A California bill that would set up a registry of ammunition purchasers and requiring their thumbprint is a “clear case of regulatory excess disguised as a crime-fighting measure,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today.
California’s Senate Bill 1152, said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron, “really amounts to nothing more than harassment of law-abiding citizens who purchase a perfectly legal product. There is no existing data to suggest that an ammunition purchase registry will have any positive impact on crime. Absent that, why else would Sen. Jack Scott, the bill’s sponsor, want to require retailers to gather this information? Surely he couldn’t want law-abiding Californians placed under some kind of suspicion, just because they buy a box of shotgun shells to hunt doves, or a brick of .22s to teach their kids to shoot.”
“I’m curious,” observed CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “about how California retailers are going to be trained to take the required thumbprint. Who’s going to pay for that training? Furthermore, because these retailers are now taking thumbprints, will that open them up to any liability, as agents of the state, in the event these prints are subsequently used as some sort of evidence? Lawmakers really need to take a step back and consider all the ramifications of such a requirement before they make this into a law.”
CCRKBA agrees with the National Association of Firearms Retailers, which is on record in opposition to SB 1152. That organization criticized the measure, noting that, “No valid public safety purpose will be advanced by burdening our members in California with keeping a registry of perfectly legal ammunition sales and law-abiding ammunition purchasers. We are aware of no scientifically valid study that concludes an ammunition registry would be an effective law enforcement tool.”
“Instead of burdening retailers and honest citizens with more paperwork,” Waldron suggested, “maybe California lawmakers should devote their energies to ‘burdening’ violent criminals with longer prison sentences. It’s time to leave law-abiding California firearms owners alone.”