California Ammunition Background Check/Permit Law Passed Senate, Goes to Assembly


CBS Local Los Angeles on a very restrictive ammunition law that passed the California Senate and is scheduled to be considered by the Assembly today:

Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) first introduced Senate Bill 53 last December, which would require anyone wishing to purchase ammunition in California to first obtain a Ammunition Purchase Permit issued by the Department of Justice, valid for one year from the date of issuance.

To obtain such a permit, the holder would have to pass a traditional background check as well as a mental health check, according to De León. The legislation would also ban online and mail order sales of ammunition to Californians.

In addition, SB 53 would require all ammunition sales to take place at a limited list of State-approved "ammunition vendors", who would also be required to submit sales records to the CA Department of Justice…..

"If you get out of Men's Central Jail, or let's say Pelican Bay or San Quentin prison, you can walk into any gun store in California and you can load up a U-Haul truck, fill it up with ammunition, you can drive to South Central Los Angeles…and sell all the ammunition you want on the black market," [DeLeon] said.

The awful bill. Some lowlights from the legislative language:

Existing law requires the Attorney General to maintain records, including among other things, fingerprints, licenses to carry concealed firearms, and information from firearms dealers pertaining to firearms, for purposes of assisting in the investigation of crimes, and specified civil actions.

This bill would require the Attorney General to also maintain copies of ammunition purchase permits, information about ammunition transactions, as specified, and ammunition vendor licenses, as specified, for those purposes.

(2) Existing law establishes the Prohibited Armed Persons File, the purpose of which is to cross-reference persons prohibited from possessing firearms with records of firearm transactions to determine if these persons have acquired or attempted to acquire firearms. Under existing law, a person who is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm is prohibited from owning, possessing, or having under his or her custody or control, any ammunition or reloaded ammunition.This bill would expand the Prohibited Armed Persons File to list persons prohibited from acquiring ammunition, and would similarly cross-reference those persons with records of ammunition transactions to determine if these persons have acquired or attempted to acquire ammunition….

(3) Existing law, subject to exceptions, requires that the delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition occur only in a face-to-face transaction and makes a violation of this requirement a crime. Existing law provides that the term "vendor" for purposes of ammunition sales is a "handgun ammunition vendor" as defined for those and other purposes.

This bill would extend those provisions to any ammunition. The bill would provide that the term "vendor" for purposes of ammunition sales means "ammunition vendor," and, commencing July 1, 2015, who is licensed, as specified, for those and other purposes. The bill would provide that commencing July 1, 2015, only a licensed ammunition vendor may sell ammunition…..

(5) Existing law subject to exceptions, requires a handgun ammunition vendor to record specified information at the time of delivery of handgun ammunition to a purchaser, as specified.

This bill would extend those provisions to transactions of any ammunition and would, commencing July 1, 2015, require the ammunition vendor to submit that information to the department, as specified. The bill would, commencing July 1, 2017 2015, and subject to exceptions, require the purchaser of ammunition to be authorized to purchase ammunition by the Department of Justice, as specified. The bill would, commencing January 1, 2017 2015, authorize issuance of ammunition purchase authorizations by the Department of Justice to applicants who are residents of this state, at least 18 years of age, not prohibited from acquiring or possessing ammunition, and who pay the required fees, as specified. The bill would establish an application process and establish a centralized list of persons authorized to purchase ammunition….

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to issue ammunition vendor licenses, commencing July 1, 2015. The bill would require an ammunition vendor to be licensed, commencing July 1, 2015, in order to sell ammunition….

David Hardy wrote for Reason last month on why supporters of Second Amendment rights tend to mistrust the intentions of those trying to "regulate not ban" our right to armed self-defense.