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SB 53 would mandate a permit to purchase ammunition in state

By JIM MATTHEWS We are guilty until proven innocent. That is the basic premise of a new law working its way through the legislature in Sacramento – SB 53. This bill would require that everyone who buys ammunition purchase an “ammunition purchasing permit” ($50 initially with a $14 fee every two years after the initial fee) and become part of a registry of ammunition buyers. The permit would require a thumbprint and background check to make sure you’re not on the list of people who are prohibited from possessing firearms. Ironically, this bill was co-authored last year by Leland Yee, the Democrat legislator who has been jailed on corruption, bribery and – wait for it – weapons charges. The principal author is Kevin De Leon, another anti-gun crusader. The bill was pulled out of the suspense file and polished up for another run at passage this year. The goofy rationale for the bill is that apparently some people who are prohibited from owning firearms have legally purchased ammunition. This bill “will make ammunition accessible only to lawful gun owners, and not dangerous criminals,” according to the legislative analysis. But, but, but…. If those dangerous criminals can’t have firearms, the ammunition is useless. Why do we have to punish legal gun owners under a false guise of preventing criminals from getting ammunition? An analogy for the non-gun owner who thinks all this gun nonsense is logical: We have thousands of people in the state who have had DUIs, many who have killed other innocent drivers or pedestrians, but they can continue to buy alcoholic beverages. We should make it illegal for them to buy booze. And then we should create a registry of all people who buy alcoholic beverages (that costs $50 to get and then another $14 to renew every two years), so we’ll know if anyone who’s had a DUI tries to buy booze. That would solve the DUI problem in California, right? In addition, we should pass laws that mandate you take a special class if you want to own a pocketable flask. Certain flasks would be deemed illegal on the basis of how their caps attached or their size and construction. You could not buy cases of beer that held more than 10 bottles or cans or that had screw-off or pop-top openings. You'd have to use an old can or bottle opener. You could only buy wine and hard liquor in single bottles, and only buy four per month. And every time you wanted to buy booze, you’d have pay for a background check (to make sure you didn’t have a DUI) and wait 10 days to pick it up. Sound stupid to you? Those are essentially all the gun laws we have in California. And there are far more people killed in the state by alcohol than guns each year. We already have some of the most stringent (and stupid) gun laws in the country. Relate all of these to the alcohol example: We have to have a permit to buy a handgun and pass a test. Only certain handguns are allowed to be sold in California under the guise that some are unsafe (including the most advanced and modern handguns made in the world). We can buy a new semi-automatic rifle without detachable magazines (but if you own an older one that has detachable magazines, that is OK). We can only buy one handgun per month. Whenever we buy a handgun or long gun we must pass a background check, and there’s a 10-day waiting period before we can take possession of the gun. Felons, or other prohibited persons, who try to buy guns legally, get flagged by the background check and denied. For them to do this is a felony. Of course, those who are flagged as ineligible to own a gun are virtually never prosecuted for the felony. Less than one percent of background checks are denied (.6 percent) and of those about 80 percent are convicted criminals who have been denied gun ownership. Nationwide in 2010, there were over 70,000 criminal denials and only 44 prosecutions. I can’t find any record of California prosecutions. So, I want you to get this squared away in your brain: Our brilliant state legislators want to pass a background check law for ammunition to prevent criminals from getting ammunition. There is already a law preventing them from buying firearms. This law is essentially never used to prosecute those crooks stupid enough to try to buy guns legally, committing a felony in the process. Please call De Leon and ask him to explain why that is so. If we’re not enforcing the gun background check law as intended, why are we now passing the ammunition background check version? Are we trying to get the bad guys? If so shouldn’t we enforce existing laws that would put people behind bars before adding more burdens on the public and law enforcement with another law? And if that’s not the point, what’s the real point? Of course it’s not about crime. The point is simply that most of our legislatures don’t like gun owners -- the legal ones. You and me. They want to tax/fee us and harass us and continue to ban more types of guns even though none of these things have any impact on crime or mass shootings. They don’t care about the criminal element or the criminally insane. They know crooks and crazies are going to get guns and ammunition (and drugs and booze) and that banning or restricting firearms or ammunition is symbolic. They know they can convince their constituency (many who can’t think their way out of a paper bag) to buy in to the lunacy. SB 53 is just so dishonest and disingenuous for thinking people. But wait, there’s more. There are currently four other anti-gun bills moving through the legislature that are equally ill conceived. Here’s a brief summary: The worst is AB 1014 (Skinner). This is a scary bill that would allow anyone to request that a court-order gun violence restraining order be issued against you or me. We would be assumed guilty (is the theme sounding familiar?), guns confiscated, and then have one shot in writing to convince a judge the order is unjustified and grant a hearing. A hearing. No guarantee of a jury of our peers. There’s no mandate for any proof of gun violence for the “gun-violence request” to be approved. If your neighbor (or ex-romantic partner, teacher, boss, employee, checker at WalMart) thinks you’re guilty, you are guilty. This is backwards and very frightening. SB 199 (also De Leon) would mandate that all BB guns be brightly colored or transparent. This is another recycled bill that would make Red Riders really red. Do I even need to comment on this one? SB 808 (again De Leon) requires that homemade firearms be registered with the Department of Justice and have a serial number. This is the anti-gunners getting back at gun owners who have been making their own kit guns legally. Since we’re not supposed to have a registry of long guns in California, making your own should not be a problem. Another bill that has nothing to do with criminal activity, and everything to do with harassing legal gun owners and small business that make the extensive-assembly-and-machining required kits. AB 1609 (Alejo) would increase the penalty for a resident who imports a handgun into the state without conducting the transfer through a firearms dealer. Only legal gun owners comply with this provision now. This is another stupid bill that would never be enforced on a criminal, but might be used against a legal gun owner who simply doesn’t know about the rule. If all gun owners were black or Hispanic or Asian, these laws would be seen as state-sanctioned racism. But since we are of all colors and races, the media and non-gun owners somehow miss that all anti-gun legislation is just broad-based discrimination against a class of people who believe in firearms ownership. END

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