This week, Governor Schwarzenegger (R-Calif.) signed yet another severe, but impotent gun control measure into law. Assembly Bill 962, which takes effect on February 1, 2011, mandates individuals purchasing ammunition to be fingerprinted and registered at the time of sale and outlaws mail order ammunition purchases. AB 962 will also require dealers to maintain these records indefinitely and make them available for inspection by the California Department of Justice. As an additional burden, ammunition retailers will also be required to store ammunition away from purchasers. AB 962 failed to garner support from Attorney General Brown, or any law enforcement organization. In fact, 15 sheriffs wrote letters of opposition to this legislation.
“This law presents intrusive and unnecessary burdens that will only affect law-abiding firearm retailers and gun owners…not criminals,” said NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox. “At a time when California is facing dire budget problems, California has squandered valuable resources in policing law-abiding Californians instead of investing in substantive measures that target criminals. More than two decades ago, Congress abolished similar requirements at the federal level because ammunition sales records were found to be ineffective for solving crimes. It is indeed regrettable that foolish minds and bogus arguments prevailed over common sense and empirical evidence.”
Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed Senate Bill 585, a bill that would have prohibited the sale of firearms and ammunition at Cow Palace in Daly City, just outside of San Francisco. He also signed Senate Bill 175, which will exempt gunsmiths from a vague California law. This exemption will now allow for the exchange of a firearm to or from a gunsmith for purposes of service or repair.
“Governor Schwarzenegger acted in the interest of good public policy with his actions on SB 585 and SB 175. But, in signing AB 962, he has paved the way for one of the most intrusive and ineffective gun control laws that California has seen in recent years,” said Cox.
NRA will review all possible legislative and legal options to remove this draconian requirement from California statute.