Bay Area lawmakers propose ammo control law

Three Bay Area lawmakers introduced legislation yesterday that would require that law enforcement be notified of large ammunition purchases.

AB 2512 – co-authored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco; and state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley – would require vendors who sell, supply, deliver, or give possession of more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition to an individual within any five day period to report the transaction to the local law enforcement agency where the individual resides within one day. State law does not currently require any oversight, tracking or reporting of large-quantity ammunition transactions.

Their bill also would prohibit large-capacity conversion kits or “clip kits” which allow more than 10 rounds to be shot without reloading.

This is a “gut-and-amend” of Skinner’s previously introduced bill that would’ve fined certain limited liability companies for failing to file tax returns.

The lawmakers cited James Holmes, charged with murdering 12 people and attempting to murder scores more in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, as having amassed 6,000 rounds of ammunition over the course of a few weeks without raising any red flags with authorities.

“While incidents like Aurora may be rare, gun violence is an ongoing, yet unnecessary threat in communities throughout California. As lawmakers we need to do everything we can to minimize it,” Skinner said in a news release issued today.

Hancock said California “has been a national leader in adopting thoughtful gun safety laws,” and she hopes this bill “will further protect the public from becoming a victim of gun violence and prevent tragedies like the one in Aurora, Colorado.”

Ammiano said nobody has a legal, vested interest in being able to fire off hundreds of rounds in a short time. “We’re not taking ammunition away from legitimate sportsmen and women. We just want to be sure local law enforcement has the tools it needs to stay ahead.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Felix Hunziker

    Another knee-jerk reaction that avoids addressing the real problem: our mental health system. This law would have done nothing to prevent the Aurora shooting and he fired much less than 1,000 rounds.

    Does this apply to out-of-state vendors? How will the police be notified? In what fashion police respond to an address where more than 1,000 rounds have been shipped? What on earth is a “clip-kit”?

    Our Democratic representatives pay only lip service to our 2nd Amendment and other civil rights.

  • JAFO

    They just don’t get it, do they? When in doubt, pass yet another law, or two, or ten. Following the horrific incidents in Aurora and Milwaukee, the rate of legal gun sales reportedly increased dramatically in both those states. Why? Because people are afraid, or perhaps simply being prudent. Most legal gun owners do not expect that additional laws will do anything but impede the ability of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves. They know that when new laws are passed, criminals will simply ignore those as well. There are ample gun laws already on the books. Enforce those.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Why do youse pick on the libs? They’re against massacres! What youse want em to do? Balance the budget?

  • Elwood

    “AB 2512 – co-authored by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley; Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco; and state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley”

    I defy anyone to come up with three worse twits.

  • For Liberty

    A perfect example of why we should have a part-time legislature.

    What do you expect the police to do with this information, march into the homes of the ammunition buyers and seize it?

    Someone wisely once stated that when we sacrifice our liberties for security, we will have neither.

  • JohnW

    Re: #5

    Well, to her credit, the psychiatrist who treated the gunman in Aurora had reported him as a potential threat to the community to both the CU campus police and the Aurora police well in advance of the shootings. Colorado state law allows doctors to break patient/doctor confidentiality when public safety is at risk. Had there been electronic tracking of his gun and ammo purchases and an algorithm to red flag his purchases, authorities probably would have been in a position to intervene and prevent what happened.

  • For Liberty


    Keep dreaming!

  • B James

    Why would you judge an entire class of law abiding people by the actions of one psychotic killer in CO? I am a law abiding citizen in CoCoCO and quite honestly I am not ashamed of the fact that I own and shoot guns. It is how I focus and blow off steam after a hard week at work. I don’t impose my will on you, please stop gutting and amending other acts to punish me and my fellow gun owners.

  • berkeley born

    Utter nonsense. Ammunition is cheaper in bulk, you know, by the case, as in 1000 rounds at once. Swamping the police with reports of bulk ammunition purchases stretches their already thin resources and does absolutely nothing to decrease crime. This is yet another hysterical response to a tragedy so that the bills authors can appear to be doing something.

    Why not report bulk purchases of alcohol and cigarettes? Drunk driving is a serious problem. So are alcohol abuse and smoking. Why not require retailers to report all purchases over a case to law enforcement? think of the public health benefits we could realize!