By, 1/29/99:

Analysis of Calif SB 23 (re. "assault weapons")
of Dec 7, 1998

1.  Breaks penal code 12020(a) into parts and adds new part (2) making it illegal after Dec 31, ’99 to make, import, have/offer/expose for sale, give or lend a magazine with a capacity of over 10 rounds.

  2. In doing so, unintentionally puts in with the prohibition against carrying concealed an "explosive substance" other than fixed ammo:  (1)the existing provision allowing a first-time offense involving a practice or replica hand grenade to be treated as only an infraction, and (2)an explanation that a bullet containing or carrying an explosive agent is not a destructive device as the term is used in 12301.

  3. Adds definition (25) under 12020(c) for "large capacity magazine."  Defines as any ammo feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but excludes any device permanently altered so that it can not hold more than 10.

  4. Modifies 12022(a)(2) to include use of a "large capacity firearm," (later defined) or being an accessory to such use, in the commission of certain crimes as an act that garners a criminal some sentence enhancement.

  5. Adds (g) under 12022 to define "large capacity firearm." Defines such firearm as being any of: (1)semiauto shotgun that accepts a detachable magazine; and, (2)semiauto rifle or pistol with a magazine of capacity greater than 10 rounds actually attached to it.  This definition is added only for purposes of enhanced penalties for use of such gun in commission of a crime, not for restricting sale or possession of such guns.

  6. Modifies 12022.5(b)(2) to add use of a "large capacity firearm" to the list of acts for which a sentence enhancement is required when the person tries or does a felony act.

  7. Adds (g) under 12022.5 to define "large capacity firearm" the same as under 12022 for application of the term in the rest of 12022.5.

  8. Adds 12276.1 to include THE ADDIONAL THINGS to be defined as "assault weapons."  The new definition includes centerfire semiauto rifle with fixed magazine with a capacity greater than 10 rounds and centerfire semiauto rifle with detachable magazine and any one of: "conspicously protruding" (?) pistol grip (behind the trigger?   differ from "pistol" grip?), thumbhole stock, vertical handgrip (in front of trigger?), folding or telescoping stock, grenade launcher, threaded barrel, or overall length less than 30 inches.  Note that this is more restrictive than the federal "semiautomatic assault weapon" definition in that it allows none of the "bad" features while the federal law allows one.  Note, too, that the listed features are not all the same, so as to capture even more "assault weapons."  See the bill for definitions of the evil pistols and! ! shotguns.

  9. Revises 12280 re. penalties in an awkward attempt to distinguish the penalties for the new "California assault weapons" from the penalties for the existing "California assault weapons."  This consists of adding new (c) and (d) and renumbering the old (c) thru (l) to (e) thru (n).

10. Revises old (d) [new (f)] of 12280 in a grammatically faulty attempt to replace the provision that allows police, etc. to have and use "assault weapons," only when on duty and within the scope of their duties, with a provision allowing it whether or not on duty--and to allow possession by retired cops.  We have to treat cops well so they will support our bill.

11. Revises 12285 re. registration to add requirements for registering existing stock of the new bunch of "assault weapons."  Pretty close to the same as the ambiguous requirements for the original bunch.

12. Revises 12289 requiring the DOJ to educate the public about the law to include the new requirements for the new "assault weapons."