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Bill to Regulate Ammunition Sales Launched Today

By Jeff Shuttleworth (BCN)
Monday January 07, 2013 - 03:00:00 PM

Surrounded by city leaders, law enforcement officials and local clergy, state Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner today unveiled legislation that would regulate ammunition sales in California in the same way that gun sales are regulated. 

Speaking at a morning news conference outside the state building in downtown Oakland, Skinner, D-Berkeley, said it is currently easier to buy ammunition in California than it is to buy certain medicine, alcohol and tobacco. 

She said, "We want to make it as difficult to buy bullets as it is to buy cold medicine." 

Skinner said Assembly Bill 48, co-authored by Assemblyman Rob Bonta, D-Alameda, would require ammunition sellers to be licensed and purchasers to show identification, and would mandate that sellers report all sales to the state Department of Justice. 

She said it also would require the Department of Justice to create a registry of ammunition purchases that would be available to all law enforcement agencies and to notify law enforcement of large-quantity ammunition purchases. 

In addition, Skinner said, the legislation would ban the kits that convert ammunition-feeding devices into high-capacity magazines. 

"Currently gun owners can take a magazine with 10 rounds and increase it to hold as many rounds as their gun can hold," Skinner said. 

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and most members of the Oakland City Council joined Skinner at the news conference to support her bill, as did Emeryville Police Chief Ken James, the chair of the gun committee for the California Police Chiefs Association; Diane Brown, the president of United Teachers of Richmond; and religious leaders. 

A spokesman for the California Rifle and Pistol Association, which joined the National Rifle Association in a successful court fight against a previous state effort to regulate ammunition sales, couldn't immediately be reached for comment.