Second Amendment activists are celebrating a California court's decision to block a pending state law that would restrict the sale of certain types of handgun ammunition.
A Fresno County Superior Court Judge says parts of the measure, set to take effect next month, would overstep constitutional bounds, calling the law's definitions for 'handgun' and 'ammunition' too vague. However, the bill's author plans to appeal the ruling, claiming that California has recognized its definitions for three decades.
Modeled after a Sacramento city ordinance, the law would have required that all handgun ammunition purchases take place in a face-to-face interaction with merchants. In addition, anyone trying to purchase handgun ammo would have been required to give a thumb print and present a state-issued photo ID, making ammo purchases easy to track. When it was signed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, he said the measure was put in place to “keep communities safe, and prevent dangerous felons from committing crimes with firearms.”
Part of the law would have forced gun shop operators to store ammunition behind the counter. Opponents say a similar mandate with spray paint cans didn't cut down on acts of graffiti, nor will the measure in question prevent violent crime.
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve certainly sympathized with victims of gun violence,” said Chuck Michel, attorney for the California Rifle and Pistol Association. “This law would not have done anything to protect us from violent criminals.”
For Second Amendment supporters, this case sheds light on what they have long argued is the faulty logic of gun control schemes – it's impossible to codify violent activity out of existence, that is, to get malicious people to abide by the law. All attempts to do so have only hampered law-abiding citizens in their ability to protect themselves and their own.