California Law seeks Fingerprints for ‘Handgun Ammunition’ Sales

On February 1, 2011, the state of California intends to require buyers of handgun ammunition to produce a variety of personal identification documents, information and a set of fingerprint, on-site, with every single purchase of ammo.

California law AB962 also effectively bans mail-order and internet ammo sales up and down the Golden Coast: provisions in the new law stipulate that all “handgun ammunition” sales be conducted through “face-to-face” transactions. And to freak you all you West Coast shooters out even more, note that the phrase “handgun ammunition” leaves ample room for interpretation.  .223 Rem, 30/30, 7.62×39 — all of these have been fired through a pistol in the past and, to the shrewdest of minds, could find themselves on a long list of sporting ammunition covered under the new mandate.

If this seems a little audacious even in the scope of usual back and forth between gun control and gun rights advocacy groups, you’d be right.  Currently, the Department of Justice finds itself steeped in litigation challenging the constitutionality of AB 962.  Parker et al. v. State of California, et al. is scheduled to go to trial January 18, 2011 and the presiding judge has made known he intends to make a ruling before the February 1 institution date.   In kind, the California Department of Justice has not provided any working guidance or definition that would instruct retailers on how to comply with the law.