Fairfax, Va. - Governor Schwarzenegger has signed a severe yet impotent gun control measure into law. Assembly Bill 962, taking 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 also requires dealers to maintain these records indefinitely and make them available for inspection by the California Department of Justice. As an additional burden, ammunition retailers are also required to store ammunition away from purchasers. AB 692 also failed to garner support from Attorney General Brown, and 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 Chris W. Cox, NRA chief lobbyist. “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 to U.S. federal law 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 on the property or inside the buildings that comprise the 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 to 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.
The National Rifle Association will review all possible options to remove this draconian, requirement from California statute, and will assess legislative and legal remedies to do so.