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CMonfort
07-05-2011, 3:54 PM
IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED: SB 819 - Urge Assembly Appropriations Committee to reject Unconstitutional Tax Increase By Raiding DROS Account Funds

On Wednesday, July 6th, the Assembly Appropriations Committee will consider Senate Bill 819 (SB 819), crafted by Attorney General Kamala Harris and anti-gun legislator Senator Mark Leno. Desinged to raid the present surplus in the Dealer’s Record of Sale Special Account (DROS Account), SB 819 authorizes the Department of Justice (DOJ) to use DROS fees originally imposed to pay administrative costs related to background checks to fund broader law enforcement activities related to the possession of firearms.

Specifically, SB 819 seeks to finance the State’s Armed & Prohibited Persons System (APPS). But as drafted SB 819 could allow the DOJ to use DROS fees for any number of general law enforcement activities related to firearms possession. And, much like Assembly Bill 161 (2003), which expanded the scope of the fee to cover the costs of regulatory and enforcement activity related to the sale or transfer of firearms, SB 819 sets the stage for the Legislature’s continued expansion of the fee’s original purpose with corresponding increased fees almost certain.

If SB 819 passes, DROS fees will be used to hire, train, and equip new agents to implement APPS. The DOJ estimates this alone will cost $265,000 initially and another $207,000 annually for each agent hired. Once the DOJ has squandered the current DROS Account surplus, there is little doubt the DOJ will seek yet another increase in the DROS fee to pay for the expansion of its police work.

Senator Leno has buried the fact that SB 819 is really a tax on California gun owners. By vastly expanding the way the DROS funds can be spent, SB 819 effectively changes the method of calculating the DROS fee, which has been kept artificially high for years, resulting in the multi-million dollar surplus currently in the DROS Account. Under Article XIII A, Section 3 of the California Constitution, this kind of tax cannot be imposed without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature. Senator Leno is attempting to skirt this requirement by pushing SB 819 through with a simple majority vote.

Contact the Assembly Appropriations Committee today, and urge them to vote no on this ill-conceived legislative proposal that will support the general operations of the DOJ on the backs of California’s gun owners and ultimately add more red ink to California’s budget.

You can contact the Committee via calnra.com: http://calnra.com/legs.shtml. Scroll down to the One-Click Message Center, and click on Roman Numeral IX (SB819). Simply cut and paste portions from this alert and/or draft your own opposition to the bill. Please focus on the "cost to the state" angle at this time, as this is an Appropriations committee hearing.

bwiese
07-05-2011, 3:59 PM
Thank you.

Let's get on the horn, folks.

ddestruel
07-05-2011, 4:01 PM
Hmm hopefully this doesnt pass, ill be making my calls tomorrow

But if it does i wonder if a challenge could be filed then claiming that the DROS fee is an unconstitutional tax on a constitutionally protected right.

when the fee is low and covering just the actual processing and application costs it falls short of being sufficient enough for a current challenge. But when is artificially high and a state starts using the funds from that fee other than for directly related processing costs doesnt that begin to knock on the poll tax door? Relative to the costs of a Federal check couldnt an arguement be made that the state is excessively burdening the right?

bwiese
07-05-2011, 4:04 PM
crossposted to ARFcom

goober
07-05-2011, 4:32 PM
Assembly Appropriations Committee

Felipe Fuentes - Chair Dem-39 (916) 319-2039 Assemblymember.Fuentes@assembly.ca.gov

Diane L. Harkey - Vice Chair Rep-73 (916) 319-2073 Assemblymember.Harkey@assembly.ca.gov

Bob Blumenfield Dem-40 (916) 319-2040 Assemblymember.Blumenfield@assembly.ca.gov

Steven Bradford Dem-51 (916) 319-2051 Assemblymember.Bradford@assembly.ca.gov

Charles M. Calderon Dem-58 (916) 319-2058 Assemblymember.Calderon@assembly.ca.gov

Nora Campos Dem-23 (916) 319-2023 Assemblymember.Campos@assembly.ca.gov

Mike Davis Dem-48 (916) 319-2048 Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov

Tim Donnelly Rep-59 (916) 319-2059 Assemblymember.Donnelly@assembly.ca.gov

Mike Gatto Dem-43 (916) 319-2043 Assemblymember.Gatto@assembly.ca.gov

Isadore Hall III Dem-52 (916) 319-2052 Assemblymember.Hall@assembly.ca.gov

Jerry Hill Dem-19 (916) 319-2019 Assemblymember.Hill@assembly.ca.gov

Ricardo Lara Dem-50 (916) 319-2050 Assemblymember.Lara@assembly.ca.gov

Holly J. Mitchell Dem-47 (916) 319-2047 Assemblymember.Mitchell@assembly.ca.gov

Jim Nielsen Rep-2 (916) 319-2002 Assemblymember.Nielsen@assembly.ca.gov

Chris Norby Rep-72 (916) 319-2072 Assemblymember.Norby@assembly.ca.gov

Jose Solorio Dem-69 (916) 319-2069 Assemblymember.Solorio@assembly.ca.gov

Donald P. Wagner Rep-70 (916) 319-2070 Assemblymember.Wagner@assembly.ca.gov

anthonyca
07-05-2011, 4:38 PM
Thank you Goober.