The California Senate this week approved a collection of bills, including one (SB 53) that would require background checks, permits, and fees for the purchase of ammunition.
All ammunition sales would have to be face-to-face, happening only in the presence of a store clerk; and vendors selling the bullets would have to submit sales records to the California Department of Justice. Those vendors also would need a permit to sell ammunition.
SB 53 is one of seven “gun violence” bills approved on Wednesday. Together, the seven Democrat-sponsored bills are known as the “Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement Act,” dubbed the LIFE Act.
California Senate President pro Tem Darrell Steinberg, a Democrat, said the LIFE act is designed to close “loopholes” in existing regulations, keep firearms and ammunition out of the hands of dangerous persons, and strengthen education on gun ownership.
“As Congress continues to dither, California must act,” Steinberg said. “The strength of the LIFE Act is in the sum of its parts, and this package will make dramatic strides in combating gun violence. In combination, these bills close legal loopholes that gun manufacturers have exploited, keep the circulation of firearms and ammunition out of dangerous hands, and improve education around safe gun ownership.”
But Republicans who voted against the gun control package say it won’t do anything to stop crime:
“SB 53 will do nothing to stop criminals from purchasing ammunition,” said Sen. Tom Berryhill. “These restrictions – like most of the gun legislation we are seeing here today – won’t do a thing to stop crime. They will only hurt the law abiding citizens like hunters and sportsmen who, for the record, contribute millions to the state’s economy.”
Even one Democrat voted against SB 53: Sen. Rod Wright (D) said requiring permits to buy ammunition “only inhibits law-abiding citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights. It shouldn’t be in law. It’s not going to stand up in court,” he added.