Bill Text

Bill Information

Add To My Favorites | print page

AB-48 Firearms: SKS rifles.(1997-1998)

SHARE THIS:share this bill in Facebookshare this bill in Twitter
AB48:v84#DOCUMENT

Assembly Bill No. 48
CHAPTER 909

An act to add Section 12281 to the Penal Code, relating to firearms, and making an appropriation therefor.

[ Approved by Governor  September 27, 1998. Filed with Secretary of State  September 28, 1998. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 48, Wright. Firearms: SKS rifles.
Existing law prohibits any person from manufacturing, distributing, transporting, importing, possessing or offering for sale, giving, lending, or possessing, any assault weapon as defined, and requires any person who lawfully possesses an assault weapon to register the firearm within a specified period and under specified conditions. Assault weapons are defined as coming within a specified list of semiautomatic firearms or by declaration of the superior court that the weapon is an assault weapon. An “SKS with detachable magazine” is one of the designated weapons on the specified list of semiautomatic firearms.
This bill would grant immunity from criminal prosecution to any person, firm, company, or corporation that is subject to prosecution under the above assault weapons law for conduct related to an SKS rifle, as defined, committed during a specified period in which there were conflicting administrative designations of that weapon, and would also provide that the designated SKS rifles are not subject to seizure by law enforcement for violation of the above assault weapons provisions prior to January 1, 2000. This bill would make the immunity provisions fully retroactive to any person, firm, company, or corporation subject to prosecution for, or prosecuted and convicted of, violating the above provisions.
The bill would require the department to notify all district attorneys of the provisions of this bill, on or before January 31, 1999, and would make it a misdemeanor or a felony for any person, firm, company, or corporation in possession of an existing SKS rifle to fail to relinquish or dispose of the rifle on or before January 1, 2000. The bill would also require the department to purchase any SKS rifle relinquished pursuant to these provisions from funds appropriated for this purpose by future legislation, and to adopt regulations, including emergency regulations, for the purchase program. By creating a new offense, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
This bill would appropriate $1,300,000 from the General Fund to the Department of Justice for the purpose of purchasing firearms, 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 no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Appropriation: YES  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 12281 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12281.
 (a)  Any person who, or firm, company, or corporation that, operated a retail or other commercial firm, company, or corporation, and manufactured, distributed, transported, imported, possessed, possessed for sale, offered for sale, or transferred, for commercial purpose, an SKS rifle in California between January 1, 1992, and December 19, 1997, shall be immune from criminal prosecution under Section 12280. The immunity provided in this subdivision shall apply retroactively to any person who, or firm, company, or corporation that, is or was charged by complaint or indictment with a violation of Section 12280 for conduct related to an SKS rifle, whether or not the case of that person, firm, company, or corporation is final.
(b)  Any person who possessed, gave, loaned, or transferred an SKS rifle in California between January 1, 1992, and December 19, 1997, shall be immune from criminal prosecution under Section 12280. The immunity provided in this subdivision shall apply retroactively to any person who was charged by complaint or indictment with a violation of Section 12280 for conduct related to an SKS rifle, whether or not the case of that person is final.
(c)  Any SKS rifle in the possession of any person who, or firm, company, or corporation that, is described in subdivision (a) or (b), shall not be subject to seizure by law enforcement for violation of Section 12280 prior to January 1, 2000.
(d)  Any person, firm, company, or corporation, convicted under Section 12280 for conduct relating to an SKS rifle, shall be permitted to withdraw his or her plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or to reopen his or her case and assert the immunities provided in this section, if the court determines that the allowance of the immunity is in the interests of justice. The court shall interpret this section liberally to the benefit of the defendant.
(e)  The Department of Justice shall notify all district attorneys on or before January 31, 1999, of the provisions of this section. The department shall identify all criminal prosecutions in the state for conduct related to SKS rifles within 90 days of the effective date of this section. In all cases so identified by the Attorney General, the district attorneys shall inform defense counsel, or the defendant if the defendant is in propria persona, in writing, of the provisions of this section within 120 days of the effective date of this section.
(f)  (1)  Any person, firm, company, or corporation that is in possession of an SKS rifle shall do one of the following on or before January 1, 2000:
(A)  Relinquish the SKS rifle to the Department of Justice pursuant to subdivision (h).
(B)  Relinquish the SKS rifle to a law enforcement agency pursuant to Section 12288.
(C)  Dispose of the SKS rifle as permitted by Section 12285.
(2)  Any person who has obtained title to an SKS rifle by bequest or intestate succession shall be required to comply with subparagraph (A) or (B) of paragraph (1) of this subdivision unless he or she otherwise complies with paragraph (1) of subdivision (b) of Section 12285.
(3)  Any SKS rifle relinquished to the department pursuant to this subdivision shall be in a manner prescribed by the department.
(4)  The department shall conduct a public education and notification program as described in Section 12289, commencing no later than January 1, 1999.
(g)  Any person who complies with subdivision (f) shall be exempt from the prohibitions set forth in subdivision (a) or (b) of Section 12280 for those acts by that person associated with complying with the requirements of subdivision (f).
(h)  (1)  The department shall purchase any SKS rifle relinquished pursuant to subdivision (f) from funds appropriated for this purpose by the act amending this section in the 1997–98 Regular Session of the Legislature or by subsequent budget acts or other legislation. The department shall adopt regulations for this purchase program that include, but are not limited to, the manner of delivery, the reimbursement to be paid, and the manner in which persons shall be informed of the state purchase program.
(2)  Any person who relinquished possession of an SKS rifle to a law enforcement agency pursuant to Section 12288 prior to the effective date of the purchase program set forth in paragraph (1) shall be eligible to be reimbursed from the purchase program. The procedures for reimbursement pursuant to this paragraph shall be part of the regulations adopted by the department pursuant to paragraph (1).
(i)  Notwithstanding paragraph (11) of subdivision (a) of Section 12276, an “SKS rifle” under this section means all SKS rifles commonly referred to as “SKS Sporter” versions, manufactured to accept a detachable AK-47 magazine and imported into this state and sold by a licensed gun dealer, or otherwise lawfully possessed in this state by a resident of this state who is not a licensed gun dealer, between January 1, 1992, and December 19, 1997.
(j)  Failure to comply with subdivision (f) is a public offense punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or in a county jail, not exceeding one year.
(k)  In addition to the regulations required pursuant to subdivision (h), emergency regulations for the purchase program described in subdivision (h) shall be adopted pursuant to Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

SEC. 2.

 The sum of one million three hundred thousand dollars ($1,300,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund for expenditure during the 1998–99, 1999–2000, and 2000–01 fiscal years, to the Department of Justice for the purpose of purchasing firearms pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 12281 of the Penal Code.

SEC. 3.

 It is the intent of the Legislature to provide sufficient funding to the Department of Justice for the purpose of purchasing firearms pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 12281 of the Penal Code. If the appropriation in Section 2 of this act proves insufficient, the Legislature intends that sufficient additional funds be appropriated to the Department of Justice for this purpose in the Budget Act of 1999.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII  B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII  B of the California Constitution.
Notwithstanding Section 17580 of the Government Code, unless otherwise specified, the provisions of this act shall become operative on the same date that the act takes effect pursuant to the California Constitution.