With millions of new gun owners and pretty much everyone wanting ammo, now is probably a bad time to have to undergo a background check to purchase ammunition. Of course, the state of California has never really cared all that much for the convenience of gun owners. Quite the opposite, in fact. I personally have thought that was a feature, not a bug. At least in California lawmakers’ minds.
Not that it matters anymore.
You see, on Thursday, a judge gave the old heave-ho to the law requiring such stupidity.
A federal judge in California ruled that a law requiring background checks to purchase ammunition violates the Second Amendment.
Voters approved toughening California firearms laws to include background checks on ammo purchases in 2016, and the restrictions took effect last July. The California Rifle & Pistol Association filed a lawsuit against the state shortly after.
U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez called the law “onerous and convoluted” and “constitutionally defective.”
“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez, a Bush appointee, wrote in the ruling.
California Attorney General Xavier Bacerra, of course, isn’t a fan of the ruling. He argues that the law prevented some 750 criminals from obtaining ammunition. In a state of almost 40 million people and nearly 170,000 square miles, it stopped 750.
That’s a bit over one per 1,000 square miles.
Yeah, that law did all kinds of stopping of bad guys. For the record, more people were shot in Los Angeles alone than that.
The problem with the law was two-fold. First, there were the constitutional arguments, which are what went to court and got the law tossed. The second was that the law was just a complete clusterflop in general.
On one hand, it made things virtually impossible for law-abiding citizens to buy ammunition. On the other, the most it did was send bad guys out of state to buy ammo, with some undoubtedly stocking up in nearby Nevada and bringing it back to fill the demand in the newly created black market for ammunition.
But hey, they stopped a whopping 750 bad guys in the entire freaking state.
Judge Benitez is the same judge who overturned California’s magazine restrictions, so I’d say it’s safe to say he understands the Second Amendment quite well.
Bacerra will undoubtedly file an appeal and try to take this to a higher court. With luck, this will end up before the Supreme Court where it can be smacked down so hard no one ever tries to pass this kind of foolishness again. Law-abiding Americans shouldn’t be treated like criminals just because they’re trying to buy ammunition for their firearms.
Especially when we know that the law is so damn well ineffective as to be practically meaningless. While the state can tout a few bad guys who didn’t get to buy ammo in a gun store, he can’t point to a corresponding drop in crime that can be attributed to such stupidity. Even if he could, it wouldn’t matter.
Good job, Judge Benitez.
Edited to add: Cam will be touching on this on today’s Cam & Company, so be sure to check it out!