Politics

State committee approves ammunition regulation bill

Tuesday, April 02, 2013
bullets bullets

A tough gun safety bill authored by an East Bay lawmaker passed a key committee hearing on Tuesday. The bill cracks down, not on guns, but on ammunition. With 49 gun control-related bills in the queue, the battle on gun control is just beginning.

The deadly shooting at Sandy Hook is the motivation behind a rush of gun control measures moving quickly through the California state Legislature.

The Assembly Public Safety Committee approved what's called the "Bulletproofing Communities" bill which aims for tighter controls of ammunition sales in the state.

It requires the sale or transfer of all bullets be done by only licensed dealers, that all buyers must present ID, and sale records will be transmitted to the California Department of Justice, which will notify law enforcement of anyone purchasing more than 3,000 rounds within five days. Assembly bill 48 would also ban conversion kits which allow guns to fire more bullets without reloading.

Assm. Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, argues the state has similar restrictions on other products.

"Why is it easier now to buy bullets than to buy alcohol, cigarettes or Sudafed?" asked Skinner.

The gun lobby has geared up to fight the more than four dozen proposals introduced in Sacramento since Sandy Hook. Members feel the Skinner bill would prevent Boy Scouts, for example, from earning shooting merit badges because someone else cannot provide the bullets and even parents could get in trouble.

"I take my daughter to the firing range to teach her how to use our legally-owned firearm and by handing her a magazine with ammunition in it, I am now in violation of the law, and she is now in violation of the law," said Craig DeLuz from the California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees.

Gun owners think the ammo sale restrictions will cause an even greater demand for bullets, which have been hard to come by as the chorus of gun control laws grew louder in the aftermath of Sandy Hook.

"People are buying it as quickly as they can find it because they're concerned about what the future will be. So they've actually created a situation where more ammunition and firearms are being sold in California," said Tom Pedersen from the California Rifle and Pistol Association.

"It seems to me, reasonable safeguards on sale of bullets -- the very thing that makes a gun deadly -- is important," said Skinner.

The ammunition bill now heads to the Appropriations Committee. Both sides are courting moderate Democrats who could swing either way on any of gun control measures.

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Tags:
guns, bills, laws, school shooting, connecticut school shooting, politics, nannette miranda
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