California's new background check requirements for ammunition purchases appear to be stopping far more legal gun owners than prohibited purchasers, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The Bee reported Wednesday that numbers from the state's Department of Justice show that nearly 1 in 5 attempted ammunition purchases were rejected by state authorities between July 1 and November.
California's ammo background check law went into effect at the beginning of July. The California Department of Justice administers the program, which cost buyers an extra $1 on top of the cost of their purchase and requires store clerks to check purchaser information against two different databases. The measure was passed by a California voters in 2016 as Proposition 63. The California Department of Justice lists the requirements for ammunition purchase eligibility on its website.
In total, more than 345,000 ammunition background checks were performed in the July-November time frame, according to the figures, but only 101 of those checks flagged someone legally prohibited from buying ammunition. Outside of those prohibited purchasers, there were another 62,000 purchasers who were turned away because the information on their I.D. cards didn't match what was in the state's system or hadn't been entered into it.
One of those rejected purchasers was Sutter County Sheriff's Deputy Zachary Berg, who was barred from buying shotgun shells at hardware store ahead of a hunting trip last month because his information didn't match what was on the state database.
"It's a little ironic the fact I'm a deputy that I can't buy ammunition," Berg said. "But at the same time, anybody else who's legally allowed to, they shouldn't be denied based on address (errors). ... It's just crazy."
Former California Highway Patrol officer and Vietnam veteran Dan Logan, 72, told the paper that he tried to register a gun in order to get his information in the Department of Justice system, but was nevertheless denied when he tried to buy shotgun shells in October.
However, the state's former Democratic Senate leader Kevin de Leon says the rejected purchases are merely "technical problems" that can be easily overcome.
"To the NRA and others who don't believe that we should keep our communities safe from gunfire," de Leon told the newspaper, "I would say stop the hyperbole over a technical issue that's easily solvable and be part of the solution to reduce dramatically the numbers of needless killings that happen in our communities every single day."
The figures were made public in the court documents of an ongoing lawsuit against the background check requirement brought by the California Rifle & Pistol Association and Olympic shooter Kim Rhode.
(H/T: Bearing Arms)