July 2022 Legislation/Litigation Update
July Focus: Assembly Bill 2571: An act to add Chapter 39 (commencing with Section 22949.80) to Division 8 of the Business and Professions Code, relating to firearms, and declaring the urgency thereof, to take effect immediately.
This law prohibits a firearm industry member, as defined, from advertising or marketing any firearm-related product, as defined, in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors. The law also prohibits a firearm industry member from using, disclosing, or compiling a minor’s personal information if it is intended to market or advertise a firearm to that minor, as specified. The legal analysis from CRPA indicates holding or advertising gun related events for youths may be prohibited by the new law also, and AVGC has suspended youth programs as a result. The law imposes a civil penalty of up to $25,000 for each violation of these provisions, and would authorize a person harmed by a violation to bring suit to recover any damages suffered, as specified. The law makes each copy or republication of marketing or advertising prohibited by these provisions a separate violation. Signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on June 30, 2022. This law became effective immediately.
Note that CRPA has filed suit to block this law.
Assembly Bill-1594 Firearms: civil suits.
Existing law defines a public nuisance and provides that a public nuisance may be remedied by an indictment or information, a civil action, or abatement. Existing law also regulates the manufacture, sale, and marketing of firearms. This law specifies that a gun industry member has created or maintained a public nuisance, as defined, if their failure to follow federal, state, or local law caused injury or death or if the gun industry member engaged in unfair business practices. Signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on June 30, 2022. This law became effective July 1, 2023.
AB-1621 Firearms: unserialized firearms.
This law requires any person in possession of an unserialized firearm to apply to the department for a unique mark of identification and to affix that mark to the firearm before January 1, 2024. This law, commencing on January 1, 2024, explicitly prohibit the possession or transfer of a firearm without a serial number or mark of identification. This law authorizes a new resident of the state to, within 60 days after arrival in the state, request a unique mark or identification for any unserialized firearm that is otherwise valid to possess in the state. This law also prohibits the possession, sale, transfer, or use of specified firearms manufacturing equipment, with exceptions for specified entities, including the Armed Forces of the United States, the National Guard, and law enforcement, as specified. Signed by the Governor and filed with the Secretary of State on June 30, 2022. This law became effective July 1, 2023.
Senate Bill 918 Firearms
This bill has wide-ranging changes for firearms laws in California, including changing and new requirements for CCW holders.
It removes “Good Cause” and “Good Character” requirements for CCW. Under the bill, the applicant would not be a qualified person if they have engaged in a threat of violence, act of violence, or used unlawful physical force against another person or themselves, as specified.
This bill would add the requirement that the applicant be the recorded owner, with the Department of Justice, of the pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.
This bill would change the training requirement to be no less than 16 hours in length and would add additional subjects to the course including, among other things, the safe storage and legal transportation of firearms.
This bill would authorize a licensing authority to charge additional processing fees for a license renewal and would permit the licensing authority to collect the first 50% of the fee upon filing of the application. The bill also removes the prohibition on licensing authority requirements for additional fees or liability insurance.
Existing law authorizes a licensing authority to require psychological testing for a new license or a license renewal. Under existing law, an applicant may be required to pay the actual cost of testing, not to exceed $150. This bill would increase the amount that an applicant may be required to pay to $200 and would allow that amount to be increased by the California cost of living, as specified.
Existing law prohibits a person from knowingly possessing a firearm in a sterile area of an airport, passenger vessel terminal, or public transit facility, as defined. This bill would expand that prohibition to include any building, real property, or parking area under the control of an airport or passenger vessel terminal or a public transit facility, as specified.
While carrying a firearm, this bill would prohibit a licensee from, among other things, consuming an alcoholic beverage or controlled substance.
This bill would declare that it is to take effect immediately as an urgency statute. There are numerous other provisions in SB-918, as amended, and more details will be provided in next month’s report.
Passed in the Assembly, amended in the Senate, and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Senate Bill 906: School safety: mass casualty threats: firearm disclosure
This bill would require the parents or guardians of a pupil to disclose whether any firearms are located at the home of the pupil and to answer questions about the ownership, storage, and accessibility by the pupil of the firearms. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Senate Bill 915 Firearms: state property
Since the “no gun shows on state property” bill last session was eventually amended to only apply to Orange County, this is a new one to make the ban statewide. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Assembly Bill 311 Firearms: Del Mar Fairgrounds
Prohibit guns shows and sale of firearms, ammunition, and firearm precursor parts at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Assembly Bill 1769 Firearms: prohibited places
This bill would prohibit the sale of firearms, firearm precursor parts, and ammunition at the Ventura County Fair and Events Center. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Senate Bill 1327 Firearms: private rights of action
This bill would create a private right of action for any person against any person who, within this state, manufactures or causes to be manufactured, distributes, transports, or imports into the state, or causes to be distributed or transported or imported into the state, keeps for sale or offers or exposes for sale, or gives or lends any firearm lacking a serial number required by law, assault weapon, .50 BMG rifle, or firearm precursor part, subject to certain exceptions, as specified. There is a provision that anyone who sues the state or local government for declaratory or injunctive relief regarding a gun law or regulation, essentially to block new gun laws, will be liable for the government’s legal expenses for the lawsuit if unsuccessful. This bill was passed by both houses of the legislature, and is awaiting the Governor’s signature.
Senate Bill 1384 Firearms: dealer requirements.
This bill would require a licensed firearm dealer to have a digital video surveillance system, burglary alarm system, and keyless entry system on their business premises, as specified, and would require that dealer to carry a policy of general liability insurance, as specified. The bill would require a licensee and any employees that handle firearms to annually complete specified training. The bill would require the Department of Justice to develop and implement an online training course, as specified, including a testing certification component. PASSED by the Senate and referred to the Assembly. Amended in the Assembly 6/23. Awaiting third reading and concurrence with amendments.
Assembly Bill 2552 Firearms: gun shows and events
This bill increases signage requirements for gun show organizers, increases paperwork for gun show vendors, and bans the sale of black powder, unfinished receivers, unfinished frames, and conversion kits designed to convert a handgun into a short barreled rifle or assault weapon at gun shows. Vendors also will be prohibited from inciting or encouraging hate crimes. Passed by the Assembly and ordered to the Senate. Amended and passed in the Senate 6/28. Awaiting third reading and concurrence with amendments.
Assembly Bill 1227 Firearms and ammunition: excise tax.
This bill, the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Act, would, commencing July 1, 2023, impose an excise tax in the amount of 10% of the sales price of a handgun and 11% of the sales price of a long gun, rifle, firearm precursor part, and ammunition, as specified. The tax would be collected by the state pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law. The bill would require that the revenues collected be deposited in the Gun Violence Prevention, Healing, and Recovery Fund, which the bill would establish in the State Treasury. Passed in the Assembly and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
Senate Bill 505, as amended, Civil law: firearms liability and insurance.
This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2024, make a person who owns a firearm strictly civilly liable for each incidence of property damage, bodily injury, or death resulting from the use of their firearm. This bill would provide that strict liability does not apply if the owner of the firearm has reported their firearm to local law enforcement as lost or stolen prior to the damage, injury, or death. The bill would additionally require a person who owns a firearm to obtain and continuously maintain in full force and effect a homeowner’s, renter’s, auto, or gun liability insurance policy specifically covering losses or damages resulting from any negligent or accidental use of that firearm, including, but not limited to, death, injury, or property damage. This bill would require a person to keep written evidence of coverage in the place where a firearm is stored. By creating new requirements for firearm owners, violations of which would be punishable as misdemeanors, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program. The bill would also require the Insurance Commissioner to develop a standardized form of evidence of liability coverage. Passed in the Assembly and currently at the Senate Committee on Appropriations.
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
Rupp v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, has been pending the Bruen decision. Now that the decision has been received a petition was filed to vacate the dismissal and prepare for trial.
Miller v Bonta, a challenge to the California Assault Weapon Bans, has been pending the Bruen decision. Now that the decision has been received a petition was filed to certify the trial court ruling and dismiss the appeals. This would uphold Judge Benitez’ ruling that the California Assault Weapon bans are unconstitutional.
Duncan v Bonta: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals En Banc panel has overturned the district court ruling that found the California “Large Capacity Magazine” ban unconstitutional. The lawsuit challenges the ban of possession of large capacity magazines that was approved by California voters in Prop 63. Enforcement of the ban was stayed, pending disposition of a petition for certiorari filed with the Supreme Court. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit En Banc judgement, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Young v Hawaii challenges the state of Hawaii carry restrictions. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Bianchi v Frosh challenges the Maryland ban on “assault weapons”. The certiorari petition was granted, the Supreme Court vacated the Fourth Circuit judgement, and remanded the case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals for further consideration in light of New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen.
Jones v Bonta: A three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled the California age-based centerfire semi-automatic rifle purchase ban is unconstitutional and that “the district court erred in not enjoining an almost total ban on semiautomatic centerfire rifles” for young adults. The opinion states that the District Court erred in applying intermediate scrutiny and not strict scrutiny. Response from Attorney General Bonta’s petition for an extension of time to file a petition for Rehearing and/or Rehearing En Banc was granted 5/18.
Doe v Bonta is a lawsuit filed by the NRA to block the release of gun owner’s personal information to UC Davis and other, unspecified, “research organizations” due to SB 173. Information has already been given to UC Davis. The honorable Larry Alan Burns, the United States District Court Judge hearing the case, has ordered supplemental briefs regarding the effects of NYSRPA v Bruen on the standard to be used in deciding this case.
Renna v Bonta on the California handgun roster is complicated and in process. I hope to understand what is going on and report on this next month.