A proposal by California’s anti-gun Attorney General Bill Lockyer to require serial numbers on every handgun bullet and cartridge case sold in the Golden State is a backdoor attempt to make ammunition so cost prohibitive that it will essentially disarm law-abiding gun owners, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.

“Bill Lockyer’s plan to laser-etch handgun ammunition in California is a numbers game that adds up to zero,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb. “This idea is being pushed ostensibly to make it easy for police to identify criminals who misuse guns. It would not only be enormously expensive for ammunition companies to accomplish, it also amounts to a scheme to register every gun owner in California by the ammunition he or she purchases.

“California authorities can’t seem to round up tens of thousands of illegal aliens, many of them gang members, and they have found it impossible to stem the flow of illegal drugs into the state,” Gottlieb observed. “Criminals already disobey California’s Draconian gun laws, and the laws against assault and murder, so what makes Bill Lockyer think these same hoodlums won’t ignore a law that will otherwise only penalize law-abiding gun owners? If they can smuggle drugs and people into California, criminals will just smuggle ammunition into the state, too. What does Lockyer not understand about this?”

Lockyer’s proposal would require ammunition manufacturers to laser etch every handgun bullet and cartridge case sold in California. People buying handgun ammunition would have to sign for it. It would make it a crime for anyone coming into the state to bring such ammunition without serial numbers.

“This is not just a California issue,” noted CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “It could cripple the entire ammunition industry. The Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute (SAAMI) thinks this idea is crazy, and we concur. Indeed, SAAMI says it would be an impossible task to serialize ammunition headed to California, and it appears this is exactly what the anti-gun lobby has in mind. It would essentially end ammunition sales in the state, and for what reason? There is no evidence that marking ammunition would have any value in preventing or fighting crime.

“If Bill Lockyer wants to fight crime by the numbers,” Waldron stated, “he should hold his breath, count to a hundred and forget about this goofy scheme.”