California Gun Lobby Freaks Out Over Fingerprinting

Test program led to 200 arrests; Gun lobby says that doesn't count

A new California law requires firearm dealers to -- gasp -- fingerprint people who buy ammo, and the "hardest hitting, most effective, toughest fighting pro-gun organization in the state of California" is not happy about it.

But before you hole up in your bunker, be aware Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger says Assembly Bill 962 will actually help protect gun owners and the public.

The law requires firearms dealers and ammunition stores to keep a registry of their handgun ammunition sales -- including the identification and fingerprints of the buyers -- and make it available to law enforcement agencies starting February 2011. It also bans all mail-order and Internet sales of ammunition and reloading components.

According to Schwarzenegger's office, similar legislation in Sacramento led to the arrest of 200 dangerous criminals.

Even so, Gun Owners of California called the law "a liberal feel-good log-book that will do nothing to stop crime."

Interesting take, gun lobby -- because historically the arrest of 200 dangerous criminals counts as stopping crime. No? Doesn't count? OK, what else you got?

Gun Owners of California say:

"...state law cannot regulate the U.S. Postal Service, nor can it prevent the shipment of any of the above-listed items into California. (The U.S. Postal Service does not ship loaded ammunition.)"

It seems like the point here is that California can approve all the laws it wants but gun owners know how to get around them. So then why even oppose AB962? Sounds like it doesn't actually affect gun owners -- they've already figured out all the loopholes.

Next up on the opposition checklist is the tale of the crippled spray paint industry. For the love of God, won't somebody think of the spray paint industry?

"California stands to loose [sic] millions of dollars in sales tax revenue, as evidenced by a similar law regulating spray paint. When canned pray [sic] paint was put in locked cases, the industry saw a drop of between 25% and 34% in sales. That translates to a loss of approximately $3,000,000 a year in sales tax revenues to the state."

Assuming the annual cost of a prisoner in California is $50,000, let's just release 60 inmates (nonviolent offenders, of course). The state is already planning to cut the prison population by 23,000 people. What are 60 more people between friends? Hell, make it 120 inmates.

And the grand finale of AB962 opposition is an instant classic.

One issue the Governor and the author fail to mention is that anyone who acquires handgun ammunition, either from within California or any other state, or reloads their own, can give it away to anybody they want and they would not be in violation of AB 962. Criminals included.

Technically that's not a violation of AB 962 -- but we're still pretty sure the judicial system likes to charge and convict accessories in crimes. Criminals included.

Flimsy arguments aside, the new law takes effect until Feb. 1, 2011.

So in the meantime, gun lovers, feel free to stock up on all the ammo you can handle. You'll need it for when the government comes to take away your guns.

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