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California Senate Votes to Require
Thumbprint to Buy Bullets
The California Senate has passed a bill that would require ammunition buyers
to provide a thumb print when the purchase is made. But a pro-Second Amendment
group is condemning what it calls "an insidious invasion of privacy."
The Citizens Committee for the Right
to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) says that keeping records on ammunition
sales has proven ineffective in fighting crime. "Requiring a thumbprint
moves this idea into the realm of the ludicrous," said CCRKBA Executive
Director Joe Waldron.
"It's a waste of time and taxpayers' money, but more importantly,
this constitutes a serious privacy issue. If this measure dealt with something
other than a gun control issue, the ACLU would be screaming about
it," Waldron added.
He said if the measure becomes state law, it would be yet another example
of how California lawmakers treat honest gun owners like criminals.
"What comes next?" Waldron asked. "Will citizens be required
to submit a fingerprint to buy a car? Will the next dumb idea force gun
owners to submit their medical records before they can legally buy firearms
Senate Bill 1152 passed the California Senate last week by a vote of
22-16 and now has been sent to the Assembly.
The bill requires that "all vendors of ammunition maintain specified
information" on ammunition buyers, including: (1) the date of the
transaction; (2) the name, address, and date of birth of the buyer; (3)
the buyer's driver's license or other identification number and the state
in which it was issued; (4) the brand, type, and amount of ammunition
bought or transferred; (5) the buyer's signature; (6) the name of the
salesperson who processed the transaction; and (7) "the vendor shall
also at the time of purchase or transfer obtain the right thumbprint of
the purchaser or transferee."
The information would have to be recorded on a special form provided
by the State Department of Justice.
California law already makes it a crime for people who are prohibited
from possessing firearms to possess ammunition. And it is a misdemeanor
for any person to sell ammunition to anyone under the age of 18.
The Senate bill says dealers would have to retain records on ammunition
sales for at least two years. Those records, CCRKBA said, might be used
as evidence in cases where people who are barred from owning guns and
ammunition are charged with illegally buying them.
"If this measure is enacted, it might result in the creation of
a black market for ammunition," said Waldron. "It could also
open the way for retailers to be prosecuted for a technical violation
if they don't get a readable fingerprint. How many gun dealers know the
proper way to roll a thumbprint? Is anybody in Sacramento thinking about
any of this?" he asked.
CCRKBA said gun rights groups fought similar proposals 10 years ago because
they accomplished nothing. "It would appear that some California
lawmakers are no smarter now than they were then," Waldron said.
The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms says it is
dedicated to preserving firearms freedoms through active lobbying of elected
officials and facilitating grass-roots organization of gun rights activists
in local communities throughout the United States.
Ed. Note - For further reading, see Jeff's article
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