California’s New Ammunition Background Check Law Misfires

California’s New Ammunition Background Check Law Misfires



“California’s New Ammunition Background Check Law Misfires,” wrote U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, as he blocked background checks for ammunition buyers in The Golden State.

The San Diego-based U.S. District Judge granted a preliminary injunction against the rule after the California Rifle and Pistol Association and SCI life member/six-time Olympic medalist skeet shooter Kim Rhode sued the state.

California voters approved Proposition 63 in 2016. Prop 63 included background checks as well as a ban on high-capacity magazine for firearms, according to an NBC News report.

“California’s new ammunition background check law misfires, and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his opinion. “In this action, Plaintiffs seek a preliminary injunction enjoining California’s onerous and convoluted new laws requiring ammunition purchase background checks and implementing ammunition anti-importation laws.”

The judge agreed with the plaintiffs that the checks hurt legal ammo buyers while doing little to prevent criminals from obtaining firepower. “Criminals, tyrants and terrorists don’t do background checks,” Benitez wrote.

California is the first state to implement such a process on ammunition. New York enacted ammunition screening in 2013 but it never went into effect.

It is unknown if the state will seek to appeal this decision. Predictably, anti-gun ownership groups have said they would support an appeal. The nonprofit Brady: United Against Gun Violence said it would support an appeal and called the decision “unprecedented.”

SCI will continue reporting on this issue as new developments occur. Stay tuned for further information!

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