It’s okay for John Connor fight the evil Cyberdyne’s Skynet with more firepower than most delta force squads, but a regular Joe who is trying to protect his property from criminals must be fingerprinted. This is the new edict from California’s “Governator” Arnold Schwarzenegger. The star of such shoot’em ups as “The Terminator,” “Predator,” “Total Recall,” and “True Lies,” now apparently does not trust his own constituents to purchase ammunition. Ammunition dealers in California must now fingerprint all purchasers of handgun ammo and keep a record of their sale for the next 5 years. To make sure you don’t try to skip over the database they have modeled this law after a gun law in which all purchases must be done in person, i.e. no online sales, so supposedly no one can fool the system. On top of this you must also provide photo ID to verify that these are your finger prints. They even were trying to make all dealers selling over 50 rounds a month to be registered with the state, but this provision was stripped in a “compromising” deal. The new law goes into effect in February 2011. This new bill raises many questions, besides the obvious question of “What are you thinking?” Some question I have are, what about current ammo stockpiles. Will they need to be registered? Will police conduct campaigns to search for them and force complience? All I know is that this typically does not end in more liberty nor safety for law abiding citizens.
As commonly known, and by definition, laws to don’t affect criminals because criminals already disregard laws and find ways around them. In a report from Gun Owners of America they have found that higher state scores on the Brady Campaign’s Scorecard, or in other terms how strict their gun laws are, results in higher rates of violent crime. According to the report:
“Brady’s “best” had an average murder rate of 8.7, while their “worst” averaged 5.3, 64.5% lower. Also, Brady’s “worst” average robbery rate was 85.0 and the aggravated assault rate was 273.2, while their “best” average robbery rate was 243.1 (186.1% higher) and the aggravated assault rate was 304.3 (11.4% higher).”
California scores the highest on their card, yet according to FBI statistics 2006 they had one of the highest rates of violent crime.
In the current Supreme Court session these laws however might become voided. A challenge has recently reached the highest court to the Chicago handgun ban. It will for the first time raise the question of incorporation of the 2nd amendment through the 14th amendment for state and local gun laws. For the most part the Bill of Rights has been incorporated, excluding the Grand Jury clause of the 5th, and the 7th amendment. The 8th was almost fully incorporated but in Murphy v. Hunt the excessive fines/bail clause was not given a chance for incorporation because the case was found moot leaving it for a later date. Should the court rule that the 2nd amendment is incorporated, then challenges to restrictive laws like microstamping and pistol permits might also reach the Supreme Court. Yet gun rights supporters must not count their chickens before their eggs have hatched. If they rule that the states can place heavy restrictions, even complete bans, it could set a dangerous precedent allowing states to outlaw firearms at will. With the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor we cannot expect any support for this from her.Published in