California lawmaker introduces gun ammunition-control bill

January 7, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
Lawmakers introduced a new bill Monday to tighten the rules when it comes to buying gun ammunition in California. On the first day back at the Capitol, lawmakers introduce new legislation in an effort to curb gun violence.

The ammo control bill would require people buying ammunition to show identification, and sellers would have to report all ammo sales to the state Justice Department.

The 2013 Legislative Session officially began Monday. School safety is a top priority.

State and local leaders held a moment of silence to pay respects to the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook, Conn., school shooting. Then State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) introduced AB 48 to regulate ammunition sales in California.

"It is easier in California to buy bullets than to buy alcohol, cigarettes or Sudafed cold medicine," said Skinner.

Skinner's proposal seeks to:

- Require ammunition dealers to be licensed
- Buyers must present identification
- All sales are to be reported to the California Department of Justice with local law enforcement notified when transactions involve large quantities
- Conversion kits that allow high-capacity magazines will be banned.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) says that won't work.

"None of these measures, had they been in place, would have done a single thing to prevent what happened," said Donnelly.

In fact, Donnelly is readying a different proposal to have at least one anonymous person at each school armed.

"We haven't had a single hijacking since 9/11, and I think it is in large part due to the presence of air marshals," said Donnelly. "So why don't we have a school marshals program?"

As lawmakers hammer out how to improve school safety in California, Senator Leland Yee (D-San Francisco) has been getting taunting messages for his proposal to close a loophole that enables shooters to re-load faster.

"Rather than dealing with the heart of an issue, that they resort to racist innuendos, suggestions, and it's just really unfortunate," said Yee.

According to the campaign-finance watchdog group Common Cause, unlike in Washington, DC, the gun lobby in California has not been particularly strong, so gun control measures have a good chance of passage.