SB 53 requires a permit and background check in order to purchase bullets. It has passed the Senate in California and is being reviewed by the Committee on Appropriations in the House before it goes to the desk of the Governor to be signed into law. The permit costs up to $50 per year (a handgun safety certificate costs just $25 for five years). In addition, SB 53 requires vendors to have a permit to sell ammunition.
1. SB 53 Will Not Accomplish Its Goal
The intent of SB 53 is to keep ammunition out of the hands of criminals, but no law will prevent lawless people from acquiring ammunition. What SB 53 will do is make it more expensive, time-consuming, and burdensome for law-abiding citizens to purchase ammunition. Thus, SB 53 will make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens who own firearms to acquire the means to defend themselves against the lawless. For the financially strapped law-abiding citizen struggling in this current economy, it may even be impossible.
2. SB 53 Will Cost California Millions
SB 53 will require an initial cost of over 30 million for software development, staffing, development of regulations, and reports.
SB 53 requires new government departmental divisions to be created in order to manage ammunition purchase permits, information about ammunition transactions, and ammunition vendor licenses, costing the State millions as well as creating a burden of paperwork on the DOJ.
SB 53 will cost California millions in revenue from sportsmen and hunters. California resident hunters will either choose to limit their hunting, not hunt at all, or go to another state to hunt. Out-of-state hunters will simply choose to go elsewhere, costing the State and its citizens millions of dollars in hunting permits and the industries that support hunting, such as lodging, restaurants, department stores, gas stations, and so on.
California will also lose jobs, taxes, and revenue to other states because of SB 53. Sales taxes and state taxes will be lost. Jobs will be outsourced or eliminated, and ammunition manufacturers could potentially leave California. Potential ongoing loss of state sales tax revenue will amount to $3.6 million for every 10% reduction in annual ammunition sales due to the enhanced regulations on ammunition sales and potential increase in out-of-state sales.
Ammunition vendors (both in-state and out-of-state) at temporary sales events will be saddled with SB 53’s requirements, making it prohibitive if not impossible for them to sell ammunition. Said vendors who can no longer sell ammunition in California at these events will cost the State revenue in potential sales taxes.
SB 53 will create a Black Market for ammunition in California, thus creating more expenses for and burdens on law enforcement, the judiciary system, and the prison and parole systems. Numerous misdemeanor and felony incarcerations related to ammunition purchase, sale, possession, and ammunition vendor requirements will cost the State millions.
All of this adds up to millions upon millions of lost revenue and greater expenses in a state that cannot afford either.
3. SB 53 Infringes on the Rights of Law-Abiding Citizens
As Sen. Rod Wright (D) put it, requiring permits to buy ammunition “only inhibits law-abiding citizens from exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.”
SB 53 infringes on the liberties and rights of citizens to defend themselves with firearms as it makes it more expensive and difficult to purchase ammunition for those firearms. As the 2nd Amendment states, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” SB 53 infringes on that right.
Therefore, we the undersigned ask the Governor Brown NOT to sign SB 53 and ask California's legislators NOT to make SB 53 law.