Young v Hawaii challenges the state of Hawaii carry restrictions. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Bianchi v Frosh challenges the Maryland ban on “assault weapons”. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Fourth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Jones v Bonta: A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the California age-based centerfire semi-automatic rifle purchase ban is unconstitutional and that “the district court erred in not enjoining an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. The opinion states that the District Court erred in applying intermediate scrutiny and not strict scrutiny. Response from Attorney General Bonta’s petition for an extension of time to file a petition for Rehearing and/or Rehearing En Banc was granted 5/18.
Doe v Bonta is a lawsuit filed by the NRA to block the release of gun owner’s personal information to UC Davis and other, unspecified, “research organizations” due to SB 173. Information has already been given to UC Davis. The honorable Larry Alan Burns, the United States District Court Judge hearing the case, has ordered supplemental briefs regarding the effects of NYSRPA v Bruen on the standard to be used in deciding this case.
Renna v Bonta on the California handgun roster has been referred back to the trial court for rehearing. Currently calendared for March of 2023.