California is in the midst of a legal battle over a law that should have taken effect more than a year ago requiring people to appear in person and be fingerprinted to buy handgun ammunition.
The law, now on hold because of a court order that prohibits it from being enforced, does not require a background check, according to the San Francisco Chronicle
But a spokesman for it’s chief sponsor, state Sen. Kevin de León, told the newspaper the law would create “a level of awareness” among appropriate authorities that possibly could prevent a situation similar to the shooting tragedy that unfolded in Aurora, Colorado last Friday morning.
Prior to that incident, in which 12 people were killed in a movie theater, the alleged shooter James Holmes reportedly purchased thousands of rounds of handgun ammunition over the Internet.
According to the Chronicle, the California law was ruled to be constitutionally “too vague” by a Fresno County judge in January of 2011, just days before it was to take effect. The judge agreed with gun retailers and the California Rifle and Pistol Association that dealers wouldn’t know whether the ammunition they were selling was intended “principally” for handguns because some bullets can be used in both handguns and rifles.
State Attorney General Kamala Harris has appealed the ruling, however, arguing that gun dealers are certainly well aware of which kind of ammo is used most often in handguns. A hearing in the case is expected early next year, the Chronicle reported.
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