We temporarily dodged another attack on our civil liberties in California. From Sacramento:
Attorney General Bill Lockyer has shelved a novel gun-control measure that would have required manufacturers to stamp microscopic serial numbers on all handgun ammunition sold in California.
Sen. Joe Dunn, a Garden Grove Democrat carrying the legislation for the attorney general, said he needed more time to resolve a heated debate over how much the potentially landmark tracking system would cost and who would pay for it.
The bill, SB 357, has passed the Senate and is pending in an Assembly fiscal committee as the Legislature pushes through its final three weeks of this year’s session. The measure may be taken up where it sits next year, the second in the two-year session.
The legislation would require manufacturers to imprint or etch a serial number on the end of each slug or bullet starting in 2009. Boxes of cartridges bearing the same number could then be linked to purchasers with the swipe of a driver’s license at the time of sale.
Dunn said he will work during the coming months to resolve fears that his bill could pose a financial burden on some law enforcement personnel who are required to purchase ammunition for training.
“It’s a legitimate question that we will respond to,” Dunn said.
He was less optimistic about bringing manufacturers together with companies that have developed methods to code ammunition. Regardless, he predicted the measure will be delivered to the governor next year.
However, opponents say Lockyer and Dunn have yet to sell the proposal to much of the state’s law enforcement community.
Prominent organizations, such as those representing the state’s district attorneys and police chiefs, have declined to endorse the bill, noted Lawrence Keane, general counsel of the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers’ Institute, an industry trade group better known as SAAMI.
“I think it’s pretty clear that law enforcement by and large is not supporting this effort,” Keane said.
Manufacturers say the proposal would force expensive changes on a high-volume, low-margin business. Keane and others have warned the required manufacturing modifications would either drive companies out of business or result in steep price increases.
It doesn’t bother them it how much it would cost private citizens or how a black market of out of state or stolen ammo would fill the “market niche”. It only bothers them that it would be a burden to law enforcement. I guess that means they serve the state and not the people. Does the phrase “Police State” ring a bell with anyone?