And, in case anyone was looking for some economic insult to go with the constitutional injury, the new California statute charges prospective buyers the cost of running the background check.
“From San Bernardino to Ventura to Poway, too many Californians have already died from gun violence,” California Governor Gavin Newsom declared last week. “I championed Prop. 63 because it is beyond time that we take common sense actions such as these to keep deadly ammo out of the wrong hands and protect our communities.”
In 2016 while “serving” as lieutenant governor, Newsom was an outspoken proponent of the proposition that garnered the support of over 63 percent of voters in the Golden State.
The text of the new law makes it very clear that a large majority of Californians could not possibly care less about the right to keep and bear arms. The new law:
Requires background check and Department of Justice authorization to purchase ammunition. Prohibits possession of large capacity ammunition magazines. Establishes procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by specified persons. Requires Department of Justice's participation in federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Unless that’s not clear enough, the state Attorney General published the following guide to understanding the proposition’s purposes and penalties:
Proposition 63 required individuals who wish to purchase ammunition to first obtain a permit. The measure mandated dealers to check this permit before selling ammunition. The measure also eliminated several exemptions to the large-capacity magazines ban and increased the penalty for possessing them. Proposition 63 enacted a court process that attempts to ensure prohibited individuals do not continue to have firearms.
It’s irrefutably intellectually dishonest to claim a cause-and-effect relationship between guns and armed violence, so there must be something else that motivated millions of Californians to approve such severe restrictions on the purchase of ammunition.
One of the likely impulses propelling such prohibitions was the intent to make bullets too expensive for people to purchase in bulk.
An article published at townhall.com provided the following cost analysis as evidence of the effect of the new “law:”
A $14 box of 50 rounds of .9mm will now cost $34 ($1 for the background check, $19 for the basic ammunition eligibility check if they aren't in the Dealer Record of Sale system). That means that the price per round jumps from .35 to .68. That's just about double the current price. And that's just what they're proposing fee wise. It hasn't been finalized yet. Most Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) generally charge $25-$30 every time they run a background check and we have no idea if they'll have to tack on that fee. Remember, they have to be paid for their time as well.
Predictably, gun owners in California have started stockpiling ammunition while it’s still affordable and before they have to consent to having their personal data collected and added to a federal database of gun/ammo owners.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times:
Even with a possible delay, gun owners have been stockpiling ammunition. OC Guns store owner Scott Bodkin said sales of ammunition have doubled at his Lake Forest store in recent weeks.
“People are gearing up for it,” he said of the new law.
“They are buying a lot. They don’t like it. It’s just another typical California deterrent to make things tougher for gun owners.”
The Sacramento-area firm Ammo Depot has leased a freeway billboard warning of the new law and urging “Get your ammo now!”
Mike Hein of Ade’s Gun Shop in Orange said ammunition sales in recent months have jumped by more than 10%, including an increase of customers making bulk buys of as many as 1,000 rounds.
“People are starting to stock up. We stocked up on ammunition,” he said. “Most people know about the deadline. They are running scared. They are pissed off.”
As Americans, these ammo-amassing Californians come by that anger honestly.
Savvy readers should remember that the “shot heard ‘round the world” on Lexington Green was fired because King George III sent British troops to seize the patriots’ ammunition stockpile stored outside of that small Massachusetts village.
Guns without ammunition are just clubs and clubs aren’t a good match for the war-fighting weapons possessed by the government.
Which reminds me, why is it that people who push for disarmament (or any of the incremental steps leading to it) push only for civilian disarmament? Why do they never insist that government give up its weapons?
Remember, giving a monopoly over all ammunition and weapons to the very entity (government) responsible for over 300 million murders in the 20th century isn’t exactly the act of someone who really wants a safer world.
Furthermore, laws like that about to go into effect in California will eventually leave private citizens powerless to oppose future slaughters.
And, since the California statute — and all similar measures passed by other states — points to ending armed atrocities as the reason for the restrictions, it is appropriate to remind readers that all the murders committed by all the murderers in the history of the world don’t amount to a fraction of the brutal killings committed by governments and their authorized agents using the very weapons and ammunition over which they will exercise absolute control should “laws” like that soon to be enforced in California spread to her sister states.
Finally, on that point, speaking at the California Democratic Party convention in San Francisco on June 1, Governor Newsom proposed requiring background checks for anyone anywhere trying to buy a gun or a single round of ammo.
“Grow up. Recognize and reconcile that we live in the only country in the world where anything like this happens,” Newsom said, referring to President Trump. “He has completely failed to address this issue in any meaningful way. The words become insulting the more they are repeated [with] no action to follow them up. His positions are extreme.”
“We just don’t need background checks on guns, we need background checks on every single ammunition purchase,” Newsom said.
“We need to get serious about keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous and previously convicted felons, we need to make sure we address the issue of people who are dangerously mentally ill.”
In an article covering the state party’s convention, the Los Angeles Times reported, “In his proposed budget, Newsom has incorporated funding increases for a state program to seize guns from thousands more people who are ineligible to possess firearms because of criminal convictions or mental illness, as well as for the Firearms Violence Research Center at UC Davis.”
I’m going to give the last word to a man whose family put their lives and livelihood in great danger in order to secretly supply patriot forces with ammunition during the American War for Independence: St. George Tucker. Tucker wrote:
This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty.... The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction.
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