Editorial: Fingerprints on ammo sales

Not surprisingly, the San Francisco Chronicle is all for legislation that requires firearms retailers to check a purchaser's identification and take a thumbprint when selling handgun ammunition. In an Oct. 5 editorial, it said the new law "would close this gaping loophole in efforts to keep our streets safe from gun violence.

"Assemblyman Kevin de Leon, the Los Angeles Democrat who authored the bill, noted that a gun without ammunition 'is like a syringe without the drug.' 'It would not stop the sale,' he emphasized, but it would provide a record that law enforcement could later check. Similar rules are on the books in Los Angeles and Sacramento, but such patchwork laws are meaningless when a criminal can readily go to a neighboring town where no questions are asked and no records are kept. In the Los Angeles area, for example, no such laws prevail in Compton's abundance of gun shops."

"AB962 also would require vendors to keep their handgun ammunition out of immediate reach of customers, similar to the requirements on the stocking of spray paints, cigarettes or cold medicine. And it would require that purchases via mail order or the Internet would have to be picked up at a dealer who would check ID and take the thumbprint.

"This bill represents a sensible attempt to control the flow of ammunition to the criminals without constraining the rights of law-abiding citizens. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should sign it into law."

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