April 2024 Legislation/Litigation Report - Apple Valley Gun Club

April 2024 Legislation/Litigation Report

May 2024 Legislation/Litigation Update

May Focus

On April 10, 2024, the U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland, signed ATF’s final rule 2022R-09 “Bipartisan Safer Communities Act Conforming Regulations. The regulatory definition of “Engaged in the Business” as a Dealer in Firearms is changing, amending ATF’s regulations in title 27, Code of Federal Regulations (“CFR”), part 478. The final rule implements the provisions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (“BSCA,” effective June 25, 2022), which broadened the definition of when a person is considered “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms (other than a gunsmith or pawnbroker). The Final Rule “clarifies” that definition. It will be published in the Federal Register and will be effective 30-days from publication.

This final rule incorporates BSCA’s definitions of “predominantly earn a profit” and “terrorism,” and amends the regulatory definitions of “engaged in the business as a dealer other than a gunsmith or pawnbroker” and “principal objective of livelihood and profit” to ensure each conforms with the BSCA’s statutory changes and can be relied upon by the public.

The final rule clarifies when a person is “engaged in the business” as a dealer in firearms at wholesale or retail by:

  1. clarifying the definition of “dealer,” and defining the terms “purchase,” “sale,” and “something of value” as they apply to dealers;
  2. adding definitions for the term “personal collection (or personal collection of firearms, or personal firearms collection),” and for “responsible person”;
  3. setting forth conduct that is presumed to constitute “engaging in the business” of dealing in firearms, and presumed to demonstrate the intent to “predominantly earn a profit” from the sale or disposition of firearms, absent reliable evidence to the contrary, in civil and administrative proceedings;
  4. clarifying that the intent to “predominantly earn a profit” does not require the person to have received pecuniary gain, and that intent does not have to be shown when a person purchases or sells a firearm for criminal or terrorism purposes;
  5. clarifying the circumstances when a person would not be presumed to engaged in the business of dealing in firearms, including as an auctioneer, or when purchasing firearms for, and selling firearms from, a personal collection;
  6. addressing the procedures former licensees, and responsible persons acting on behalf of such licensees, must follow when they liquidate business inventory upon revocation or other termination of their license; and
  7. clarifying that licensees must follow the verification and recordkeeping procedures in 27 CFR 478.94and Subpart H, rather than using an ATF Form 4473 when firearms are transferred to other licensees, including transfers by a licensed sole proprietor to that person’s personal collection.

There is also a change to Title 18 U.S.C. 922 which include certain specified juvenile offenses as disqualifying and individual to own or possess a firearm. It also changes the language regarding mental issues to include events occuring at 16 years of age, or older.

Please note that the text of the final rule as signed by the Attorney General has been published, but the official version of the final rule will be as it is published in the Federal Register. The rule will go into effect 30 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

To get a copy of the actual final regulation: https://www.atf.gov/rules-and-regulations/docs/ruling/atf-final-rule-definition-engaged-business-dealer-firearms/download

The California Office of the Attorney General, Bureau of Firearms, has published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making regarding added requirements for California Licensed Firearm Dealers’ annual renewal on the Department’s Centralized List of Firearms Dealers. This includes requirements for sales tax documentation and certification that the video and audio recording equipment, required starting January 1, meets regulatory requirements. The 45 day comment period began April 26 and closes June 11 at 5:00 PM. You can find the Notice of Proposed Rule Making, and instructions for submitting comments, at:

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

Legislation

SB 53, as amended, Portantino. Firearms: storage.

Existing law generally regulates the possession of firearms, including imposing storage requirements to prevent children from gaining access to firearms.

This bill would, beginning on July 1, 2025, prohibit a person from keeping or storing a firearm in a residence owned or controlled by that person unless the firearm is stored in a locked box or safe that is listed on the Department of Justice’s list of approved firearms safety devices and is properly engaged so as to render it inaccessible by any person other than the owner, as specified. The bill would make a first violation of this offense punishable as an infraction, and a second or subsequent violation punishable as a misdemeanor. The bill would exempt firearms that are permanently inoperable from these provisions. The bill would require the Department of Justice to promptly engage in a public awareness and education campaign to inform residents about these standards for storage of firearms. The bill would additionally prohibit a person convicted under these provisions from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm within one year of the conviction, as specified. The bill would make a violation of this provision punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

Passed By the Senate and ordered to the Assembly. April 29, 2024, referred to Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

SB 1253, as introduced, Gonzalez. Firearms: firearm safety certificates.

Existing law requires any person who purchases or receives a firearm to possess a firearm safety certificate. Existing law also prohibits a person from selling or transferring a firearm to any person who does not possess a firearm safety certificate. A violation of either of these provisions is punishable as a misdemeanor.

This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2026, prohibit a person from possessing certain firearms without the possession of a valid, unexpired firearm safety certificate. A violation of this prohibition would be punishable as an infraction. This bill would require any person moving into the state with a firearm to obtain a firearm safety certificate within 120 days after arriving in the state. The bill would allow a person with an expired certificate a 60-day grace period in which to renew the certificate. The bill would also require the Department of Justice to notify certificate holders in a timely manner when their certificates are expiring.

Referred to the Committee on Public Safety and passed as amended on April 2. Referred to Appropriations.

SB 1160, as amended, Portantino.  Firearms.

Existing law, subject to exceptions, makes it a misdemeanor to openly carry an exposed and unloaded handgun in a public place. Existing law generally makes that crime punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to 6 months, or by a fine not to exceed $1,000. Existing law, if the exposed and unloaded handgun is being carried in a public place or public street in an incorporated city, makes that crime punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year or by a fine not to exceed $1,000 if the handgun and unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from that handgun are in the immediate possession of that person and the person is not in lawful possession of the handgun.

This bill would extend that increased punishment to also apply if the person with immediate possession of the handgun and unexpended ammunition capable of being discharged from that handgun is not listed with the Department of Justice as the registered owner of that firearm, as specified.

April 9, with author’s amendments. Read second time and amended. Re-referred to Committee on Public Safety.

WAS: AB 3067, as introduced, Gipson. Residential property insurance: firearms.

NOW: AB 3067 Interscholastic athletics: California Interscholastic Federation: notice of sanctions.

 

This bill would have required an insurer, by January 1, 2026, to include questions on an application for homeowners’ or renters’ insurance seeking specified information regarding the presence and storage of any firearms kept in the household, accessory structures, or vehicles kept on the property subject to any applicable insurance policy.

The bill was gutted and amended to no longer include any mention of firearms. Instead, it now encourages CIF to publicize sanctions imposed on school for rules violations by posting on their web page.

AB 3064, as introduced, Maienschein. Firearms.

(1) Existing law requires the Department of Justice to compile, publish, and maintain a roster listing all of the firearm safety devices that have been tested by a certified testing laboratory, have been determined to meet the department’s standards for firearm safety devices, and therefore may be sold in this state.

This bill would, commencing on January 1, 2026, authorize the department to charge each entity that manufactures or imports into the state for sale any firearm safety device listed on the roster, an annual fee, as specified. The bill would additionally require that any device newly added to the roster have certain information engraved or otherwise permanently affixed to the device. The bill would also require any entity seeking to list a device to comply with specified business standards.

This bill would provide a process by which a device that has been removed from the roster for nonpayment of the fee, to be relisted. The bill would also provide a process for a device model that is identical to a listed model except for certain cosmetic differences to be listed without testing. These processes require the submission of certain statements signed under penalty of perjury.

By expanding the offense of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would also require the manufacturer of any device listed on the roster that becomes subject to a product recall, as specified, to notify the department, as specified. The bill would authorize the department to remove the device from the roster if the manufacturer fails to provide this notice.

(2) Existing law requires any person, within 60 days of bringing a firearm into the state, to mail or personally deliver to the Department of Justice a report, as prescribed by the department, describing the firearm and providing personal information.

Existing law requires any sale, loan, or transfer of a firearm to be processed through a licensed firearms dealer. Existing law exempts from this requirement the transfer of certain firearms that are curios or relics to a licensed firearm collector. Existing law requires a collector who receives a firearm pursuant to these provisions, within 30 days after taking possession, to mail or personally deliver to the Department of Justice a report, as prescribed by the department, describing the firearm and providing personal information.

This bill would instead require the person to electronically submit these reports. The bill would also authorize the department to request photographs of the firearm to determine if it is a prohibited weapon, as specified.

(3) Existing law exempts certain other transactions from the requirement to be processed through a licensed firearms dealer and does not require these transactions to be reported to the Department of Justice, including, without limitation, sales, deliveries, or transfers of firearms between importers and manufacturers of firearms, transfers of firearms to a gunsmith for repairs, loans of a firearm to a hunter, loans of a firearm to a person attending a police academy, and temporary transfers of a firearm for safekeeping, as specified. Existing law allows a person transferring or receiving a firearm pursuant to one of these provisions or a person moving out of state with a firearm to report that information to the department.

This bill would require a report submitted pursuant to this provision to be submitted electronically and would prescribe the information to be included in the report. The bill would require the department to establish a fee for submission of this information, as specified. The bill would also authorize the department to request photographs of the firearm to determine if it is a prohibited weapon, as specified. The bill would make the filing of any false information pursuant to this provision a crime punishable as a misdemeanor. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

This bill would also require the department, upon receipt of this information, to examine specified records to determine if the transferee is prohibited from possessing a firearm.

The bill would make other conforming changes.

(4) 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.

(5) This bill would include a change in state statute that would result in a taxpayer paying a higher tax within the meaning of Section 3 of Article XIII A of the California Constitution, and thus would require for passage the approval of 2/3 of the membership of each house of the Legislature.

April 17, 2024, amended and re-referred to Committee on Public Safety.

AB 3014, as introduced, Irwin. Restrictions on firearm possession.

Existing law authorizes a court to issue a gun violence restraining order to prohibit a person from purchasing or possessing a firearm or ammunition for a period of one to 5 years, subject to renewal for additional one- to 5-year periods, if the subject of the petition poses a significant danger of self-harm or harm to another in the near future by having a firearm and the order is necessary to prevent personal injury to the subject of the petition or another. Existing law also allows a gun violence restraining order to be issued on an ex parte basis for up to 21 days. Existing law allows a petition for these gun violence restraining orders to be made by a law enforcement officer, or an immediate family member, employer, coworker, or teacher, as specified, of the subject of the petition.

This bill would additionally authorize a district attorney to request that the court issue a temporary emergency gun violence restraining order. The bill would make other conforming changes.

Existing law prohibits a person from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon if the person is admitted to a mental health facility and the mental health professional who is treating the person determines that the person is a danger to themself or others and requires the professional to report to a local law enforcement agency the identity of the person, as specified. Existing law authorizes a law enforcement agency to temporarily confiscate any firearm or other deadly weapon that the person possesses while the person is admitted, as specified. Existing law requires the confiscating law enforcement agency to initiate a petition in the superior court within 30 days of the person being released from the facility for a hearing to determine whether the return of the firearm or other deadly weapon would be likely to result in endangering the person or others, as specified.

This bill would additionally allow a mental health practitioner to report the identity of a person prohibited from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon to a district attorney and would additionally authorize a district attorney to file the petition to determine if the person should continue to be prohibited from possessing a firearm or other deadly weapon. The bill would make other conforming changes.

Passed by the Assembly and ordered to the Senate. Referred to Senate Rules Committee.

SB 1002, as introduced, Blakespear. Firearms: prohibited persons.

Existing law prohibits a person who has been taken into custody, assessed, and admitted to a designated facility, or who has been certified for intensive treatment after having been admitted to a designated facility, because the person is a danger to themselves or others as a result of a mental health disorder, from owning a firearm for a period of 5 years after the person is released from the facility, or for the remainder of their life if the person has previously been taken into custody, assessed, and admitted one or more times within a period of one year preceding the most recent admittance. Existing law requires the facility to submit a report to the Department of Justice containing information that includes, but is not limited to, the identity of the person and the legal grounds upon which the person was admitted to the facility. Existing law allows a person who is prohibited from owning a firearm pursuant to these provisions to request the court for a hearing to reinstate the person’s right to own a firearm, and requires the facility to provide a person subject to the prohibition with the “Patient Notification of Firearm Prohibition and Right to Hearing Form” informing the person of the firearm prohibition and their right to request a hearing.

This bill would, among other things, instead require the 5-year prohibition to commence on the date that the facility makes the above-described report to the Department of Justice, and would require the Department of Justice to, within 7 days of receipt of the report from the facility, notify a person subject to the above-described provisions of the firearm prohibition and their right to request a hearing to reinstate their right to own a firearm. The bill would require a person subject to the firearms prohibition to relinquish any firearm, ammunition, or firearm magazine they own, possess, or control within 72 hours of discharge from a facility, as specified, and would require the “Patient Notification of Firearm Prohibition and Right to Hearing Form” to include information on the relinquishment requirement.

Existing law also prohibits a person who has been found not guilty by reason of insanity of specified crimes and a person who has been placed under conservatorship by a court because the person is gravely disabled as a result of a mental disorder or impairment by chronic alcoholism from purchasing or receiving, or attempting to purchase or receive, or having possession, custody, or control of any firearm or any other deadly weapon.

This bill would require the court to inform the above-described persons, and their conservator, if applicable, of how the person may relinquish any firearm, ammunition, or firearm magazine in the person’s possession, custody, or control according to local procedure, and the process for submitting a receipt to the court to show proof of relinquishment.

March 11, 2024, referred to Committee on Public Safety. March 19, passed by Committee on Public Safety and referred to Appropriations.

SB 1019, as introduced, Blakespear. Firearms: destruction.

Existing law requires the destruction of certain firearms, in the possession of a law enforcement agency, that have been confiscated, seized, abandoned, unclaimed, or surrendered.

This bill would specify that destruction of a firearm means destroying the firearm in its entirety by smelting, shredding, crushing, or cutting all parts of the firearm, including any attachments. The bill would also require every law enforcement agency, as defined, to develop and maintain a written policy regarding the destruction of firearms and shall make that policy available on its internet website.

By requiring local law enforcement agencies to follow specified requirements for destruction and to create and maintain a written policy on firearm destruction, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

February 14, 2024, referred to Committee on Public Safety. March 19, passed by Committee on Public Safety and referred to Appropriations.

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, as specified.

January 31, 2024, died in committee. February 1, 2024 filed with the Chief Clerk pursuant to rule 56.

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.

January 31, 2024, died in committee. February 1, 2024 filed with the Chief Clerk pursuant to rule 56.

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 a specified period of time, to request removal from the list.

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.

January 31, 2024, died in committee. February 1, 2024 filed with the Chief Clerk pursuant to rule 56.

AB 2842, as introduced, Papan. Firearms.

Existing law requires that a weapon acquired by a specified governmental entity under specified circumstances, including as part of a “gun-buyback” program, be destroyed.

This bill would require a law enforcement agency that contracts with a third party for the destruction of firearms or weapons to ensure that the contract for those services prohibits the sale of any parts of, or attachments to, the firearm or other weapon, as specified.

March 19, 2024, amended and referred to Committee on Public Safety.

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.

February 1, 2024, returned to Secretary of the Senate under rule 56.

SB 902, as introduced, Roth. Firearms: public safety.

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, with certain exceptions, makes it a crime to maliciously and intentionally maim, mutilate, torture, wound, or kill a living animal. Existing law, with additional exceptions, makes it a crime to, among other things, overwork, cruelly beat, or overload an animal.

This bill would provide that any person convicted of a misdemeanor violation of the above-described crimes, on or after January 1, 2025, may not, within 10 years of the conviction, access a firearm as described above, and makes a violation of that prohibition a crime. 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.

April 2, 2024, passed by Committee on Public Safety as amended. Referred to Appropriations.

AB 2739, as introduced, Maienschein. Firearms.

(1) Existing law requires any weapon that was carried unlawfully for specified crimes to be surrendered to specified law enforcement entities. Existing law requires weapons surrendered pursuant to these provisions to be destroyed by the law enforcement entity.

This bill would additionally require a weapon carried unlawfully for those crimes to be surrendered to law enforcement if the defendant is granted diversion for the underlying crime.

(2) Existing law prohibits the carrying of a concealed firearm, as specified and except as exempted. Under existing law, a handgun carried in violation of this provision is a nuisance and is subject to forfeiture and destruction, as specified.

Existing law also prohibits carrying a loaded firearm in public, as specified and except as exempted, and openly carrying an unloaded handgun in public, as specified and except as exempted.

This bill would deem any firearm carried in violation of either of these provisions to be a nuisance and subject to forfeiture and destruction, as specified.

March 4, 2024, referred to Committee on Public Safety.

SB 53, as amended, Portantino. Firearms: storage.

Existing law generally regulates the possession of firearms, including imposing storage requirements to prevent children from gaining access to firearms.

This bill would, beginning on July 1, 2025, prohibit a person from keeping or storing a firearm in a residence owned or controlled by that person unless the firearm is stored in a locked box or safe that is listed on the Department of Justice’s list of approved firearms safety devices and is properly engaged so as to render it inaccessible by any person other than the owner, as specified. The bill would make a first violation of this offense punishable as an infraction, and a second or subsequent violation punishable as a misdemeanor. The bill would exempt firearms that are permanently inoperable from these provisions. The bill would require the Department of Justice to promptly engage in a public awareness and education campaign to inform residents about these standards for storage of firearms. The bill would additionally prohibit a person convicted under these provisions from owning, purchasing, receiving, or possessing a firearm within one year of the conviction, as specified. The bill would make a violation of this provision punishable as a misdemeanor or felony. By creating a new crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.

January 29, 2024, passed by the Senate (Ayes 27, Noes 9). Ordered to the Assembly and held at desk.

SB 1038, as introduced, Blakespear. Firearms.

(1) 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 a person to report the loss or theft of a firearm that the person owns or possesses to a local law enforcement agency in the jurisdiction in which the theft or loss occurred within 5 days of the time that the owner or possessor knew or should have known that the firearm had been stolen or lost, as specified.

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 person to report the loss or theft within 2 days of the time that the owner or possessor knew or should have known that the firearm had been stolen or lost.

(2) Existing law directs law enforcement agencies to submit the description of a firearm that has been reported stolen, lost, found, recovered, or under observation directly to an automated Department of Justice system. Existing law requires these law enforcement agencies to report to the Department of Justice any information in their possession necessary to identify and trace the history of a recovered firearm that is illegally possessed, has been used in a crime, or is suspected of having been used in a crime. Existing law requires the department to analyze this data and to submit an annual report to the Legislature summarizing this analysis, as specified.

This bill would require the department to inspect the 25 firearm dealer locations in the annual report that are the source or origin of the most firearms that were illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime, as specified.

(3) Existing law generally regulates the sale and transfer of firearms, including, among other requirements, that every dealer keep a record of electronic or telephonic transfers of firearms.

This bill would require a firearm dealer to annually certify their inventory to a local law enforcement agency in their jurisdiction, as specified. The bill would authorize a city attorney or county counsel to impose a civil penalty on a person who violates this provision in the amount of $3,000 per day for the first violation, $5,000 per day for a 2nd violation, and $10,000 per day for a 3rd and subsequent violation, as specified.

(4) Existing law requires, with certain exceptions, a firearm dealer to report an acquisition of a firearm to the Department of Justice, as specified.

This bill would, commencing January 1, 2027, remove specified exceptions to those provisions.

March 19, passed Committee on Public Safety and referred to Committee on Judiciary.

AB 1507, as introduced, Gallagher. Firearms: state property.

Existing law generally regulates the sale and transfer of firearms, including, among other things, requiring transactions of firearms to be completed through a licensed firearms dealer. Existing law generally makes a violation of the requirements relating to the sale, lease, or transfer of a firearm a misdemeanor.

Existing law, except as specifically exempted, prohibits an officer, employee, operator, lessee, or licensee of the 32nd District Agricultural Association, as defined, from contracting for, authorizing, or allowing the sale of any firearm, firearm precursor part, or ammunition on the property or in the buildings that comprise the OC Fair and Event Center, as specified.

Existing law, except as exempted, prohibits a state officer or employee, or operator, lessee, or licensee of any state-owned property, from contracting for, authorizing, or allowing the sale of any firearm, firearm precursor part, or ammunition on state property, as specified.

This bill would additionally exempt events hosted by a youth sport shooting organization, a youth hunting organization, or a nonprofit conservation organization.

January 31, 2024, died in committee. February 1, 2024 filed with the Chief Clerk pursuant to rule 56.

AB 1982, as amended, Mathis. Firearm safety certificate: exemptions.

Existing law requires any person who purchases or receives a firearm to possess a firearm safety certificate, with specified exemptions, including active or honorably retired members of the armed forces, as specified, where individuals in those organizations are properly identified. Under existing law, proper identification includes the Armed Forces Identification Card or other written documentation certifying that the individual is an active or honorably retired member of the armed forces.

This bill would additionally include the Veteran Health Identification Card issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs as proper identification for the above provisions.

March 18, 2024, passed by the Assembly and ordered to the Senate.

AB 1252, as amended, Wicks. Office of Gun Violence Prevention.

Under existing law, the Department of Justice is responsible for carrying out several functions related to the sale, delivery, and transfer of firearms, including maintaining a centralized list of all persons licensed to sell firearms and inspecting firearms.

This bill would establish, within the Department of Justice, the Office of Gun Violence Prevention. This bill would further establish, within the Department of Justice, a Commission to End Gun Violence. This bill would require the commission, within one year of its creation, to issue a public report discussing the implementation, coordination, and effectiveness of gun violence prevention laws and programs, as specified.

January 25, 2024, passed by the Assembly (Ayes 56, Noes 6). In Senate and assigned to Committee on Rules.

SB 1472, as introduced, Limón. Firearms: determination of eligibility.

Existing law prohibits specified persons from purchasing or possessing a firearm including persons convicted of a felony or certain misdemeanor offenses, persons subject to certain court orders, and persons with certain mental health determinations. Existing law requires a person purchasing or receiving a firearm to undergo a background check to determine that they are not so prohibited. Existing law also provides a procedure by which a person may request a determination of eligibility from the Department of Justice before attempting to purchase or receive a firearm.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to that law.

February 29, 2024, referred to Committee on Rules.

SB 587, as introduced, Roth. Firearms.

Existing law requires any person producing or operating a gun show, as specified, to obtain a certificate of eligibility from the Department of Justice. Existing law prescribes various requirements and prohibitions regarding the operation of a gun show. Existing law provides that the provisions regulating gun shows to not apply to the sale, delivery, or transfer of firearms to a law enforcement agency, as specified.

This bill would make a technical, nonsubstantive change to that exemption.

February 1, 2024, returned to Secretary of the Senate pursuant to Joint Rule 56.

For information on bills in the California legislature: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billSearchClient.xhtml

Litigation

Van Der Stok v Garland is a challenge to the ATF rules change regarding frames and receivers, filed by the Firearm Policy Coalition. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the ATF rule change in February, saying they had overstepped their statutory authority. The government petitioned the Supreme Court arguing that the 5th circuit wrongly ruled in FPC’s favor. The Supreme Court has granted certiorari and will hear the government’s appeal during this session.

May v Bonta is a challenge to SB2 changes to CCW regulations. SB2 made much of the state into “sensitive places” where concealed carry of firearms would be illegal, even with a CCW permit. The training and application process to obtain and renew a CCW became for difficult and expensive. On December 24 (yes, Christmas Eve) a motions panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals stayed a lower court order that prevented the “sensitive places” rules from going into effect January 1. On January 6 the merits panel of the Ninth Circuit dissolved the stay; this reinstated the district court ruling declaring that the “sensitive places” part of SB2 unconstitutional. The “sensitive places” provisions of SB2 have not taken effect due to the district court’s order, although he other provisions are in effect while being challenged.

A hearing on May v Bonta is scheduled April 11, 2024, in front of a three judge panel of the Ninth Circuit. The audio, and possibly the video, of this hearing will likely be streamed online.

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. The Ninth Circuit assigned the petition for a stay to the 11-judge panel that previously heard the case, rather than the normal process of sending it to a three-judge “motions panel”, and the 11-judge panel granted the stay on Judge Benitez’ ruling. A hearing on the merits by the same 11-judge “En Banc” panel was held March 19, 2024.

Jr. Shooting Sports Magazine v Bonta challenges the California ban on marketing or advertising firearms and firearm related products to youth. The district court denied the petition for a Preliminary Injunction against enforcing this. The denial was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a three-judge panel reversed the district court denial of an injunction. The state then petitioned for an En Banc review of the three-judge panel’s decision. On February 20, the petition for an En Banc review was denied, and the case will be returned to the district court to reconsider the Preliminary Injunction. The district court has not yet acted on the case, and we are waiting for a hearing date or issuance of the preliminary injunction.

Rhode v Bonta challenges the ammunition background check and importation rules. The district court, Judge Benitez of the Southern District of California, ruled on January 30 that these regulations are unconstitutional and issued a permanent injunction against the state enforcing them. Judge Benitez did not stay his ruling, and there was a brief period when ammunition could be ordered from out of state and shipped straight to the consumer. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals did stay the injunction on February 5, and the regulations immediately went back into effect. The case is now pending appeal to the Ninth Circuit.

Boland V Bonta, a challenge to the California Unsafe Handguns Act (AKA Pistol Roster) has been vacated and pended to Duncan v Bonta, which is the challenge to the “large capacity magazine” ban. Miller v Bonta, a challenge to the Assault Weapons Ban, had previously been pended to Duncan v Bonta. It appears the eleven judge En Banc panel will decide all three for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

A federal district court judge, the Honorable Josephine Staton of the Central District of California, has ruled the Assault Weapon Control Act constitutional and granted the state’s motion for summary judgement in Rupp v Bonta, which is a parallel case to Miller V Bonta. The judge held that the assault weapon ban did not infringe, because the second amendment only applies to “a well regulated militia.” This case had been previously decided by the district court, and that decision was upheld by the Ninth Circuit. It was on appeal to the Supreme Court at the time of the Bruen decision and was vacated and remanded back to the Ninth Circuit who remanded back to Judge Staton for reconsideration.

Nguyen v Bonta, is a challenge to California’s one gun per thirty days purchase rationing. Judge William Q. Hayes of the US district court for California’s southern district granted the plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment, declaring the one in thirty limit unconstitutional. The order has been stayed 30 days to facilitate an appeal. This is a very positive step on a long path.

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

David Smith