Skinner brings back bill to control ammo sales

A Bay Area lawmaker is re-introducing a bill that would tighten up on ammunition sales, which aren’t tracked by current law.

“In California, it’s harder to get some cold medicines than ammunition,” Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner, D-Berkeley, said in a news release, referring to the state’s law restricting sales of pseudoephedrine, which can be used as a precursor for making methamphetamine. “Something has to change.”

Skinner this past summer authored AB 2512, which would have required large ammunition purchases to be reported to local law enforcement. The bill was inspired by July’s shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

Her bill also sought to close a loophole in the assault weapons law allowing individuals to have high-capacity magazines, like those found on the man who killed 26 people last Friday in Newtown, Conn. But the legislation, introduced by gutting and amending an already-existing bill, came too late in the year to have any hearings before the session ended.

Her new bill would require all ammunition purchasers to show their IDs; require all ammunition sales to be reported to the state Department of Justice; require all ammunition sellers to be licensed and undergo a background check; and
ban kits to convert ammunition clips into high-capacity magazines.

Skinner had told me last week – two days before the Newtown massacre – that she had been meeting with law enforcement and other stakeholders to develop a revised version of the bill.

“Among the most shocking details from the shooting massacre in Colorado is the undetected stockpiling of ammunition and weapons by the alleged shooter. In Newtown, the shooter had hundreds of unspent rounds. While incidents like Aurora and Newtown may be rare, we can’t let ammunition stockpiling go unnoticed,” Skinner said today. “Gun violence is an ongoing, yet unnecessary threat in communities throughout California. As lawmakers, we need to do everything we can to stop this trend.”

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.

  • Elwood

    Is there a dimmiecrat politician in the state who has not introduced some loony tunes bill in the wake of the Newtown tragedy?

  • John W

    “Looney tunes?” Seems pretty common sense to me. And it doesn’t come within a country mile of infringing on Second Amendment rights.

  • Good thing they did the ephedrine ban because now there is no more methamphetamine in our state!

  • Constitutional Right

    The purpose of this law–just like every registration scheme–is to ban guns. After the next shooting, Skinner will use this new government database to limit sales to 1,000 rounds per month (which she already tried to do last year). Then 500. Then 100. Then 10. Then 1. Then none.

    Except, of course, for criminals who never obey any written laws and who will have as much ammo as they can import from other states. That “War on Drugs” has worked out so well, let’s have a War on Guns too!

    If Ms. Skinner was intellectually honest, and really cared about student safety, she would allow teachers with concealed carry permits to carry discreetly at school. Who honestly doesn’t wish a teacher in Connecticut had discreetly carried a gun to school that terrible morning?

  • John W

    Re: #4

    Ah, the old slippery slope! We should never do anything about anything. Because, next thing you know, we’ll all be under the jackboot of tyranny and probably sent away to “camps” if we misbehave. Thank goodness we don’t live in one of those countries that have gun control and have lost all there freedoms. You know, like Great Britain, Canada and Australia. In a truly free country, everybody has guns. You now, like Iraq under Saddam.

    But I do have to admit, this is one occasion when I would have loved it if the principal had been an NRA member with a shotgun and blown the guy’s head off.

  • John W

    “You know,” not “you now.” Autocorrect kills me.

  • For Liberty

    The 2nd Ammendment does not read anything about being an NRA member. Why do you associate the right to bear arms with NRA membership?

  • For Liberty

    Again, another ridiculous law that is nothing more than a useless intrusion on our liberties with NO guarantee for security!

  • John W

    Re: 7 “Why do you associate the right to bear arms with NRA membership?”

    Looking over Josh’s story plus all the comments, the only mention of the NRA is in my post, which makes no such connection. I have the same Second Amendment rights as anybody else, and I would never dream of being an NRA member.

  • Constitutional Right

    Re # 4:

    Yes, the ammo ban is a slippery slope and the purpose of the law is to ultimately ban guns in America in violation of a fundamental right enshrined in our Constitution.

    Concealed carry, of course, is no guarantee you’ll save your life or the lives of those you love. But it
    gives you options and that’s a better chance than nothing.

    The alternative to being armed, leaves you with the laughable recommendations of the California Emergency Management Agency in how to respond to an active shooter:

    “• Throwing items and improvising weapons
    • Yelling
    • Committing to your actions”

    Does anyone who is being intellectually honest truly believe that “improvising weapons” is a better policy than allowing trained and authorized teachers to lawfully carry concealed if they want to? As a parent, I’d feel a lot more comfortable if my son’s teacher was discreetly armed just in case.

  • Arline Mathews

    When Australia had a problem with mass killings they decided to ban weapons. PROBLEM SOLVED. No weapons and no shootings. Over and out.

  • Elwood

    @ arline mathews #11


    Got any links?

  • John W

    Re: #12

    Plenty of stuff online about this. For starters, Google: Christian Science Monitor Could the US learn from Australia’s gun control laws.

    Also interesting is Israel’s refutal of gun lobby claims about the notion that everybody keeps guns there; when, in fact, gun ownership is highly restricted. Google story in Newsmax (conservative news organization): “Israel Rejects US gun lobby claims on its security”

    All that said, the horses are way out of the barn in the US. We are awash in guns, gun culture, violent expression of anger and de-institutionalized mental illness. No meaningful gun restrictions are going to get through the disproportionately GOP Judiciary Committee, whose members include arch-conservatives as Lamar Smith and Louie Gohmert of TX, Jason Chaffetz of Utah and Steve King of Iowa.

    Even if we could get meaningful legislation, I’m not sure how much good it would do in terms of preventing headline events like Columbine, Virginia Tech, Aurora and Newtown; less reported events like the 150+ gun homicides since Newtown, including firefighters shot by some angry dude; or the everyday gang violence that has killed more than 150 innocents and not-so-innocents in Oakland alone just this year.

  • Elwood

    John, have you become somehow opposed to posting links as opposed to titles?

  • John W
  • John W

    Re: 14

    I copied the two URL’s into a reply, but my post didn’t show up. Tried a second time, and got a message back that it duplicated what I already posted.

    Guess I’ll stick with just referencing the stories so that they can be found with an easy, five-second Google search.

    Happy New Year.

  • Josh Richman

    Sorry, John, I just retrieved your links (#15) from the spam filter. Sometimes standalone links get filtered out, even if the person posting them is an already-approved commenter.

  • John W

    No problem, Josh. My bad. I should have known better than to just drop in the links with no accompanying comment.

    I thought you were supposed to be taking a well-deserved holiday break. Retrieving somebody’s links from spam is not my idea of taking a break.

  • allenjames

    How about having a program to lock up the nutty people running around the state. That’s what needed not more control.

  • John W

    Re: 19

    Some people might say that locking up “the nutty people running around the state” covers a big slice of the California population; present company excluded, of course.

  • Elwood

    Re #19

    The CA leg. would be a good place to start.