Location:
MUNICIPALITIES; WEAPONS - GUN CONTROL;
Scope:
Other States laws/regulations;

OLR Research Report


April 6, 2011

 

2011-R-0138

GUN OFFENDER REGISTRIES IN OTHER CITIES

By: Duke Chen, Legislative Analyst II

You asked for descriptions of other cities' gun offender registries.

SUMMARY

Five cities and Suffolk County, New York have established gun offender registries, requiring people convicted of certain gun offenses to register with a designated official for a specified period. The five cities are Baltimore, Chicago, New York City, Utica (N.Y.), and Washington, D.C. New York City was the first to pass it in 2006, followed by Baltimore in 2007; Washington, D.C. and Utica in 2009; and Chicago and Suffolk County in 2010. The gun offender registries are substantially similar, but there are some differences in registry requirements, including the types of gun offenses, registration duration, and penalties.

BALTIMORE

Requirements

Baltimore requires anyone convicted of a gun offense to register with the police commissioner within 48 hours of sentence or release. The ordinance defines gun offense to include possessing prohibited handguns, use of machine guns, and trafficking firearms, among others.

The registration must include:

1. the offender's name, aliases, and previous legal names;

2. the gun offense and conviction date;

3. identifying factors, including physical description; and

4. the offender's residence.

The police commissioner may photograph the offender and require

him or her to provide documentation to verify the registration information. The commissioner may share registration information with any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency and any city agency.

An offender must, within 20 days of the six-month anniversary of the initial registration, personally appear before the police superintendent to verify, and update the registration and be photographed. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, he or she must appear within 48 hours of release.

Duration of Registration

Baltimore requires offenders to stay on the registry for three years after initial registration. The ordinance also sets out procedures for the offender to appear periodically before the police commissioner to verify and update the registry.

Penalties

Offenders violate the law if he or she provides false information to the registry or fails to (1) acknowledge in writing his or her duty to register, (2) register, or (3) verify information as required. Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to 12 months imprisonment, or both. Each violation is deemed a separate offense (Baltimore City, MD., Code art. 19 60 et seq.).

CHICAGO

Requirements

Chicago requires gun offenders convicted after July 12, 2010 to register with the police superintendent within two business days of sentencing or release. A gun offense is a criminal firearm possession in violation of any federal, state, or local law or a criminal conviction under 720 ILCS 5/24, which includes, among other things, unlawfully using, possessing, or purchasing a weapon.

The offender must be fingerprinted and may be photographed at the initial registration and at subsequent registrations. The offender must provide the following information:

1. name (including any other legal name), date of birth, and sex;

2. the address where he or she resides, works, or attends school;

3. a copy of a driver's license or non-driver's photo identification card;

4. a description of the offense;

5. the name and address of the offender's place of work, including the name and phone number of his or her supervisor; and

6. any other information the superintendent finds reasonable to fulfill the purposes of the law.

An offender must within 20 days of the one-year anniversary of the initial registration, personally appear before the police superintendent to verify and update the registration and be photographed. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, he or she must appear within 48 hours of release.

The superintendent may share registry information with other city agencies or any regional or national government-established gun offender registry and may accept files from such registries. He or she must post the registry on the department's website, and make the registry information searchable with a mapping system that identifies offenders within five miles of an identified address.

Duration of Registration

Chicago requires offenders to stay on the registry for four years after initial registration. The registration is tolled any time the offender fails to register or comply with any of the registry requirements.

Penalties

Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is subject to a fine of between $300 and $500, up to six months imprisonment, or both. Each day a violation exists constitutes a separate and distinct offense (Chicago, Ill., Code 8-26 et seq.).

NEW YORK CITY

Requirements

New York City requires offenders to register with the police department at sentencing. A gun offender is anyone who is convicted of a gun offense in New York City. A gun offense means criminal possession of certain weapons in the third and second degrees, which includes, among other offenses, possessing an assault weapon, a large capacity ammunition device, or a disguised gun.

The registration consists of:

1. the offender's name and any aliases used;

2. date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color;

3. driver's license number or non-driver photo identification card;

4. home address or expected place of residence;

5. photograph, updated throughout the registration process;

6. description of the offense;

7. name and address of education institution the offender is or will be attending;

8. place of employment, including the name, phone number, and mailing address of his or her supervisor; and

9. any other information the police department deems pertinent.

The offender must appear within 48 hours of release or sentencing. The police may photograph the offender and require him or her to provide documentation to verify the registration information.

An offender must, within 20 days of the six-month anniversary of the initial registration, personally appear to be photographed and verify the registration. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, the offender must appear within 48 hours of release. He or she must also within 10 days of changing residences, personally appear and verify the change in address.

The police are authorized to make the registry available to any regional or national government-operated gun offender registry for information sharing purposes.

Duration of Registration

New York City requires offenders to stay on the registry for four years after initial registration.

Penalties

Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both (New York City, N.Y., Code 10-601 et seq.).

UTICA, N.Y.

Requirements

Utica requires offenders to register with the police department at sentencing. A gun offense means criminal possession of certain weapons in the third and second degrees, which includes, among other offenses, possessing an assault weapon, a large capacity ammunition device, or a disguised gun.

The registration consists of:

1. the offender's name and any aliases used;

2. date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, eye color;

3. driver's license number or non-driver photo identification card;

4. home address or expected place of residence;

5. photograph, updated throughout the registration process;

6. description of the offense;

7. name and address of education institution the offender is or will be attending;

8. place of employment, including the name and phone number and mailing address of his or her supervisor; and

9. any other information the police department deems pertinent.

The offender must appear within 48 hours of release or sentencing. The police may photograph the offender and require him or her to provide documentation to verify the registration information.

An offender must, within 20 days of the six-month anniversary of the initial registration, personally appear to be photographed and verify the registration. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, the offender must appear within 48 hours of release. He or she must also within 10 days of changing residences, personally appear and verify the change in address.

The police are authorized to make the registry available to any regional or national government-operated gun offender registry for information sharing purposes.

Duration of Registration

Utica requires offenders to stay on the registry for four years after initial registration.

Penalties

Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both (Utica, N.Y., Code 1-5-1 et seq.).

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Requirements

Washington, D.C. requires offenders to, within 48 hours of release or sentencing, personally appear in a place designated by the police chief to sign a statement under oath with whatever documentation may be required. A gun offender is anyone who is convicted of a gun offense in D.C. A gun offense means, among others, conviction for the sale, purchase, transfer, receipt, acquisition, possession, use, manufacture, carrying, transportation, registration, or licensing of a firearm.

The chief may require information such as:

1. the gun offender's name (including any other legal names and aliases), date of birth, sex, race, height, weight, and eye color;

2. the address where the offender resides or expects to reside;

3. jurisdiction and description of the offense;

4. fingerprints;

5. identification number on the offender's driver's license or non-driver photo identification card;

6. name and address of any school the offender attends or plans to attend; and

7. name and address where the offender expects to work, including the supervisor's name and phone number.

The police chief may photograph the offender and require him or her to provide any documentation necessary to verify the information provided.

An offender must, within 20 days of the one-year anniversary of the initial registration, personally appear to be photographed and verify the registration. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, the offender must appear within 48 hours of release.

The police chief is only authorized to make the registry available to other local, state, or federal government agencies.

Duration of Registration

Washington, D.C. requires offenders to stay on the registry for two years after initial registration.

Penalties

Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both (Washington, D.C., Code 7-2508.01 et seq.).

SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.

Requirements

Suffolk County requires offenders to register with the police department within 48 hours of being released or sentenced. A gun offense means criminal possession of certain weapons in the third and second degrees, which includes, among other offenses, possessing an assault weapon, a large capacity ammunition device, or a disguised gun.

The registration consists of:

1. the offender's name and any aliases used;

2. residence address;

3. date of birth;

4. physical description and photograph;

5. description of the offense;

6. name and address of higher or secondary education institution where the offender is or will be attending;

7. place of employment, including the name, phone number, and mailing address of his or her supervisor; and

8. any other information the police commissioner deems appropriate.

An offender must, within 20 days of the anniversary of the initial registration, go to the police department to be photographed and verify the registration. If the offender is confined in an institution or similar facility during the 20 day period, the offender must appear within 48 hours of release. He or she must also within 10 days of changing residences, personally appear and verify the change in address.

The police are authorized to make the information collected available to any federal, state, or local law enforcement agency.

Offenders are required to pay a $25 annual fee to pay for the registry's administrative costs.

Duration of Registration

Suffolk County requires offenders to stay on the registry for four years after initial registration.

Penalties

Anyone who violates the gun offender registry provisions is guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of up to $1,000, up to one year imprisonment, or both (Suffolk County, N.Y., 293-1 et seq.).

DC: ek