Categorized as: Legislative Updates

February 2024 Legislation/Litigation Report

February 2024 Legislation/Litigation Update

February Focus

Rhode v Bonta challenges the Prop 63 rules on ammunition purchases. Judge Roger Benitez has ruled background checks to purchase ammunition is unconstitutional. This is Judge Benitez’s final ruling and grants a permanent injunction against enforcing the ammunition background checks in Penal Code sections 30352 and 30370(a) through (e). The judge also enjoined enforcement of “anti-importation” provisions found in Penal Code sections 30312(a) and (b) and 30314(a).  Judge Benitez did not issue a stay of his ruling pending appeal.

There was a period, called “Freedom Week 2.0” by some, when the ammunition background checks and the prohibition on purchasing out of state purchases, were not in effect. That period has ended.

A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2 to 1 decision consisting of one sentence, did stay Judge Benitez’s ruling, pending further appeal.

Proposition 63 was a ballot initiative passed in 2016. This lawsuit was originally heard by Judge Benitez and a preliminary injunction was granted, then appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and on to the US Supreme Court. After the NYSRPA v Bruen decision the Supreme Court remanded this case (and others) back to the Ninth Circuit, the Ninth circuit remanded it back to Judge Benitez to re-evaluate the merits of this case considering the Supreme Court guidance in the NYSRPA v Bruen decision.

 

Litigation

Duncan v Bonta is the challenge to the “High-Capacity Magazine” ban, which Judge Roger Benitez found unconstitutional in 2017. In 2018 a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Benitez’s ruling. The Ninth Circuit, responding to a petition from the state, then vacated the ruling of the three-judge panel and reheard the case En Banc, meaning an eleven-judge panel. The En Banc ruling reversed Judge Benitez’s ruling. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case in light of the Bruen decision. NYSRPA v Bruen is a Supreme Court decision that includes clear direction to inferior courts on how to handle second amendment cases. The Ninth Circuit in turn remanded the case back to Judge Benitez. Judge Benitez has again found the “High Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional, and issued an injunction against the state enforcing Penal Code Section 31320. Judge Benitez stayed his order for ten days to allow the state to appeal back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which the Attorney General did and was granted a stay. A hearing has been scheduled in March, 2024.

Renna v Bonta on the California Unsafe handgun roster was remanded back to the trial court for reconsideration in light of Bruen.

On March 31 the Honorable Dana M. Sabraw, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, has issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. In addition, the judge ruled that the “one on/three off” provision is unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(7). The injunction was stayed to allow the state time to appeal, and the Ninth Circuit granted a stay on appeal.

Boland v Bonta is a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster imposed as part of the Unsafe Handgun Act.

Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US Central District Court for California on March 20 issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(6).

Judge Carney stayed his order 14 days to allow the state to appeal. The appeal was filed, but only appealed the injunction against the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect. The finding in the injunction against microstamping was not appealed. The Ninth Circuit did order a stay of this preliminary injunction with regard to the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect but did not stay the injunction against enforcing microstamping.

Note that these preliminary injunctions did not strike down the roster; they only said specific criteria were unconstitutional. Since these are preliminary injunctions the cases have not been completed or decided on the merits. These two preliminary injunctions do mean that two judges have ruled, among other things, that it is likely the plaintiffs (our side) will prevail when the cases are completed.

Miller v Bonta

The US District court for the Southern District of California, Judge Roger Benitez, again found elements of California’s “assault weapons” restrictions unconstitutional. On October 28, 2023, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay of that decision. Currently the restrictions in California Penal Code section 30515 remain in effect. The three-judge panel set to hear this case has pended it to the Duncan v Bonta case which will be heard by an en-banc panel of eleven judges of the Ninth Circuit, which deals with a different topic but may set precedent on how to decide this case.

Legislation

AB 29, as amended, Gabriel. Firearms: California Do Not Sell List.

Existing law makes possession of a firearm by certain classes of persons, including a convicted felon, a person convicted of specified misdemeanors, a person has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial, a person has been found not guilty of specified crimes by reason of insanity, or a person has been placed under conservatorship, a crime. Existing law additionally makes it a crime to sell or give possession of a firearm to these classes of persons prohibited from owning a firearm.

Existing law requires the Department of Justice, upon submission of firearm purchaser information by a licensed firearm dealer, to examine its records to determine whether a potential firearm purchaser is prohibited by state of federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm. Existing law requires the department to participate in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

This bill would require the Department of Justice to develop and launch a secure Internet-based platform to allow a person who resides in California to voluntarily add their own name to the California Do Not Sell List. The bill would require the department to ensure that information on the list is uploaded and reflected in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System. The bill would make it a crime, punishable as a misdemeanor, to transfer a firearm to a person who is validly registered on the California Do Not Sell List. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would allow a person, after seven days, to request removal from the list. No sooner than 21 days after receiving the request for removal of a voluntary waiver of firearm rights, the department shall remove the person National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The bill would require the State Department of Public Health to create and distribute informational materials about the California Do Not Sell List to general acute care hospitals and acute psychiatric hospitals. The bill would specify that a person presenting in a general acute care hospital or acute psychiatric hospital who is at a substantially elevated risk of suicide should be presented with these informational materials. The bill would specify that any suicide hotline maintained or operated by an entity funded in whole or in part by the state should generally inform callers on how to access the California Do Not Sell List Internet-based platform.

Held in submission by the Appropriations Committee.

AB 851, as amended, McCarty.  Firearms: Urban gun free zone pilot program.

Existing law prohibits a person from carrying a concealed firearm or carrying a loaded firearm in public. Existing law exempts certain persons from this prohibition, including peace officers and persons licensed to carry a concealed firearm.

This bill would authorize the City of Sacramento to establish a pilot program that would, until January 1, 2029, declare a specified area of the city to be a gun free zone. The bill would, in addition to any other applicable offense, make possession of a firearm within this area punishable as a misdemeanor. The bill would provide specified exemptions.

By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The bill would, upon completion of the pilot program, require the city to prepare and submit a report to the Legislature.

AB851 Exclusions:

(a) Possession of a firearm within a private residence by, or with the consent of, the owner or resident of that property.

(b) Possession of a firearm within a private business by, or with the consent of, the owner of the property or business.

(c) Possession of a firearm by any peace officer described in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2.

(d) Possession of a firearm by a licensed private patrol operator, armored car operator, or alarm operator, or licensed employee thereof, that is also licensed to carry a firearm and, within the course of business, is present within the gun free zone established pursuant to this division.

(e) Possession of a firearm by a licensed common carrier or an authorized agent or employee thereof when the firearm is being transported in conformance with applicable federal law.

(f) Possession of an unloaded firearm in a secure container that is fully enclosed and locked by a padlock, key lock, combination lock, or similar locking device, or within the locked trunk of a vehicle.

(g) The otherwise lawful possession of a firearm in a vehicle being operated on public roads.

Held by Committee on Public Safety

 

AB 1047, as amended, Maienschein. Firearms purchase notification registry.

Existing law generally regulates the sale and transfer of firearms, including, among other requirements and subject to exceptions, that the transfer of a firearm be conducted through a firearms dealer. Existing law, subject to exceptions, imposes a 10-day waiting period for delivery of a firearm, during which time a background check is conducted by the Department of Justice to determine if the proposed recipient of the firearm is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm.

This bill would require the Department of Justice to develop and launch a secure internet-based platform to allow a person who resides in California to voluntarily add their own name to a registry that would advise a licensed behavioral health clinician of the person’s attempt to purchase a firearm during the 10-day waiting period. The bill would, at the time of registration, require the registrant to list the email address of a licensed behavioral health clinician and would require the department, as soon as practicable but within the 10-day waiting period, to provide notice by email to the provided address that the registrant is in the process of purchasing a firearm, the registrant voluntarily added their name to the registry, and the purpose of the registry is for a third party to potentially intervene and prevent the registrant from purchasing a firearm.

From the committee on Public Safety recommending “do pass”. Referred to the Appropriation Committee and held under submission.

SB 8, as amended, Blakespear.  Firearms liability insurance.

Existing law requires any person who purchases or receives a firearm, as specified, to possess a firearm safety certificate. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to develop a written test required for the issuance of a firearm safety certificate. Existing law makes the violation of specified requirements with regard to firearms a misdemeanor or a felony, as specified.

This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2025, require a person who owns a firearm to obtain and continuously maintain in full force and effect a homeowner’s, renter’s, 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.

The bill would also require the Insurance Commissioner to set the minimum coverage for a policy required by the bill and to develop a standardized form of evidence of liability coverage.

At the Senate Committee on Insurance where a hearing was set for January 10, 2024, but then postponed.

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith

Breaking News – January 31, 2024

Breaking News Today (shared by member David Smith)
Rhode v Bonta challenges the Prop 63 rules on ammunition purchases.
Judge Roger Benitez has ruled background checks to purchase ammunition is unconstitutional. This is Judge Benitez’s final ruling and grants a permanent injunction against enforcing the ammunition background checks in Penal Code sections 30352 and 30370(a) through (e). The judge also enjoined enforcement of “anti-importation” provisions found in Penal Code sections 30312(a) and (b) and 30314(a).
The Judge did not issue a stay of his ruling pending appeal, so we will see if the case is appealed and whether the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals grants a stay.

January 2024 Legislation/Litigation Report

January 2024 Legislation/Litigation Update

January Focus

A letter from Sheriff Dicus: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/SB2-Letter-from-the-Sheriff.pdf?x20231

Information on SB2 from SB Sheriff’s Department: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/sheriff/wp-content/uploads/sites/17/Senate-Bill-2-Information.pdf?x20231

May v Bonta challenging the “sensitive places” provisions of SB2, resulted in a Preliminary Injunction. At a hearing December 20, Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US District Court for the Central District California has enjoined the state from enforcing the new provisions that would have severely restricted concealed carry. The injunction was stayed by the Motions Panel at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, then the stay was lifted by the Merits Panel. Some of the “sensitive places” provisions of SB2 are not in effect due to the injunction.

Emergency Regulations Implementing SB2

The proposed Emergency Regulations include new requirements for the instructors who can teach the mandatory training for CCW, both new applications and renewals. NRA, USCCA and other organizations who train and certify firearms instructors are no longer acceptable to the DOJ for CCW training. Basically, only trained police instructors will be recognized. The proposed text is copied below.

Another provision requires the issuing agent to verify that the CCW applicant is the recorded owner of all firearms listed on their license. Previously, for example, a husband and wife could list the same firearms on both of their licenses. Starting January 1, only the recorded owner may list a specific firearm.

  • 4410. CCW DOJ Certified Instructor Qualifications and Applications.

(a) CCW DOJ Certified Instructor applicants must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued pursuant to Penal Code section 26710 and California Code of Regulations, title 11, section 4030 et seq.

(b) Applicants must be at least 21 years old. Applicants shall provide a copy of a valid California driver license or California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, demonstrating the applicant is 21 years of age or older. Applicants with a federal non-compliant California driver license or identification card shall also comply with section 4045.1.

(c) Initial and renewal applications must be completed and submitted on the Concealed Carry Weapon Program DOJ Certified Instructor Application, Form BOF 1034 (Orig. 01/2024), hereby incorporated by reference. Initial applicants must submit a copy of their training certification from one of the following:

(1) Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California-Firearm Training Instructor;

(2) Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), State of California Firearms Instructor or Rangemaster; or

(3) Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearm training course.

(d) Within six months before submitting their application, initial and renewal applicants must pass a live-fire shooting qualification course on a firing range.

  • 4431. Reviewing the Automated Firearms System.

(a) For purposes of Penal Code section 26162, the licensing authority shall review the Automated Firearms System (AFS) to determine if the CCW license applicant is the recorded owner of the particular pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person reported in the application for a CCW license or the application for the amendment to a CCW license.

(b) The serial number of the firearm and the CCW license applicant’s name, date of birth, and identification number (from California driver license, California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, social security card, or military identification) must match an entry in one AFS record. [Edited for length.]

Link to Emergency Regulations on the Attorney General web site:

https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/ccwl

 

Litigation

B&L Productions, INC., d/b/a Crossroads of the West v Newsom

In the United States District Court for the Central District of California on the 30th of October, Judge John W. Holcomb issued a Preliminary Injunction against the state enforcing a ban on gun shows found in California Penal Code sections 27573 or 27575.

The 32nd District Agricultural Association must make available the next available date for a gun show and must allow the Plaintiff Crossroads of the West to reserve dates for gun show events (and to hold such events) at the Orange County Fairgrounds as the 32nd DAA would any other event promoter who has previously held events at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Defendants request to stay Judge Holcomb’s order pending appeal was denied.

Duncan v Bonta is the challenge to the “High-Capacity Magazine” ban, which Judge Roger Benitez found unconstitutional in 2017. In 2018 a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Benitez’s ruling. The Ninth Circuit, responding to a petition from the state, then vacated the ruling of the three-judge panel and reheard the case En Banc, meaning an eleven judge panel. The En Banc ruling reversed Judge Benitez’s ruling. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case in light of the Bruen decision. NYSRPA v Bruen is a Supreme Court decision that includes clear direction to inferior courts on how to handle second amendment cases. The Ninth Circuit in turn remanded the case back to Judge Benitez. Judge Benitez has again found the “High Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional, and issued an injunction against the state enforcing Penal Code Section 31320. Judge Benitez stayed his order for ten days to allow the state to appeal back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which the Attorney General did and was granted a stay. A hearing has been scheduled in March, 2024.

Renna v Bonta on the California Unsafe handgun roster was remanded back to the trial court for reconsideration in light of Bruen.

On March 31 the Honorable Dana M. Sabraw, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, has issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. In addition, the judge ruled that the “one on/three off” provision is unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(7). The injunction was stayed to allow the state time to appeal, and an appeal has been filed.

Boland v Bonta is a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster imposed as part of the Unsafe Handgun Act.

Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US Central District Court for California on March 20 issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(6).

Judge Carney stayed his order 14 days to allow the state to appeal. The appeal was filed, but only appealed the injunction against the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect. The finding in the injunction against microstamping was not appealed. The Ninth Circuit did order a stay of this preliminary injunction with regard to the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect but did not stay the injunction against enforcing microstamping.

Note that these preliminary injunctions did not strike down the roster; they only said specific criteria were unconstitutional. Since these are preliminary injunctions the cases have not been completed or decided on the merits. These two preliminary injunctions do mean that two judges have ruled, among other things, that it is likely the plaintiffs (our side) will prevail when the cases are complete.

Miller v Bonta and Rhode v Bonta still awaiting a decision in Judge Benitez’ court.

Miller v Bonta is the challenge to the “assault weapon” ban, and Rhode v Bonta is the challenge to the state requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.

Judge Benitez indicated that he wants to see these cases completed at the trial court level in a timely manner. He questioned the value of the state bringing in testimony from experts in “history and tradition” and rejected this testimony. The judge indicated that he was not sympathetic to the state trying to delay the process or confuse any of the issues.

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith

December 2023 Legislation/Litigation Report

December 2023 Legislation/Litigation Update

December Focus

Laws taking effect January 1, 2024

California Penal Code 27535.

(a) A person shall not make an application to purchase more than one firearm within any 30-day period. This subdivision does not authorize a person to make an application to purchase a combination of firearms, completed frames or receivers, or firearm precursor parts within the same 30-day period.

[ED. NOTE: This law changes the former restriction on purchasing 1 handgun or semi-auto centerfire rifle in 30 days. Starting January 1, 2024, the limit is on purchasing ANY type of firearm.]

 

SB 2, Portantino. Firearms.

This law substantially changes the requirements to obtain and renew a Concealed Carry license (CCW) and substantially changes the regulations regarding actually carrying a concealed weapon.

Everyone who has a CCW, or plans to get a CCW, should read the text of the bill, at the link below, and understand the new regulations. Being convicted of violating these regulations can result in fines and imprisonment. This law added, replaced, or modified 28 sections of the California Penal Code.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB2

Emergency Regulations Implementing SB2

The proposed Emergency Regulations include new requirements for the instructors who can teach the mandatory training for CCW, both new applications and renewals. NRA, USCCA and other organizations who train and certify firearms instructors are no longer acceptable to the DOJ for CCW training. Basically, only trained police instructors will be recognized. The proposed text is copied below.

Another provision requires the issuing agent to verify that the CCW applicant is the recorded owner of all firearms listed on their license. Previously, for example, a husband and wife could list the same firearms on both of their licenses. Starting January 1, only the recorded owner may list a specific firearm.

  • 4410. CCW DOJ Certified Instructor Qualifications and Applications.

(a) CCW DOJ Certified Instructor applicants must have a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) issued pursuant to Penal Code section 26710 and California Code of Regulations, title 11, section 4030 et seq.

(b) Applicants must be at least 21 years old. Applicants shall provide a copy of a valid California driver license or California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, demonstrating the applicant is 21 years of age or older. Applicants with a federal non-compliant California driver license or identification card shall also comply with section 4045.1.

(c) Initial and renewal applications must be completed and submitted on the Concealed Carry Weapon Program DOJ Certified Instructor Application, Form BOF 1034 (Orig. 01/2024), hereby incorporated by reference. Initial applicants must submit a copy of their training certification from one of the following:

(1) Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs, State of California-Firearm Training Instructor;

(2) Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), State of California Firearms Instructor or Rangemaster; or

(3) Authorization from a State of California accredited school to teach a firearm training course.

(d) Within six months before submitting their application, initial and renewal applicants must pass a live-fire shooting qualification course on a firing range. During the qualification course:

(1) The applicant must display safe weapon practices at all times.

(2) The applicant must use a serviceable holster and magazine pouch with at least one reload.

(3) The specified shooting exercises shall be performed. [Edited for length.]

  • 4431. Reviewing the Automated Firearms System.

(a) For purposes of Penal Code section 26162, the licensing authority shall review the Automated Firearms System (AFS) to determine if the CCW license applicant is the recorded owner of the particular pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person reported in the application for a CCW license or the application for the amendment to a CCW license.

(b) The serial number of the firearm and the CCW license applicant’s name, date of birth, and identification number (from California driver license, California identification card issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles, social security card, or military identification) must match an entry in one AFS record. [Edited for length.]

Link to Emergency Regulations on the Attorney General web site:

https://oag.ca.gov/firearms/regs/ccwl

 

Litigation

B&L Productions, INC., d/b/a Crossroads of the West v Newsom

In the United States District Court for the Central District of California on the 30th of October, Judge John W. Holcomb issued a Preliminary Injunction against the state enforcing a ban on gun shows found in California Penal Code sections 27573 or 27575.

The 32nd District Agricultural Association must make available the next available date for a gun show and must allow the Plaintiff Crossroads of the West to reserve dates for gun show events (and to hold such events) at the Orange County Fairgrounds as the 32nd DAA would any other event promoter who has previously held events at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Defendants request to stay Judge Holcomb’s order pending appeal was denied.

May v Bonta challenging SB2, a motion was filed for a Preliminary Injunction. The state has until November third to file its motion to oppose the injunction. CRPA will then have until November 20 to reply to the opposition motion. A hearing scheduled December 4 before Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US District Court for the Central District California has been rescheduled to December 20.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith

November 2023 Legislation/Litigation Report

November 2023 Legislation/Litigation Update

November Focus

Laws taking effect January 1, 2024

California Penal Code 27535.

(a) A person shall not make an application to purchase more than one firearm within any 30-day period. This subdivision does not authorize a person to make an application to purchase a combination of firearms, completed frames or receivers, or firearm precursor parts within the same 30-day period.

[ED. NOTE: This law changes the former restriction on purchasing 1 handgun or semi-auto centerfire rifle in 30 days. Starting January 1, 2024, the limit is on purchasing ANY type of firearm.]

(b) Subdivision (a) does not apply to any of the following:

(1) Any law enforcement agency.

(2) Any agency duly authorized to perform law enforcement duties.

(3) Any state or local correctional facility.

(4) Any private security company licensed to do business in California.

(5) Any person who is properly identified as a full-time paid peace officer, as defined in Chapter 4.5 (commencing with Section 830) of Title 3 of Part 2, and who is authorized to, and does carry a firearm during the course and scope of employment as a peace officer.

(6) Any motion picture, television, or video production company or entertainment or theatrical company whose production by its nature involves the use of a firearm.

(7) Any person who may, pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 27600), Article 3 (commencing with Section 27650), or Article 4 (commencing with Section 27700), claim an exemption from the waiting period set forth in Section 27540.

(8) Any transaction conducted through a licensed firearms dealer pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 28050). [ED. NOTE: This is Private Party Transfers.]

(9) Any person who is licensed as a collector pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code and the regulations issued pursuant thereto, and has a current certificate of eligibility issued by the Department of Justice pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 26700) of Chapter 2.

(10) The exchange of a firearm where the dealer purchased that firearm from the person seeking the exchange within the 30-day period immediately preceding the date of exchange or replacement.

(11) The replacement of a firearm when the person’s firearm was lost or stolen, and the person reported that firearm lost or stolen pursuant to Section 25250 prior to the completion of the application to purchase the replacement.

(12) The return of any firearm to its owner.

(13) A community college that is certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training to present the law enforcement academy basic course or other commission-certified law enforcement training.

(c) This section shall become operative on January 1, 2024.

 

[These next three Penal Code changes imposed additional requirements on licensed gun dealers.]

California Penal Code 26715.

(a) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (1) and (3) of subdivision (b), the Department of Justice shall keep a centralized list of all persons licensed pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 26700.

(b) (1) The department may remove from this list any person who knowingly or with gross negligence violates a provision listed in Section 16575.

(2) The department shall remove from the centralized list any person whose federal firearms license has expired or has been revoked.

(3) The department shall remove from the centralized list any person or entity who has failed to provide certification of compliance with Section 26806 pursuant to subdivision (d) of Section 26806.

(4) Upon removal of a dealer from this list, notification shall be provided to local law enforcement and licensing authorities in the jurisdiction where the dealer’s business is located.

(c) Information compiled from the list shall be made available, upon request, for the following purposes only:

(1) For law enforcement purposes.

(2) When the information is requested by a person licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code for determining the validity of the license for firearm shipments.

(3) When information is requested by a person promoting, sponsoring, operating, or otherwise organizing a show or event as defined in Section 478.100 of Title 27 of the Code of Federal Regulations, or its successor, who possesses a valid certificate of eligibility issued pursuant to Article 1 (commencing with Section 27200) of Chapter 3, if that information is requested by the person to determine the eligibility of a prospective participant in a gun show or event to conduct transactions as a firearms dealer pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 26805.

(d) Information provided pursuant to subdivision (c) shall be limited to information necessary to corroborate an individual’s current license status as being one of the following:

(1) A person licensed pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 26700.

(2) A person who is licensed pursuant to Chapter 44 (commencing with Section 921) of Title 18 of the United States Code, and who is not subject to the requirement of being licensed pursuant to subdivisions (a) to (e), inclusive, of Section 26700.

California Penal Code 26806.

(a) Commencing January 1, 2024, a licensee shall ensure that its business premises are monitored by a digital video surveillance system that meets all of the following requirements:

(1) The system shall clearly record images and, for systems located inside the premises, audio, of the area under surveillance.

(2) Each camera shall be permanently mounted in a fixed location. Cameras shall be placed in locations that allow the camera to clearly record activity occurring in all areas described in paragraph (3) and reasonably produce recordings that allow for the clear identification of any person.

(3) The areas recorded shall include, without limitation, all of the following:

(A) Interior views of all entries or exits to the premises.

(B) All areas where firearms are displayed.

(C) All points of sale, sufficient to identify the parties involved in the transaction.

(4) The system shall continuously record 24 hours per day at a frame rate no less than 15 frames per second.

(5) The media or device on which recordings are stored shall be secured in a manner to protect the recording from tampering, unauthorized access or use, or theft.

(6) Recordings shall be maintained for a minimum of one year.

(7) Recorded images shall clearly and accurately display the date and time.

(8) The system shall be equipped with a failure notification system that provides notification to the licensee of any interruption or failure of the system or storage device.

(b) A licensee shall not use, share, allow access, or otherwise release recordings, to any person except as follows:

(1) A licensee shall allow access to the system to an agent of the department or a licensing authority conducting an inspection of the licensee’s premises, for the purpose of inspecting the system for compliance with this section, and only if a warrant or court order would not generally be required for that access.

(2) A licensee shall allow access to the system or release recordings to any person pursuant to search warrant or other court order.

(3) A licensee may allow access to the system or release recordings to any person in response to an insurance claim or as part of the civil discovery process, including, but not limited to, in response to subpoenas, request for production or inspection, or other court order.

(c) The licensee shall post a sign in a conspicuous place at each entrance to the premises that states in block letters not less than one inch in height:

 

“THESE PREMISES ARE UNDER VIDEO AND AUDIO SURVEILLANCE. YOUR IMAGE AND CONVERSATIONS MAY BE RECORDED.”

 

(d) A licensee shall, on an annual basis, provide certification to the department, in a manner prescribed by the department, that its video surveillance system is in proper working order.

(e) This section does not preclude any local authority or local governing body from adopting or enforcing local laws or policies regarding video surveillance that do not contradict or conflict with the requirements of this section.

 

California Penal Code 26811.

(a) Commencing July 1, 2023, a licensee shall carry a general liability insurance policy providing at least one million dollars ($1,000,000) of coverage per incident.

(b) This section does not preclude any local authority from requiring a more stringent requirement regarding the maintenance of liability insurance.

 

SB 2, Portantino. Firearms.

This law substantially changes the requirements to obtain and renew a Concealed Carry license (CCW) and substantially changes the regulations regarding actually carrying a concealed weapon.

Everyone who has a CCW, or plans to get a CCW, should read the text of the bill, at the link below, and understand the new regulations. Being convicted of violating these regulations can result in fines and imprisonment.

This law adds, replaced, or modifies 28 sections of the California Penal Code. Among the most impactful are:

  • The new definitions of “sensitive places”, which are places where it is a crime to carry a concealed weapon, even with a CCW license. California Penal Code 26230 lists places where a “…person granted a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person pursuant to Section 26150, 26155, or 26170 shall not carry a firearm on or into…”
  • Crimes relating to use of alcohol and/or controlled substances.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB2

 

Litigation

B&L Productions, INC., d/b/a Crossroads of the West v Newsom

In the United States District Court for the Central District of California on the 30th of October, Judge John W. Holcomb issued a Preliminary Injunction against the state enforcing a ban on gun shows found in California Penal Code sections 27573 or 27575.

The 32nd District Agricultural Association must make available the next available date for a gun show and must allow the Plaintiff Crossroads of the West to reserve dates for gun show events (and to hold such events) at the Orange County Fairgrounds as the 32nd DAA would any other event promoter who has previously held events at the Orange County Fairgrounds.

Defendants request to stay Judge Holcomb’s order pending appeal was denied.

May v Bonta challenging SB2, a motion was filed for a Preliminary Injunction. The state has until November third to file its motion to oppose the injunction. CRPA will then have until November 20 to reply to the opposition motion. A hearing is scheduled December 4 before Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US District Court for the Central District California.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith

October 2023 Legislation/Litigation Report

October 2023 Legislation/Litigation Update

October focus

A potentially record number of bills have been passed by the legislature and signed into law by the Governor. Those with significant and wide impact are listed here. There are others that affect Law Enforcement or other limited groups that I have not included. I will be researching when each becomes effective, and providing a synopsis of what they do to us in coming months.

https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billSearchClient.xhtml

Gun bills passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor at the end of session:

California AB 28, as amended, Gabriel.  Firearms and ammunition: excise tax. [Starting July 1, 2024, imposes an 11% excise tax on retail price of firearms, ammunition, and precursor parts.]

California SB 2, as amended, Portantino. Firearms. [CCW Overhaul, taking effect January 1, 2024. The CRPA has filed a motion for an injunction to prevent SB2 from taking effect. The state has until November 3 to file a motion opposing the injunction. CRPA will then have until November 20 to reply to the state’s motion. A hearing is currently set for December 4 before Judge Cormac Carney, of the US District Court for the Central District of California.]

California SB 452, as amended, Blakespear. Firearms. [Requires Microstamping on pistols sold after January 1, 2027, if available.]

California AB 92, as introduced, Connolly. Body armor: prohibition. [Bans possession of body armor by persons disqualified to possess firearms.]

California AB 97, as amended, Rodriguez. Firearms: unserialized firearms. [The state will collect data on unserialized firearms.]

California SB 241, as introduced, Min. Firearms: dealer requirements. [Beginning July 1, 2026, firearm dealer employees will be required to complete annual training.]

California AB 574, as amended, Jones-Sawyer. Firearms: concealed carry licenses. [Adds a question to the dealer records of sale, beginning March 1, 2025, that requires the purchaser to have inventoried their firearms within the last 30 days.]

California AB 301 as amended, Bauer-Kahan. Gun violence restraining orders: body armor. [Allows court to consider owning body armor in issuing a GVRO.]

California AB 1089, as amended, Gipson. Firearms. [Changes when a manufacturer’s license is required.]

California SB 368, as introduced, Portantino. Firearms: requirements for licensed dealers. [Adds several mandates for firearms dealers.]

California AB 1587, as amended, Ting. Financial transactions: firearms merchants: merchant category code. [Require a payment card network to make the merchant category code for firearms and ammunition businesses established by the International Organization for Standardization. Beginning March 1, 2025, require a merchant acquirer to assign to a firearms merchant that merchant category code.]

California AB 1598, as amended, Berman. Gun violence: firearm safety education. [Overhauls the Firearm Safety Certificate requirements.]

California AB 303, as introduced, Davies. Firearms: prohibited persons. [Require the A.G. to inform local law enforcement of prohibited persons and local law enforcement to designate someone to receive this information.]

California AB 455, as introduced, Quirk-Silva. Firearms: prohibited persons. [This bill would authorize the prosecution to request an order from the court, as specified, to prohibit a defendant subject to pretrial diversion from owning or possessing a firearm because they are a danger to themselves or others until they successfully complete diversion.]

California AB 724, Vince Fong, Firearms, safety certificate instruction materials [Requires these instructional and testing materials to be available in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Dari, and Armenian.]

California AB 725, as introduced, Lowenthal. Firearms: reporting of lost and stolen firearms. [Amends how a firearm is defined for purposes of these provisions to include the frame or receiver of the firearm, including both a completed frame or receiver, or a firearm precursor part.]

 

Legislation

California AB 28, as amended, Gabriel.  Firearms and ammunition: excise tax.

Existing law establishes the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program, administered by the Board of State and Community Corrections, to award competitive grants for the purpose of violence intervention and prevention.

Existing law imposes various taxes, including taxes on the privilege of engaging in certain activities. The Fee Collection Procedures Law, the violation of which is a crime, provides procedures for the collection of certain fees and surcharges.

This bill, the Gun Violence Prevention and School Safety Act, would, commencing July 1, 2024, impose an excise tax in the amount of 11% of the gross receipts from the retail sale in this state of a firearm, 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 and School Safety Fund, which the bill would establish in the State Treasury. The bill would require the moneys received in the fund to be used to fund various gun violence prevention, education, research, response, and investigation programs, as specified. The bill would require the Director of Finance to transfer, as a loan, $2,400,000 from the General Fund to the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to implement these provisions, as specified. The bill would require each licensed firearms dealer, firearms manufacturer, and ammunition vendor to register with the department for a certificate, as specified. The bill would also provide procedures for the issuance, revocation, and reinstatement of a permit.

California SB 2, as amended, Portantino. Firearms.

This is an extensive bill that will substantially alter CCW issuance and concealed carry in California.

Proposed Law:

  • Requires CCW licensing authorities to issue or renew a CCW license if the applicant is not a disqualified person for the license and the applicant is at least 21 years of age.
  • Removes the good character and good cause requirements from CCW issuance criteria.
  • Provides that a disqualified person is someone who, among other things, is reasonably likely to be a danger to self, others, or the community at large, as specified.
  • Requires the applicant for a CCW to be the recorded owner, with the DOJ, of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person for which the CCW license is sought.
  • Requires the issuing authority, if it has direct access to the designated department system, to determine if the applicant is the recorded owner of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm.
  • Requires an issuing authority without access to that system to confirm the ownership with the sheriff of the county in which the agency is located.
  • Alters the training requirement for a CCW license to be no less than 16 hours in length and adds additional subjects to the course including the safe storage and legal transportation of firearms.
  • Requires a licensing authority to provide the applicant notice if a new license or license renewal is denied or revoked.
  • Provides that an applicant may request a hearing to challenge a license denial or revocation, and requires the licensing authority to inform the applicant of the ability to seek a hearing.
  • Authorizes an applicant to seek a writ of mandate from a superior court within 30 days of receipt of notice of denial or revocation and requires the licensing authority to inform the applicant of the ability to seek a writ of mandate.
  • Requires DOJ to notify a licensing authority if the department is unable to ascertain, among other things, the final disposition of an arrest or criminal charge under state or federal law that would prohibit the person from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm.
  • Prohibits a license from being issued or renewed unless the department reports to a licensing authority that the applicant is eligible to possess, receive, own, or purchase a firearm, as specified.
  • Authorizes a licensing authority to charge additional processing cost fees for a license renewal and would permit the licensing authority to collect the first 50% of the fee upon filing of the application.
  • Removes a prohibition on licensing authorities that restricts them from requiring additional fees or liability insurance.
  • Authorizes the Attorney General to revise the standard form for licenses and the design standard, as specified.
  • Removes specified exemptions that authorize CCW licensees to carry firearms in places such as the residence of the Governor, any other constitutional officer, or a Member of the Legislature; makes it a crime to bring an unloaded firearm into those same places.
  • Revises specified exceptions for persons who have a valid CCW license to permit them to carry a specified firearm in an area that is not within any building, real property, or parking area under the control of a public or private school, or on a street or sidewalk immediately adjacent to a building, real property, or parking area under the control of that public or private school, as specified.
  • Prohibits a CCW licensee from carrying a firearm to specified locations, including, among other places, a building designated for a court proceeding and a place of worship, with specific exceptions.
  • Prohibits a person from knowingly possessing a firearm in any building, real property, or parking area under the control of an airport or passenger vessel terminal, as specified.
  • Requires a licensing authority to revoke a CCW license if, among other things, a licensee has provided inaccurate or incomplete information on their application for a new license or license renewal.
  • Prohibits a licensee from, among other things, consuming an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance and from falsely representing that the licensee is a peace officer.
  • Authorizes the DOJ to adopt emergency regulations to implement the concealed firearm licensing system, as specified.

Passed The Committees on Rules, Public Safety, and Appropriations. with a “do pass as amended” recommendation.

Note: This bill has a multiple page summary. To find current, reliable information on this bill before the California legislature you can go to: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB2.

California SB 452, as amended, Blakespear. Firearms.

Existing law, subject to exceptions, generally makes it an offense to manufacture or sell an unsafe handgun, as defined, and requires the Department of Justice to compile a roster listing all of the handguns that have been tested and determined not to be unsafe handguns. Existing law establishes criteria for determining if a handgun is an unsafe handgun, including, for firearms manufactured after a certain date and not already listed on the roster, the lack of a chamber load indicator, magazine disconnect mechanism, and technology that transfers a microscopic array of characters from the firearm to the cartridge case when the firearm is fired, known as a microstamp.

This bill would prohibit, commencing on January 1, 2027, a licensed firearms dealer from selling, offering for sale, exchanging, giving, transferring, or delivering a semiautomatic pistol, as defined, unless the pistol has been verified as a microstamping-enabled pistol. The bill would also prohibit a person from modifying a microstamping-enabled pistol or microstamping component with the intent to prevent the production of a microstamp. By creating new crimes, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The bill would require the Department of Justice to provide written guidance concerning qualifying criteria and performance standards for microstamping components, as defined, and would require the department to establish standards for the training and licensure of entities to retrofit semiautomatic pistols with microstamping components.

California AB 92, as introduced, Connolly. Body armor: prohibition.

Existing law makes it a felony for a person who has been convicted of a violent felony to purchase, own, or possess body armor. Existing law authorizes a person subject to that prohibition, whose employment, livelihood, or safety is dependent on the ability to legally possess and use body armor, to file a petition for an exception to the prohibition with the chief of police or county sheriff of the jurisdiction in which the person seeks to possess and use the body armor, as provided.

This bill would make it a misdemeanor for a person who is prohibited from possessing a firearm under the laws of this state to purchase, own, or possess body armor, as specified.

California AB 97, as amended, Rodriguez. Firearms: unserialized firearms.

Existing law requires a person that is manufacturing a firearm or assembling a firearm from unserialized components, to apply to the Department of Justice for a unique mark of identification and to affix that mark to the firearm, as specified. Existing law prohibits a person, corporation, or firm from knowingly manufacturing or assembling, or to knowingly cause, allow, facilitate, aid, or abet the manufacture or assembling of, a firearm that is not imprinted with a valid state or federal serial number or mark of identification. Under existing law, a person who knowingly possesses a firearm that does not have a valid state or federal serial number or mark of identification is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill would, until January 1, 2033, require the Department of Justice to collect and report specified information, including, among other things, the number of arrests pursuant to the provisions mentioned above. The bill would require the department to issue a report to the Legislature, as specified, on or before January 1, 2025, and annually thereafter, that includes the data collected.

California SB 241, as introduced, Min. Firearms: dealer requirements.

Existing law prohibits any person from selling, leasing, or transferring any firearm unless the person is licensed as a firearms dealer, as specified. Existing law prescribes certain requirements and prohibitions for licensed firearms dealers. A violation of any of these requirements or prohibitions is grounds for forfeiture of a firearms dealer’s license.

This 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.

California AB 301 as amended, Bauer-Kahan. Gun violence restraining orders: body armor.

Existing law authorizes a court to issue an ex parte gun violence restraining order prohibiting the subject of the petition from having custody or control of, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition when it is shown that there is a substantial likelihood that the subject of the petition poses a significant danger of harm to themselves or to another person in the near future by having custody or control of, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm, and that the order is necessary to prevent personal injury to themselves or to another. Existing law requires the court, when determining whether grounds for a gun violence restraining order exists, to consider evidence of, among other things, a recent threat of violence by the subject of the petition, and also authorizes the court to consider evidence of, among other things, recent acquisition of firearms, ammunition, or other deadly weapons by the subject of the petition.

This bill would additionally authorize the court to consider evidence of acquisition of body armor when determining whether grounds for a gun violence restraining order exist.

California SB 368, as introduced, Portantino. Firearms: requirements for licensed dealers.

Existing law regulates licensed firearms dealers and provides that a license is subject to forfeiture for a breach of specified prohibitions in existing law. Existing law authorizes the temporary transfer of a firearm without a firearms dealer’s participation to a person who is 18 years of age or older for safekeeping to prevent it from being used to attempt suicide, as specified.

This bill would require a licensed firearms dealer to accept for storage a firearm transferred by an individual to prevent it from being accessed or used to attempt suicide. The bill would also authorize a licensed firearms dealer to accept for storage a firearm for a lawful purpose not otherwise stated in the law. The bill would make these provisions subject to certain conditions and would establish a procedure for the return of a firearm to the original transferor, including situations when a dealer cannot legally return a firearm. A violation of various provisions involving the transfer of firearms is a crime. By changing the scope of these offenses, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law states that the requirement that the sale, delivery, or transfer of a firearm be conducted by a firearms dealer does not apply to the sale, delivery, or transfer to an authorized representative of a government, as specified, and the government is acquiring the firearm as part of an authorized, voluntary program.

This bill would require a licensed firearm dealer to establish a voluntary program to repurchase firearms from individuals in consultation with the Department of Justice.

The California Constitution generally provides that the Legislature has no power to authorize lotteries and shall prohibit the sale of lottery tickets in the state, except for private, nonprofit, eligible organizations to conduct raffles as a funding mechanism to provide support for their own or another private, nonprofit, eligible organization’s beneficial and charitable works, subject to certain conditions.

This bill would prohibit a licensed firearms dealer from offering an opportunity to win an item of inventory in a game dominated by chance and would except from this prohibition nonprofit organizations under certain circumstances.

Existing law, subject to exceptions, provides that any person who has been convicted of certain misdemeanors may not, within 10 years of the conviction, own, purchase, receive, possess, or have under their custody or control, any firearm and makes a violation of that prohibition a crime. Existing law authorizes a court in certain circumstances to reduce, eliminate, or condition that prohibition.

This bill would, subject to exceptions, provide that any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of the above-described prohibition on or after January 1, 2024, and who within 10 years of that conviction owns, purchases, receives, possesses, or has under their custody or control, any firearm guilty of a misdemeanor or a felony. Because a violation of these provisions would be a crime, and because this bill would expand the application of the crime to a larger class of potential offenders, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would additionally require the Department of Justice to create an evaluation process to determine whether an extension of a 10-year prohibition is warranted. The bill would, for those subject to such a prohibition due to a conviction on or after January 1, 2024, require the department to review whether the prohibition should be extended, provide notice and opportunity to be heard to the person, and establish a process for the person to appeal any extension of the prohibition instituted by the department.

California AB 574, as amended, Jones-Sawyer. Firearms: concealed carry licenses. dealer records of sale.

Existing law requires, except as exempted, any sale, loan, or transfer of a firearm to be conducted through a licensed firearm dealer, as specified.

Existing law requires each firearm dealer to keep a register or record of each firearm transaction and requires that register or record to include certain specified information, including information about the purchaser, information about the firearm, and the answers to certain questions by the purchaser or transferee relating to their eligibility to own or possess a firearm.

This bill would additionally require the register or record to include the acknowledgment by the purchaser or transferee that they have, within the past 30 days, confirmed possession of every firearm that they own or possess.

California AB 303, as introduced, Davies. Firearms: prohibited persons.

Existing law requires the Attorney General to establish and maintain an online database known as the Prohibited Armed Persons File, sometimes referred to as the Armed Prohibited Persons System, to cross-reference persons who have ownership or possession of a firearm, and who, subsequent to the date of ownership or possession of that firearm, fall within a class of persons who are prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm. Existing law requires the Attorney General to provide investigative assistance to local law enforcement agencies to better ensure the investigation of individuals who are armed and prohibited from possessing a firearm.

This bill would require the Attorney General to provide specific information to local law enforcement agencies involving prohibited persons, including, but not limited to, personal identifying information, case status, and information regarding previous contact with the prohibited person, as specified. The bill would require local law enforcement agencies to designate at least one employee to receive this information. By imposing new duties on local law enforcement agencies, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

California AB 455, as introduced, Quirk-Silva. Firearms: prohibited persons.

Existing law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a felony offense or a specified misdemeanor domestic violence offense from possessing or receiving a firearm. Existing law prohibits a person who has been convicted of specified misdemeanor offenses within the previous 10 years from possessing or receiving a firearm. Existing law prohibits a person who has been taken into custody because that person is a danger to themselves or others, or has been certified for intensive treatment due to a mental disorder or mental illness, from possessing or receiving a firearm, as specified. Existing law prohibits a person who has been placed under conservatorship by a court, has been found mentally incompetent to stand trial, has been found not guilty of specified crimes due to reason of insanity, has been adjudicated by a court to be a danger to others as a result of a mental disorder or mental illness, or who has been adjudicated to be a mentally disordered sex offender from possessing or receiving a firearm, as specified. A violation of any of the prohibitions is punishable as a crime.

Existing law authorizes a court to grant pretrial diversion, for a period no longer than 2 years, to a defendant suffering from a mental disorder, on an accusatory pleading alleging the commission of a misdemeanor or felony offense, to allow the defendant to undergo mental health treatment.

This bill would authorize the prosecution to request an order from the court, as specified, to prohibit a defendant subject to pretrial diversion from owning or possessing a firearm because they are a danger to themselves or others until they successfully complete diversion.

AB 732, Mike Fong. Crimes: relinquishment of firearms.

Existing law prohibits a person who has been convicted of a felony or of specified misdemeanors from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm for specified periods of time. Existing law, as enacted by the Safety for All Act of 2016, an initiative statute approved by voters as Proposition 63 at the November 8, 2016, statewide general election, requires any defendant subject to this prohibition to relinquish any firearm that they own or possess within 5 days of conviction if not in custody after a conviction, as specified, and provides a procedure for the verification and enforcement of this requirement. Existing law also requires that, if the defendant is in custody following a conviction, the defendant must relinquish any firearms within 14 days, as specified. Existing law also authorizes the court to shorten or enlarge the time period for relinquishment of a firearm with good cause.

Proposition 63 allows its provisions to be amended by a vote of 55% of the Legislature so long as the amendments are consistent with, and further the intent of, the act.

This bill would amend Proposition 63 by requiring a defendant not in custody to relinquish their firearms within 48 hours.

Existing law requires a court to assign a probation officer when a defendant is convicted of a crime that would prohibit them from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm. Existing law requires the assigned probation officer to, prior to the final disposition or sentencing in the case, report to the court whether the defendant complied with the requirement to relinquish their firearms and file the proper paperwork providing proof of relinquishment. Existing law also requires that the court make findings on whether the probation officer’s report indicates compliance by the defendant. If the court finds probable cause that the defendant failed to relinquish their firearms, existing law authorizes the court to order for the search and removal of any firearms at any location where the judge has probable cause to believe the firearms are located.

This bill would require the probation officer to also provide their report on defendant compliance to the prosecuting attorney. The bill would also require the court, after a warrant request has been submitted, to order a search warrant for the search and removal of any firearms if the court finds probable cause that the defendant failed to relinquish their firearms, as specified, or to extend the time for providing proof of relinquishment to 14 days for good cause. The bill would further require the court to refer the matter to the prosecuting attorney and set a status review within 14 days if it finds that additional investigation is needed. By placing additional requirements on county probation officers, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law requires a law enforcement agency to retain a firearm relinquished by a defendant after a conviction of an offense that would prohibit them from owning a firearm for 30 days. Once the 30-day period expires, existing law authorizes the agency to destroy, retain, sell, or transfer the firearm, except as specified.

This bill would remove the authorization for the law enforcement agency to sell the relinquished firearm.

Existing law requires the Attorney General to establish and maintain an online database known as the Prohibited Armed Persons File, also referred to as the Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS), to cross-reference persons who have ownership or possession of a firearm 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. Existing law requires the Attorney General to keep and properly file a complete record of, among other things, copies of fingerprints, copies of licenses to carry firearms, as specified, and dealers’ records of firearms sales.

This bill would require the Department of Justice to provide local law enforcement agencies and the district attorney access through an electronic portal to information regarding individuals residing in their jurisdiction listed in the APPS who have not provided proof of relinquishment of firearms registered in their name. The bill would require each local agency to designate a person to access or receive the information and would require the agency to report to the department the steps taken to verify the individual is no longer in possession of the registered firearm. The bill would require the Attorney General to keep and properly file a complete record of reports or information provided to the department pursuant to that reporting requirement. By increasing duties on local law enforcement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 11106 of the Penal Code proposed by SB 368 to be operative only if this bill and SB 368 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

This bill would also incorporate additional changes to Section 29810 of the Penal Code proposed by AB 733 to be operative only if this bill and AB 733 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

California AB 724, Vince Fong. Firearms: safety certificate instructional materials.

Existing law requires a person who purchases or receives a firearm to possess a valid and unexpired firearm safety certificate or handgun safety certificate, as applicable. Existing law prohibits the sale, delivery, or transfer of a firearm to a person who does not possess a valid and unexpired firearm safety certificate or handgun safety certificate, as applicable.

Existing law requires an applicant for a firearm safety certificate to pass an objective test, as specified. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to provide instructional and testing materials in English and Spanish.

This bill would also require these instructional and testing materials to be available in Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Korean, Dari, and Armenian.

This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 31640 of the Penal Code proposed by AB 1598 to be operative only if this bill and AB 1598 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

California AB 725, as introduced, Lowenthal. Firearms: reporting of lost and stolen firearms.

Existing law requires a person to report any lost or stolen firearm to a law enforcement agency, as specified. A violation of this provision is punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor. Existing law also requires the sheriff or chief of the law enforcement agency receiving such a report to enter a description of the lost or stolen firearm into the Department of Justice Automated Firearms System. Existing law defines a firearm for purposes of these provisions.

This bill would amend how a firearm is defined for purposes of these provisions to include the frame or receiver of the firearm, including both a completed frame or receiver, or a firearm precursor part.

AB 762, Wicks. California Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program.

Existing law establishes the Board of State and Community Corrections. Existing law charges the board with providing the statewide leadership, coordination, and technical assistance to promote effective state and local efforts and partnerships in California’s adult and juvenile criminal justice system, including addressing gang problems. Existing law establishes the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program and assigns the authority and duties of the board in administering the program, including the selection criteria for grants. Existing law limits the maximum grant amount to $1,500,000. Existing law repeals this program on January 1, 2025.

This bill would specify that the purpose of the CalVIP program is to support effective community gun violence reduction initiatives in communities that are disproportionately impacted by community gun violence, as defined. The bill would expand the CalVIP program to include counties that have one or more cities disproportionately impacted by community gun violence and tribal governments. The bill would increase the maximum grant amount to $2,500,000 per year and require a grant cycle to be at least 3 years. The bill would require the board to establish an executive steering committee to be composed of, among other entities, persons who have been impacted by community gun violence and the director of the Office of Gun Violence Prevention or their designee, as specified. The bill would authorize the board to reserve up to 5 percent of the funds appropriated for CalVIP each year for the purpose of supporting programs and activities designed to build and sustain capacity in the field of community gun violence intervention and prevention, as specified. The bill would repeal the repeal date of the CalVIP program, thereby extending this program indefinitely.

AB 818, Petrie-Norris. Protective orders.

Existing law provides for temporary restraining orders or emergency protective orders with respect to domestic violence and elder abuse, as specified. Existing law requires that a temporary restraining order or emergency protective order issued under these provisions be served on the respondent at the request of the petitioner, whether or not the respondent has been taken into custody, by a law enforcement officer who is present at the scene of reported domestic violence involving the parties to the proceeding.

This bill would expand these provisions to require service of orders issued after hearing. The bill would also authorize these orders to be served by a law enforcement officer who receives a request from the petitioner to provide service of the order, but would exclude service by specified peace officers, including a parole officer of the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation or a probation officer. The bill would prohibit a fee from being charged to the petitioner for service of those orders. The bill would require specified peace officers to take into temporary custody any firearm or deadly weapon in plain sight or discovered pursuant to a consensual or otherwise lawful search for the protection of peace officers or other persons present when those officers are at the scene of a domestic violence incident involving a threat to human life or physical assault, serving a protective order pursuant to the above provisions, or serving a gun violence restraining order. By expanding the duties of local law enforcement, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Existing law requires a law enforcement agency to enter all firearms that have been reported stolen, lost, found, recovered, held for safekeeping, or under observation into the Automated Firearms System (AFS).

This bill would require law enforcement to enter, or cause to be entered, a firearm into the AFS if the firearm is obtained at the scene of a domestic violence incident or during service of specified orders.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

California AB 1089, as amended, Gipson. Firearms.

(1) Existing law requires any person who manufactures more than 3 firearms in a year to be licensed by the state as a firearms manufacturer. Existing law prohibits any person from using a three-dimensional printer to manufacture a firearm unless that person is a state-licensed firearms manufacturer. Existing law prohibits any person from using a CNC milling machine to manufacture a firearm unless the person is a federally licensed manufacturer or importer.

This bill would instead require anybody who uses a three-dimensional printer or CNC milling machine to manufacture a firearm to be a state-licensed manufacturer.

(2) Existing law prohibits the sale, purchase, possession, or receipt of a CNC milling machine that has the sole or primary function of manufacturing firearms to or by anybody in the state other than a federally licensed manufacturer or importer.

This bill would also prohibit the sale, purchase, possession, or receipt of a three-dimensional printer that has the sole or primary function of manufacturing firearms to or by any person in the state other than a state-licensed firearms manufacturer, as specified.

(3) Existing law commencing on July 1, 2023, requires a firearm industry member, as defined, to take reasonable precautions to ensure that they do not sell, distribute, or provide a firearm-related product, as defined, to a downstream distributor or retailer who fails to establish reasonable controls or adhere to laws pertaining to unfair methods of competition, unfair or deceptive acts or practices, and false advertising, and prohibits a firearm industry member from manufacturing, marketing, importing, or offering for sale a firearm-related product that is abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety, and also authorizes a person who has suffered harm, or the Attorney General, or city or county attorneys, to bring a civil action against a firearm industry member for an act or omission in violation of these requirements

This bill would add three-dimensional printers and CNC milling machines, as specified, to the definition of firearm-related products.

(4) The bill would additionally provide that a civil action may be brought against a person who distributes any code or digital instructions for the manufacture of a firearm using a three-dimensional printer or CNC milling machine. The bill would specify that a person is strictly liable for any personal injury or property damage caused by any firearm manufactured using the distributed code.

AB 1406, McCarty. Firearms: waiting periods.

Existing law requires every sale or transfer of a firearm to be processed through a licensed dealer. Existing law requires the dealer to obtain specified information about the purchaser and forward that information to the Department of Justice, as specified. Existing law prohibits a dealer from delivering a firearm within 10 days after the application to purchase, as specified.

Existing law requires the department, upon receiving the information about a firearm purchaser, to examine specified records and notify the dealer if the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm or, if specified records are incomplete, to request that the dealer delay delivery of the firearm until that information can be verified.

This bill would authorize the department to request a delay of the delivery of a firearm if additional research is required to determine a person’s eligibility, as specified.

This bill would additionally authorize the department to request a delay of the delivery of a firearm for up to 30 days if an emergency, as defined, has caused the department to be unable to review records to determine a purchaser’s eligibility to purchase, receive, own, or possess a firearm prior to the conclusion of the waiting period.

This bill would, if a firearm being sold or transferred is reported as lost or stolen, require the department to reject the transaction and notify the law enforcement agency that reported the firearm as lost or stolen. The bill would require the dealer to hold the firearm and require that law enforcement agency to retrieve the firearm from the dealer, as specified. By requiring the law enforcement agency to retrieve the firearm, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would also make changes to the notification procedures to purchasers regarding rejected or delayed background checks, as specified.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that the bill contains costs mandated by the state, reimbursement for those costs shall be made pursuant to the statutory provisions noted above.

AB 1420, Berman. Firearms.

Existing law subjects a license to sell, lease, or transfer firearms to forfeiture for a violation of regulations on the transfer of firearms, except for violations of specified provisions relating to the storage and inspection of firearms. Existing law authorizes the department to conduct inspections of firearm dealers for compliance with specified provisions. Existing law authorizes the Department of Justice to assess a civil fine in an amount not to exceed $1,000 against a licensee that violates any provision that subjects that licensee to forfeiture of that license.

This bill would instead authorize the department to conduct inspections and assess that fine for any violation of provisions relating to regulation of those licenses, for violations of specified provisions regulating the sale of secondhand firearms, and for violations of other applicable state law. The bill would make other technical changes regarding the regulation of licenses.

Existing law requires the department to maintain and make available, upon request, information concerning, among other things, the number of firearms dealers found to have violated specified laws with knowledge or gross negligence.

This bill would require the department to also maintain and make available the number of firearms dealers who have violated any other applicable state law with knowledge or gross negligence.

Existing law requires the register or record of electronic transfer of a firearm to contain specified information, including, among other things, the purchaser’s address and telephone number.

This bill would additionally require that register or record to include the purchaser’s email address for transactions on and after September 1, 2025.

This bill would incorporate additional changes to Section 28160 of the Penal Code proposed by AB 574 to be operative only if this bill and AB 574 are enacted and this bill is enacted last.

AB 1483, Valencia. Firearms: purchases.

Existing law, subject to exceptions, prohibits a person from making more than one application to purchase a handgun within any 30-day period. Under existing law, a violation of this prohibition is a crime. Existing law exempts from that prohibition a firearms transaction where neither of the parties is a firearms dealer if the transaction is completed through a dealer. Commencing on January 1, 2024, existing law will also apply this limitation to completed frames or receivers and firearm precursor parts.

This bill would delete the private party transaction exemption to the 30-day prohibition. The bill would add an exemption for any private party transaction where the seller is, at the time of the transaction, required under state law or by court order to relinquish all firearms, and for any private party transaction where the seller is transferring the firearms as a result of the death of the owner of the firearms, as specified. The bill would make these changes take effect on January 1, 2025. By expanding the scope of a crime, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.

This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

 

AB 1587, as amended, Ting. Financial transactions: firearms merchants: merchant category code.

Existing law, the California Financing Law, generally provides for the licensure and regulation of finance lenders, brokers, and program administrators by the Commissioner of Financial Protection and Innovation.

Existing law establishes a firearm industry standard of conduct that requires a firearm industry member to establish, implement, and enforce reasonable controls and to take responsible precautions to ensure that the member does not sell, distribute, or provide a firearm-related product to a downstream distributor or retailer of firearm-related products under specified circumstances. Existing law prohibits a firearm industry member from manufacturing, marketing, importing, offering for wholesale sale, or offering for retail sale a firearm-related product that is abnormally dangerous and likely to create an unreasonable risk of harm to public health and safety in California, as specified. Existing law authorizes, among others, the Attorney General to bring a civil action against a firearm industry member for an act or omission in violation of the firearm industry standard of conduct, as specified. Existing law defines various terms for these purposes.

This bill would, by July 1, 2024, require a payment card network to make the merchant category code for firearms and ammunition businesses established by the International Organization for Standardization on September 9, 2022, available for merchant acquirers that provide payment services for firearms merchants. This bill would, beginning March 1, 2025, require a merchant acquirer to assign to a firearms merchant that merchant category code. The bill would provide that the Attorney General has exclusive authority to enforce these provisions and would authorize the Attorney General to bring a civil action to enforce these provisions and remedy harm caused by a violation of these provisions. The bill would require a court that determines that a person or entity has violated these provisions to award specified relief, including a civil penalty in the amount of $10,000 for each violation. The bill would define various terms for these purposes.

California  AB 1598, as amended, Berman. Gun violence: firearm safety education.

Existing law states that the state has a compelling interest in protecting its citizens from gun violence and from intimidation by persons brandishing weapons. Existing law generally regulates the manufacture, distribution, transportation, and importation of specified firearms.

Existing law requires persons who obtain firearms to have familiarity with those firearms, including the safe handling and storage of firearms. Existing law requires a purchaser or receiver of a firearm to hold a valid firearm safety certificate. Existing law requires the Department of Justice to prescribe a minimum level of skill, knowledge, and competency to be required of all firearm safety certificate instructors, authorizes those instructors to issue firearm safety certificates to persons over 18 years of age, and requires the department to develop a test that a person is required to pass in order to earn a firearm safety certificate. Existing law allows a firearm safety certificate instructor to collect a fee of $25 for administering the test and issuing the firearm safety certificate, $15 of which is to be paid to the department to cover the department’s costs to carry out and enforce specified laws.

This bill would require the department, at the next regularly scheduled update of the test, to update the items the test covers to include the benefits and risks of owning a firearm and bringing a firearm into the home, including the increased risk of death to someone in the household by suicide, homicide, or unintentional injury, and current law as it relates to eligibility to own or possess a firearm, gun violence restraining orders, domestic violence restraining orders, and privately manufactured firearms.

The bill would require the department to prepare a firearm safety certificate study guide, in English and in Spanish, that explains the information covered in the test, and would require the department to offer copies of the study guide at actual cost to firearm safety instructors, who would be required to provide a study guide to an applicant for a firearm safety certificate prior to their test date. The bill would allow an instructor to add the cost of the study guide to the fee above.  The bill would additionally require the department to prepare a pamphlet in English and in Spanish that explains the benefits and risks of firearm ownership and to make the pamphlet available to licensed firearm dealers at cost. The bill would require licensed firearm dealers to provide a purchaser, transferee, or person being loaned a firearm the pamphlet.

SB 417, Blakespear. Firearms: licensed dealers.

Existing law requires any sale or transfer of a firearm to be processed through a licensed dealer. Existing law requires each dealer to conspicuously post certain warnings and notices within their licensed premises, including safe storage requirements, requirements regarding the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, and information regarding the suicide prevention lifeline.

This bill would revise this required posting, as specified.

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

Note: italic and underlined information is a change from last month’s report.

Litigation

Duncan v Bonta decision from Judge Benitez

Note that nothing has changed yet; the Ninth Circuit En Banc panel has issued a stay of Judge Benitez’s order.

Duncan v Bonta is the challenge to the “High-Capacity Magazine” ban, which Judge Roger Benitez found unconstitutional in 2017. In 2018 a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld Judge Benitez’s ruling. The Ninth Circuit, responding to a petition from the state, then vacated the ruling of the three-judge panel and reheard the case En Banc, meaning an eleven judge panel. The En Banc ruling reversed Judge Benitez’s ruling. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case, vacated the Ninth Circuit ruling, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit to reconsider the case in light of the Bruen decision. NYSRPA v Bruen is a Supreme Court decision that includes clear direction to inferior courts on how to handle second amendment cases. The Ninth Circuit in turn remanded the case back to Judge Benitez. Judge Benitez has again found the “High Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional, and issued an injunction against the state enforcing Penal Code Section 31320. Judge Benitez stayed his order for ten days to allow the state to appeal back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which the Attorney General did and was granted a stay. A hearing has been scheduled in December.

May v Bonta challenging SB2, a motion was filed for a Preliminary Injunction. December 4. The state has until November third to file its motion to oppose the injunction. CRPA will then have until November 20 to reply to the opposition motion. A hearing is scheduled December 4 before Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US District Court for the Central District California.

Renna v Bonta on the California Unsafe handgun roster was remanded back to the trial court for reconsideration in light of Bruen.

On March 31 the Honorable Dana M. Sabraw, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Southern District of California, has issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. In addition, the judge ruled that the “one on/three off” provision is unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(7). The injunction was stayed to allow the state time to appeal, and an appeal has been filed.

Boland v Bonta is a lawsuit challenging the California handgun roster imposed as part of the Unsafe Handgun Act.

Judge Cormac J. Carney, of the US Central District Court for California on March 20 issued a preliminary injunction against the state enforcing three of the six requirements for semi-automatic pistols to be added to the roster. The judge ruled that requiring a loaded chamber indicator, a magazine disconnect, or microstamping for a pistol to be included in the roster are unconstitutional. This preliminary injunction would prevent the state from enforcing California Penal Code section 31910 (b)(4) to (b)(6).

Judge Carney stayed his order 14 days to allow the state to appeal. The appeal was filed, but only appealed the injunction against the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect. The finding in the injunction against microstamping was not appealed. The Ninth Circuit did order a stay of this preliminary injunction with regard to the loaded chamber indicator and magazine disconnect but did not stay the injunction against enforcing microstamping.

Note that these preliminary injunctions did not strike down the roster; they only said specific criteria were unconstitutional. Since these are preliminary injunctions the cases have not been completed or decided on the merits. These two preliminary injunctions do mean that two judges have ruled, among other things, that it is likely the plaintiffs (our side) will prevail when the cases are complete.

Also note that about the same time the Central District court issued the first preliminary injunction, Senator Catherine Blakespear amended Senate Bill 452 to require microstamping for pistols to be sold in California. This seems in direct conflict with the judges’ preliminary injunction rulings.

Miller v Bonta and Rhode v Bonta still awaiting a decision in Judge Benitez’ court.

Miller v Bonta is the challenge to the “assault weapon” ban, and Rhode v Bonta is the challenge to the state requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.

Judge Benitez indicated that he wants to see these cases completed at the trial court level in a timely manner. He questioned the value of the state bringing in testimony from experts in “history and tradition” and rejected this testimony. The judge indicated that he was not sympathetic to the state trying to delay the process or confuse any of the issues.

Richards v Bonta is a lawsuit filed against the 10 day waiting period in May 2023. So far very little has happened.

Nguyen v Bonta is a challenge to the California “1 in 30” law limiting purchases of handguns or center-fire semi-auto rifles to 1 in 30 days. The judge has asked for briefs regarding how this case should be handled in light of the Bruen decision.

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 for further proceedings consistent with the Bruen decision. This case is now scheduled behind the Miller v Bonta case, which also challenges the “Assault Weapon Ban”.

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. The Ninth Circuit remanded the case back to the trial court.

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 and accidentally released to the public. 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.

 

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith