California Tries to Tackle Gun Violence with Ammo Control

In many states, ammunition is easier to buy than cold medicine but in California, which already enforces some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, there is a movement underway against the unfettered sale of bullets, The New York Times reports.

Gun control advocates in California have pushed to limit internet sales, ban large-capacity magazines, require sellers to have licenses, raise taxes on bullets, and mandate serial numbers or other traceable markings on ammunition so that the police can more easily track them.

Such regulations, several of which have been enacted and take effect this year and next, are inspired by the view that the best way to limit gun violence is to approach it as a “bullet control” problem.

The Times adds that across the U.S., bullets remain subject to far fewer federal restrictions than the weapons that fire them. Purchasing ammunition typically requires no form of identification, is handed over with no questions asked and, in most of the country, can be ordered online and delivered to doorsteps.

In contrast, gun dealers have to keep detailed sales records of firearms and generally have to be licensed – if someone buys more than one handgun, the purchase is reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

According to the Sacramento Bee, California leads the nation when it comes to gun safety, but it still needs to catch up on gun safety – and one of the issues is concealed carry permits.

Under current state law, it is legal for a person who has never fired a gun to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public. The Legislature just passed Assembly Bill 2103, which requires that all concealed weapon permit applicants demonstrate their ability to safely handle firearms.

This law is common sense; 25 other states have passed similar laws requiring applicants to undergo live-fire training before obtaining a concealed carry permit, the Sacramento Bee notes.

To get a concealed carry license in California, applicants must prove they have completed a course in firearm safety that included knowledge of current gun laws. Many sheriffs have gone beyond the law to require live-fire training, but that isn’t mandated in every county. It shouldn’t be possible for someone to spend an afternoon in a classroom, pay a fee and get a permit without ever proving they can safely handle a firearm, the news outlet adds.

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