Wednesday, April 02, 2008

California AB2062: Permit to buy ammunition

On February 19, 2008, California Assemblyman de Leon introduced a new bill (AB2062) which would require ammunition purchasers to obtain a permit to buy ammunition, at a one-time cost of $35, before any ammunition purchases could be made from retailers. There is a 30-day waiting period before the permit would be issued.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.
It would ("... commencing July 1, 2009 ...") prohibit anyone from transferring more than 50 rounds of ammunition per month to another person without buying an Ammunition Vendor License. (Special provisions include " ... a background clearance for any employees who would handle ammunition ...").

Ammunition vendors would be prohibited from displaying ammunition where a customer could access it.

This is, of course, entirely apart from Ammunition Serialization, Ammunition Encoding, and Microcoding of Ammunition bills and/or laws which are already either extant in law or proposed.

You can contact Assemblyman de Leon at:
Capitol Office:
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0045
Tel: (916) 319-2045
Fax: (916) 319-2145

District Office:
360 West Avenue 26, Suite 121
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Tel: (323) 225-4545
Fax: (323)225-4500

Let's review:

Current law requires that firearms 'microstamp' identification on the cartridge. Proposed laws would, if enacted, require that ammunition be encoded (serial numbers on the base of the bullet or projectile, and a matching serial number on the interior of the cartridge case). And of course, the purchaser of any ammunition must, by current law, be identified by name, Driver's License Number, Date of Birth etc.

Now the purchaser must be registered ("buy a license") and observe a waiting period before purchasing said encoded ammunition to shoot in a microstamping firearm, and would be prohibited from providing said registered ammunition in quantities exceeding fifty (50) rounds per month to anyone ... including immediate family members.

There are no definitions of what ammunition is covered by this bill, so we can safely assume that all ammunition is subject to these restrictions. Read: one box of .22 rimfire, or two boxes of shotgun shells, are the most you could provide for your child or spouse.

If there was ever any doubt that the State of California is determined to put as many obstacles as possible in the path of an honest citizen who chooses to own and use a legal firearm, let this put an end to this delusion.

It's obvious that this and similar bills serve no legitimate purpose (legitimate in the context of "use of firearms for nefarious purposes" ... as far as the California State Assembly is concerned, any use of a firearm is 'nefarious'.) The only purpose of this kind of legislation is to inconvenience legitimate owners of legal firearms owners, with the intention of rendering their firearms economically infeasible and administratively cumbersome.

Lip Service reference is made in the text of the bill to "... persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms ..." as well as a new concept: "... persons prohibited from possessing ammunition." I submit that the latter encumbrance is superfluous, gratuitous and insulting.

What about the Registration of Ammunition Purchasers?

Strangely, the 'registration' portion of this bill refers directly to Section 11106 of the Penal Code, Paragraph d, sub-paragraph a in the phrase: "...or information reported to the Department of Justice pursuant to Section 12062 as to the brand, type, and amount of ammunition transferred

This would seem to imply that much more stringent identification requirements must be met, to the degree cited for Firearms Registration.

The assumption is that the update to existing laws are borrowing from a section already restricting firearms ownership, but inappropriately. You will have to reference Section 1106, Paragraph C, in order to put it in context. But who cares to do this, as this bill is not only ill-advised, but poorly constructed, and is (hopefully) destined for oblivion if only because the new Californian Assemblyman Kevin DeLeon is so incompetent that he and his staff cannot write a consistent change to existing law.

If it's any consolation, here's the current status of the bill as of the 2/19/07 reading:\
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

I only hope that I have correctly interpreted this bill as having roundly been Stuck In Committee for all eternity.

Purely for your convenience, here is the introductory text and official summary of the bill:
AB 2062, as introduced, De Leon. Ammunition.
Existing law requires the Department of Justice to maintain records pertaining to firearms transactions.

This bill would require the department to maintain additional information relating to ammunition transfers, handgun ammunition permittees, and licensed handgun ammunition vendors, as specified.

Existing law establishes the Prohibited Armed Persons File, which lists persons who are prohibited from possessing firearms, as specified.

This bill would expand those provisions to include persons prohibited from possessing ammunition.

Existing law generally regulates the sale of ammunition.

This bill would establish a program administered by the Department of Justice for licensing handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. The bill would also authorize the issuance of a handgun ammunition permit, to be used by purchasers of handgun ammunition, as specified.

The bill would authorize the Department of Justice to incorporate the permit information into a permittee's California driver's license, as specified.

The bill would establish a database maintained by the department to serve as a registry of handgun ammunition vendors. The bill would also establish a database of handgun ammunition permittees.

This bill would require that commencing July 1, 2009, unless specifically excluded, no person shall sell or transfer more than 50 rounds of handgun ammunition in any month unless they are registered as a handgun ammunition vendor, as defined. The bill would also require these vendors to obtain a background clearance for those employees who would handle ammunition in the course and scope of their employment. The bill would require the Department of Justice to maintain a registry of registered handgun ammunition vendors, as specified. Violation of these provisions, as specified, would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would also provide that no retail seller of ammunition shall sell, offer for sale, or display for sale, any handgun ammunition in a manner that allows that ammunition to be accessible to a purchaser without the assistance of the retailer or employee thereof. Violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

The bill would further provide that handgun ammunition may only be purchased in a face-to-face transaction and only if certain conditions exist.
Existing law generally regulates what information is required to be obtained in connection with the transfer of ammunition.

This bill would, subject to exceptions, require certain ammunition vendors to obtain a thumbprint and other information from ammunition purchasers, and would require submission of that information to the Department of Justice, as specified. A violation of these provisions would be subject to civil fines, as specified.

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