California Lawmaker Proposes New Controls on Bullet Sales

In an effort to curb gun violence, a California lawmaker has proposed legislation that would tighten oversight of bullet sales.

State Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner on Monday (January 7) introduced a bill that would impose a host of new regulations on ammunition dealers. The Democrat's proposal would require anyone selling or transferring ammunition to be a licensed firearms dealer and to report sales to the state Department of Justice. Additionally, dealers would be required to report large sales over a five-day period to local law enforcement, if the buyer is not a peace officer.

The legislation would also ban kits that convert ammunition feeders into high-capacity magazines. California law already bars magazines that can hold  10 or more rounds, but it does not address conversion kits.

Currently, Skinner told KABC-TV in Los Angeles, “It is easier in California to buy bullets than to buy alcohol, cigarettes or Sudafed cold medicine.”

California is just one of many states considering gun control measures in the wake of last month's massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Skinner's proposal is part of a novel twist in the debate. With some 300 million guns saturating the U.S. market, some gun control advocates say regulating bullets, which degrade over time, could be more feasible.

In Connecticut, for instance, two Democratic legislators are proposing a new 50 percent sales tax on bullets as part of broader gun control measures.

Of course, such arguments are unlikely to win over gun rights advocates, who argue that new taxes or regulations will only impede law abiding citizens — not the true criminals.

“None of these measures, had they been in place, would have done a single thing to prevent what happened,” California Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a Republican, told KABC-TV.