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California passes law mandating background checks before ammunition sales

So far, it is the only state in the country with such a law in place

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California has passed a law that will require people to pass background checks before they can purchase ammunition.

Here's what we know

"At the end of the day, it is a perverse fact: Guns don't kill people. Unless a gun is used as a blunt instrument, a gun is not particularly dangerous," Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said in a press conference on Tuesday. "A gun requires a dangerous component and that's ammunition. It is rather curious why we advocate background checks on guns, but then we limit any consideration, at least nationally, to that dangerous component: ammunition."

He said that people are questioned before they by Sudafed from a pharmacy, "right now, at this moment, as we speak, you can buy unlimited rounds of ammunition on your smartphone. Have it delivered to your home the next day." He said that this legal ammunition could then be used in illegally obtained firearms.

These background checks would cost one dollar and would have to be completed before every purchase. There would not be a delay or waiting period, but the purchaser's name would be entered into a database to determine if they were permitted to make the purchase. The California Department Of Justice will oversee the implementation of this new system.

This has apparently led to a surge in ammunition purchases before the background checks start. "We have had a lot more bulk purchases starting as early as last week for people really scrambling to get as much ammunition," The Guns Store co-operation manager Kellyn Skalko told KTXL-TV.

But Shalko added that she thought, ultimately, that the law would not make much of a difference. "It comes across as a bit more of a headache, a little bit more of a nuisance because a lot of people in the firearm industry don't genuinely believe this is going to deter anything," she said. "It's just making it harder for people who already follow the laws."

This law will go into effect on July 1. California is the only state to require a background check before the purchase of ammunition, something Newsome said should be "a point of pride" for the state. The state already has strict laws regarding the purchase of firearms.

One last thing…
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