Californians Fight Ammo Permit Initiative

Californians Fight Ammo Permit Initiative
Eight law enforcement organizations have come out against the measure, which will go before voters on November 8. photo from dailysignal.comweb photo

A number of state have gun control ballot initiatives that will go before voters on November 8, and among them is California's highly debated Proposition 63, which would impose several restrictions on firearms and ammunition in the state.

Prop 63 would require residents obtain a permit and pass background checks for ammunition purchases, according to vvdailypress.com. The four-year ammunition permit would cost $50 and would require dealers to have a separate license to sell ammo and to check to makes sure the buy has a permit before selling ammo to them. This would also create a new database of ammunition purchasers, according to this story from bakersfieldnow.com.

High-capacity magazines (over 10 rounds) are already banned, but the new law would owners who have mags from before the 2000 ban that were previously grandfathered in to surrender them.

Prop 63 would also make the theft of a gun a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison. It also makes it a crime not to report a stolen gun.

This story from the Daily Signal the California Police Chiefs Association, California Correctional Peace Officers Association, California Fish & Game Wardens Association, California Reserve Peace Officers Association, Western State Sheriffs' Association, Law Enforcement Action Network, San Francisco Veteran Police Officers Association, and Law Enforcement Alliance of America are all in opposition to Prop 63.

"We see this as a continued erosion of what we believe are Second Amendment rights," said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriff's Association in the story. "California has the strictest gun laws now and they have no impact on crime because senators aren't going to follow the law."

“I’ve been the victim of gun theft, and I didn’t realize it for several days,” Youngblood continued. “I would have been in violation.”

One of the highest profile opponents of Prop 63 is six-time Olympic medalist and shooter Kim Rhode.

"Only bureaucrats would believe that criminals and terrorists would jump through these hoops to buy ammunition," Rhode said in the story. "The enormous expense and time to enforce this proposition will fall on the taxpayers. Fact is, this proposal is nothing more than an anti-gun power grab: Newsom hasn't gotten us to give up our guns, so he's trying to take away our ammunition instead."

The measure is likely to pass, but Gov. Jerry Brown hasn't weighed in on the matter. In 2013, he vetoed a bill that would have mandated the reporting of stolen guns, saying at the time, "I am not convinced that criminalizing the failure to report a lost or stolen firearm would improve identification of gun traffickers or help law enforcement disarm people prohibited from possessing guns. I continue to believe that responsible people report the loss or theft of a firearm and irresponsible people do not."

"This law could make criminals out of people who are morally blameless," said John Malcolm, director of The Heritage Foundation's Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, in the story. "These are special taxes and background checks on ammunition, just to make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. It's an assault on the Second Amendment."