Today's Law As Amended


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SB-1858 Imitation firearms.(2003-2004)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 53071.5 of the Government Code is amended to read:

53071.5.
 (a)  By the enactment enforcement  of this section, the Legislature occupies the whole field of regulation of the manufacture, sale, or possession of imitation firearms, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 16700 Section 12550  of the Penal Code, and that subdivision section  shall preempt and be exclusive of all regulations relating to the manufacture, sale, or possession of imitation firearms, including regulations governing the manufacture, sale, or possession of BB devices and air rifles described in Section 16250 subdivision (g) of Section 12001  of the Penal Code.
(b) Notwithstanding subdivision (a), the County of Los Angeles, and any city within the County of Los Angeles, may enact and enforce an ordinance or resolution that is more restrictive than state law regulating the manufacture, sale, possession, or use of any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that meets both of the following requirements:
(1) The device is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a firearm.
(2) The device expels a projectile that is no more than 16 millimeters in diameter.

SEC. 2.

 Section 417.2 of the Penal Code is repealed.

SEC. 3.

 Section 417.4 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

417.4.
 Every person who, except in self-defense, draws or exhibits an imitation firearm, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 16700, Section 12550,  in a threatening manner against another in such a way as to cause a reasonable person apprehension or fear of bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a term of not less than 30 days.

SEC. 4.

 The heading of Article 1 (commencing with Section 12550) of Chapter 6 of Title 2 of Part 4 of the Penal Code is amended to read:

Article  1. BB Devices and Imitation Firearms

SEC. 5.

 Section 12550 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12550.
 As used in this article, the following definitions apply:
(a) “BB device” is defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001.
(b) “Firearm” is defined in subdivision (b) of Section 12001.
(c) “Imitation firearm” means any BB device, toy gun, replica of a firearm, or other device that is so substantially similar in coloration and overall appearance to an existing firearm as to lead a reasonable person to perceive that the device is a firearm.

SEC. 6.

 Section 12553 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12553.
 Any person who changes, alters, removes, or obliterates any coloration or markings that are required for by any applicable state or federal law or regulation, for any imitation firearm, or device described in subdivision (c) of Section 12555, in any way that makes the imitation firearm or device look more like a firearm is guilty of a misdemeanor. This subdivision shall not apply to manufacturer, importer, or distributor of imitation firearms or to the lawful use in theatrical productions, including motion pictures, television, and stage productions.
(b) Any manufacturer, importer, or distributor of imitation firearms that fails to comply with any applicable federal law or regulation governing the marking of a toy, look-alike or imitation firearm as defined by federal law or regulation is guilty of a misdemeanor.

SEC. 7.

 Section 12554 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12554.
 (a) Any imitation firearm manufactured after July 1, 2005, shall, at the time of offer for sale in this state, be accompanied by a conspicuous advisory in writing as part of the packaging, but not necessarily affixed to the imitation firearm, to the effect that the product may be mistaken for a firearm by law enforcement officers or others, that altering the coloration or markings required by state or federal law or regulations so as to make the product look more like a firearm is dangerous, and may be a crime, and that brandishing or displaying the product in public may cause confusion and may be a crime.
(b) Any manufacturer, importer, or distributor that fails to comply with this advisory for any imitation firearm manufactured after July 1, 2005, shall be liable for a civil fine for each action brought by a city attorney or district attorney of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) for the first action, five thousand dollars ($5,000) for the second action, and ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for the third action and each subsequent action.

SEC. 8.

 Section 12555 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12555.
 Any person who, for commercial purposes, purchases, sells, manufactures, ships, transports, distributes, or receives, by mail order or in any other manner, an imitation firearm except as authorized by this section shall be liable for a civil fine in an action brought by the city attorney or the district attorney of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) for each violation.
(b) The manufacture, purchase, sale, shipping, transport, distribution, or receipt, by mail or in any other manner, of imitation firearms is authorized if the device is manufactured, purchased, sold, shipped, transported, distributed, or received for any of the following purposes:
(1) Solely for export in interstate or foreign commerce.
(2) Solely for lawful use in theatrical productions, including motion picture, television, and stage productions.
(3) For use in a certified or regulated sporting event or competition.
(4) For use in military or civil defense activities, or ceremonial activities.
(5) For public displays authorized by public or private schools.
(c) As used in this section, “imitation firearm” does not include any of the following:
(1) A nonfiring collector’s replica that is historically significant, and is offered for sale in conjunction with a wall plaque or presentation case.
(2) A BB device, as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 12001.
(3) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, as provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms, or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents, as provided by federal regulations governing imitation firearms.

SEC. 9.

 Section 12556 is added to the Penal Code, to read:

12556.
 (a) No person may openly display or expose any imitation firearm, as defined in Section 12550, in a public place.
(b) Violation of this section, except as provided in subdivision (c), is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for the first offense, and three hundred dollars ($300) for a second offense.
(c) A third or subsequent violation of this section is punishable as a misdemeanor.
(d) Subdivision (a) shall not apply to the following, when the imitation firearm is:
(1) Packaged or concealed so that it is not subject to public viewing.
(2) Displayed or exposed in the course of commerce, including commercial film or video productions, or for service, repair, or restoration of the imitation firearm.
(3) Used in a theatrical production, a motion picture, video, television, or stage production.
(4) Used in conjunction with a certified or regulated sporting event or competition.
(5) Used in conjunction with lawful hunting, or lawful pest control activities.
(6) Used or possessed at certified or regulated public or private shooting ranges.
(7) Used at fairs, exhibitions, expositions, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.
(8) Used in military, civil defense, or civic activities, including flag ceremonies, color guards, parades, award presentations, historical reenactments, and memorials.
(9) Used for public displays authorized by public or private schools or displays that are part of a museum collection.
(10) Used in parades, ceremonies, or other similar activities for which a permit has been obtained from a local or state government.
(11) Displayed on a wall plaque or in a presentation case.
(12) Used in areas where the discharge of a firearm is lawful.
(13) A device where the entire exterior surface of the device is white, bright red, bright orange, bright yellow, bright green, bright blue, bright pink, or bright purple, either singly or as the predominant color in combination with other colors in any pattern, or where the entire device is constructed of transparent or translucent materials which permits unmistakable observation of the device’s complete contents. Merely having an orange tip as provided in federal law and regulations does not satisfy this requirement. The entire surface must be colored or transparent or translucent.
(e) For purposes of this section, the term “public place” means an area open to the public and includes streets, sidewalks, bridges, alleys, plazas, parks, driveways, front yards, parking lots, automobiles, whether moving or not, and buildings open to the general public, including those that serve food or drink, or provide entertainment, and the doorways and entrances to buildings or dwellings.
(f) Nothing in this section shall be construed to preclude prosecution for a violation of Section 171b, 171.5, or 626.10.
SEC. 10.
 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.
SEC. 11.
 This act is an urgency statute necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety within the meaning of Article IV of the Constitution and shall go into immediate effect. The facts constituting the necessity are:
In order to effectively regulate imitation firearms for purposes of promoting public safety, it is necessary that this act take effect immediately.