Mark N writes:
SB 53, California’s dreaded ammunition permit law, was referred back to the Public Safety Committee yesterday for amendment, and it resurfaced today with the following “generous” additional provision . . .
“(c) The department shall issue an ammunition purchase authorization to the applicant if the applicant is a firearms purchaser who submits firearms purchaser information to the department, for a firearm purchase occurring on or after January 1, 2016, passed a background check in connection with that purchase, and that information can be found on the department’s automated system, provided the applicant is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm or a person described in subdivision (a) of Sections 27535. Eligible firearms purchasers shall apply with the department in a manner and form prescribed by the department and are subject to a fee not to exceed the reasonable costs of the actual processing costs of the department, including checking the automated firearms system but not to exceed ten dollars ($10). An application submitted simultaneously with a firearm purchase shall be approved within 10 days if the applicant passes the background check for the firearm purchase.” . . .
In other words, if you buy a firearm, the background check necessary to gain possession will count towards the background check needed to obtain the ammunition permit. (As an aside, the actual permit process doesn’t take effect until 2016 either–until then purchasers have to provide ID and a thumbprint to buy ammo. The Legislature has recognized that the background check for a firearm is more thorough than the felony only check requirement for the ammo permit. (See : below) So why do you have to pay an extra $10 to get the ammo permit?
In this regard, it is significant that California’s DROS system had been running a multimillion dollar surplus over the years, but rather than reduce the fee to actual cost (and to refund the excess fees to payees), the Legislature snagged the money to be used to fund the DOJ’s program to seize weapons from persons who have lost their gun rights. The final blow is the Legislature’s newly added statement of purpose, included no doubt as a defense to the inevitable lawsuits challenging its constitutionality:
Penal Code 30375. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that prohibited persons do not have access to ammunition by requiring that any individual who wants to purchase ammunition in California have a background check. It is further the intent of the Legislature to streamline the ammunition authorization application process as much as possible for ammunition purchasers.
(b) The Legislature finds and declares that due to technological restrictions and cost concerns, a felony-only background check is, currently, the only background check that can be performed for ammunition purchases. This check will prevent the most dangerous of criminals from accessing ammunition. It is the intent of the legislature that this felony-only background check be expanded, once technology allows, to a comprehensive background check parallel to the firearms eligibility background check.
(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that given that the existing firearms eligibility background check is more extensive than the ammunition authorization felony screening, rather than requiring firearms owners to go through a new background check, the department may use automated firearms records of sales to reference the Prohibited Armed Persons File (Section 30000) to verify that a firearms owner has not become prohibited from purchasing ammunition. It is in the interest of public safety to strive for an exhaustive background check system that precludes criminals and other prohibited individuals from purchasing ammunition.