Bullet control in California

Photo: CCI Ammunition

Comedian Chris Rock once joked “we don’t need gun control, we need bullet control”

While probably not done to satisfy Mr Rock’s assertion, in 2016, the State of California put a proposition on the ballot regulating bullet sales.

Proposition 63 was put on the ballot as an anti gun violence measure, and it passed on November 8, of that year. The law made it a requirement to show identification when buying ammunition, forbids on-line ammo purchases, forbids individuals from bringing ammunition purchased out-of-state into California, prohibits possession of large capacity magazines, subjects the purchaser to an “eligibility check”, and requires each purchaser pays a $1 fee per transaction. (There is a fee of $19 for the check if you haven’t previously had one, in addition to the $1)

As expected, gun rights groups filed lawsuits to stop the law, and San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez later granted a preliminary injunction against the law; California Attorney General Xavier Becerra then filed an emergency motion with the U.S. Ninth Court of Appeals to pause Benitez’s ruling while the State appeals.

In response to the States emergency motion, the injunction was stopped by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals until all can later argue the case in full.

Judge Benitez wrote when he granted the injunction, in part, “Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. There is little evidence that pre-purchase ammunition background checking will accomplish the goal and the burden it places on the Constitutional rights of law-abiding firearm owners is profound.”

Gun control advocates say the new law is necessary to curb gun violence in the state, while gun rights advocates say the law creates an undue burden on law abiding firearm owners, while doing nothing to stop criminals who would simply circumvent the law.

According to the State if California, there are 4.5 million registered gun owners living there, and it’s estimated about 3 million are regular shooters, who are estimated to buy ammunition four or five times each year.

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