- Front from left to right: Assemblymember Nancy Skinner, Diane Brown, President of the United Teachers of Richmond, Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Mayor Jean Quan.
In the midst of nationwide demands for the reduction in gun violence, Assemblymember Nancy Skinner this week unveiled Ammo Bill – AB-40 to regulate ammunition and ban high-capacity magazines.
Outside the Elihu M. Harris State Building in downtown Oakland Skinner brought together a coalition of law enforcement officials, city council members, school board members and elected officials at a press conference Monday.
“When it’s easier to purchase ammo than buying tobacco, cold medicine or alcohol we have a major problem, and this new bill will turn things around,” said Skinner. “This new bill will require ammunition sellers to be licensed, request identification from buyers and report all sales to the Department of Justice.”
The bill requires the Department of Justice to generate a registry of ammunition purchases to be made available to law enforcement agencies and calls for a ban on ammo converter kits for high-capacity magazines.
According to Skinner the alleged gunman in Aurora, Colorado amassed 6,000 rounds of ammunition over a few-week period without raising red flags.
In Newtown, Connecticut, police found the shooter had multiple high-capacity magazines.
“The gunman in Colorado stockpiled ammunition, and in Newtown, the shooter had hundreds of unspent rounds. While incidents like Aurora and Newtown may be rare, we can’t let ammunition stockpiling go unnoticed,” said Skinner.
New Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and re-elected City Councilmember Larry Reid also attended the press conference.
“We must curb gun violence in our cities, and controlling the sale of ammunition is key,” said City Council President Larry Reid.
“AB 48 will regulate the loose system in place and make it harder to purchase ammunition and ban high-capacity magazines and this is just the beginning,” said Bonta.
“We are continuing to lose our children to gun violence. This rampant gun violence has to end. AB-48 is the right step towards curbing large purchases of ammunition and the large capacity magazines. It’s absolutely unacceptable that an individual can buy thousands of rounds of ammunition over a short period of time without law enforcement detecting this,” he said.
“This is an important bill and AB 48 will give us bullet control, and when bullets are more readily available than Sudafed, we need the support of state and federal officials to stop the ammunition and guns from entering our city,” added Skinner.
Diane Brown, president of the United Teachers of Richmond, spoke on school safety. “This wakeup call is for us to pledge that we work together collectively to change this violent trend – shame on the NRA, for wanting to train teachers to use guns,” she said. “We need to invest in our education, our schools and people. Clearly our mandate is to invest in qualified professionals, teachers, social workers, mental health practitioners.”