Attorney General Becerra Joins State Coalition in Urging Congress to Pass Ammunition Background Checks
AGs advocate for public safety and the passage of Jaime’s Law
SACRAMENTO – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in urging Congress to enact Jaime’s Law. The law would change federal law to require background checks for ammunition purchases and prevent the purchase of ammunition by prohibited individuals. Jaime’s Law is named after Jaime Guttenberg, a 14 year-old high school student who was killed at the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
“We have seen far too many preventable deaths this past year alone. Our children and loved ones are dying, there’s simply no room for debate here,” said Attorney General Becerra. “Jaime’s Law is a commonsense, easy-to-implement gun safety law. If enacted, this law could help address our nation’s gun violence epidemic. We ask Congress to prioritize the safety of our communities and enact Jaime’s Law.”
California has been a leader when it comes to implementing common-sense gun safety laws. In 2016, California voters enacted Proposition 63, which, among other things, regulated the sale or transfer of ammunition. As part of Proposition 63, starting in 2018 only licensed ammunition vendors are allowed to sell ammunition in California. Further, as of July 1, 2019, licensed ammunition vendors must conduct eligibility checks before selling or transferring ammunition to a buyer in California. California’s background checks rely on state databases that show whether a person is prohibited from possessing a firearm or ammunition under state or federal law.
If Congress enacts Jaime’s Law, an individual who purchases ammunition would need to undergo a background check in the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System. This will prevent prohibited persons across the country from purchasing ammunition from licensed firearms vendors.
Attorney General Becerra has been vigorously defending California’s common-sense gun safety laws and advocating for new ones to be enacted. This year, the Attorney General sponsored SB 376, a bill introduced by Senator Anthony Portantino and AB 1669, a bill introduced by Assemblymember Rob Bonta. If signed into law, SB 376 will prevent individuals from being able to sell large numbers of firearms without a license by capping the number of annual sales they’re allowed at five transactions or 50 firearms, and by capping the number of firearms they can manufacture each year at 50. It will also close the loophole that allows firearms to be auctioned or raffled off without a background check. AB 1669 will strengthen existing law by ensuring that non-California based vendors who only sell ammunition at gun shows are also required to obtain California licenses.
Attorney General Becerra joined the attorneys general of Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington in urging Congress to enact Jaime’s Law. The letter, led by Pennsylvania, can be found here.