Want Ammo? Be Prepared For A Background Check

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California has a number of the strictest gun legal guidelines within the nation — and one of many lowest gun loss of life charges. Public well being specialists consider one results in the opposite.

But even with sturdy legal guidelines, 3,184 people died in gun-related incidents in California in 2017, up from 2,942 in 2014, in line with knowledge from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Roughly half of suicides nationwide are gun-related.

California additionally has had quite a few mass shootings, together with the November 2018 assault on the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, the place a gunman killed 12 folks earlier than killing himself. Last Tuesday, a former worker killed two staff and himself at a Morgan Hill Ford dealership.

Even more durable gun management legal guidelines took impact Monday. California is the primary state within the nation to require anybody shopping for ammunition to undergo a background test on the time of every buy. Ammunition distributors should additionally begin submitting gross sales information to the state Department of Justice.

These new guidelines are a part of Proposition 63, a gun-control package deal accepted by voters in 2016. The measure was launched following the December 2015 shooting at a social companies heart in San Bernardino, the place a husband and spouse killed 14 folks and injured a number of others.

Other items of the package deal had been beforehand applied: Residents and companies should now report misplaced or stolen weapons, web gross sales of ammunition are restricted to licensed distributors, and a few felons should hand over their weapons.

A provision to completely ban the possession of high-capacity magazines — even ones that folks already possess — hasn’t been applied pending litigation.

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Gun management advocates agree that the background test requirement is the important thing piece of this package deal.

California, like many different states, already required background checks to buy firearms.

“But we didn’t have that infrastructure for purchasing ammunition,” mentioned Dr. Garen Wintemute, an emergency room doctor and director of the Violence Prevention Research Program on the University of California-Davis. “And as we sometimes say, guns don’t kill people, bullets do.”

The thought is to maintain weapons and bullets away from those that shouldn’t have them and additional cut back the speed of gun violence, Wintemute mentioned. That additionally helps cut back trauma in communities the place gunshots are a part of the on a regular basis soundtrack, he mentioned.

But some coverage watchers say the brand new guidelines don’t tackle the black market — a key supply of firearms and ammunition for criminals.

“If you can buy a handgun illegally, you can also get ammunition illegally,” mentioned Amy Swearer, a senior authorized coverage analyst with the conservative Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. “It also doesn’t take into account that some people manufacture their own ammunition.”

So how onerous will or not it’s to get ammunition if you need it? Here’s how the brand new rule will — and gained’t — work:

How will the background checks work?

Every time somebody purchases ammunition — in any quantity — from a licensed retailer, she or he must current a California driver’s license or identification card. The vendor will test a state Department of Justice database to see if the customer has a authorized gun and isn’t prohibited from possessing firearms. Each eligibility test will value $1.

The background test for registered gun homeowners ought to take solely seconds, mentioned Ari Freilich, a employees legal professional with the San Francisco-based Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Does this apply to on-line gross sales?

Yes. Online ammo clients should additionally bear background checks.

Another provision affecting on-line purchases took impact earlier this 12 months: Ammunition bought over the web have to be shipped to a licensed retailer, the place the shopper should decide it up in particular person.

Can you purchase ammo out of state to get round these necessities?

Proposition 63 requires that residents shopping for ammunition out of state even have it delivered to a licensed vendor in California, much like folks buying bullets on-line. The law prohibits folks from transporting ammunition purchased out of state into California.

A primary offense shall be thought of an infraction. A subsequent offense may end in a misdemeanor cost.

How is California’s new background test rule distinctive?

Four different states — Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts and New Jersey — require people to acquire a allow or license after passing a background test that permits them to purchase ammunition for a time frame. California is the primary to require a background test each time somebody buys ammo.

New York adopted a regulation much like California’s that has not but been enacted, Freilich mentioned.

What occurred to the ban on high-capacity magazines?

Since 2000, California has prohibited residents from shopping for or promoting high-capacity magazines, equipment that enable shooters to fireside extra bullets with out reloading. But individuals who had them earlier than the ban had been allowed to maintain them.

Proposition 63 would finish this — which means people who already owned high-capacity magazines additionally must eliminate them.

The National Rifle Association’s state chapter filed a lawsuit arguing that the Proposition 63 ban on high-capacity magazines violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Earlier this 12 months, a federal choose agreed, however the state is interesting the choice.

Use Our Content This story may be republished without spending a dime (details).

This KHN story first revealed on California Healthline, a service of the California Health Care Foundation.

Ana B. Ibarra:”>, @ab_ibarra

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