“To Protect and To Serve” has always been the motto of the Los Angeles Police Department, and today that proud tradition continues in supporting new legislation that will make our Communities safer. On December 20, 2012, Senator Kevin de Leon of the 22nd District introduced Senate Bill 53 to the California State Legislature. This bill defines how ammunition will be sold and purchased by vendors, customers, private parties, and internet sales throughout the state. The bill requires that the Department of Justice maintain a database on all authorized and permitted vendors and buyers of ammunition. The purpose of the bill is to keep ammunition out of the hands of Prohibited Persons and enhance public safety.
Since 1996, the City of Los Angeles has been enforcing a similar statute (55.11 Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC)). This local ordinance requires ammunition vendors to obtain a Police Commission permit and obtain identifying information from all persons purchasing ammunition. The Los Angeles Police Commission Board Rules also require that all ammunition be out of the reach of customers. This ordinance however, is only enforced within the City of Los Angeles.
Last month, Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, Chief of Detectives for LAPD, testified in Sacramento on behalf of the new legislation. “This bill will not only enhance the safety of our citizens in Los Angeles, but it will surely improve public safety for communities throughout California,” said Deputy Chief Albanese. The new State law would have a much greater impact on public safety by providing statewide enforcement of ammunition sales. “The City of Los Angeles currently has 17 licensed Gun and Ammo stores that are required to be compliant with the Los Angeles Municipal Code however, that doesn’t prevent an individual who is prohibited from possessing a firearm from literally walking across the street outside our City limits where they can legally purchase ammunition” Albanese added.
SB 53 bill will also use the Prohibited Armed Persons File to cross-reference those persons with records of ammunition transactions to determine if these persons have acquired or attempted to acquire ammunition. This will be a great enhancement in preventing the sales of ammunition to persons prohibited from possessing firearms.
“If this new law prevents just one tragedy it will be worth it”, said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. “I applaud Senator de Leon and the co-authors for applying great common sense with SB 53. We have laws that prohibit violent offenders from possessing firearms and yet there is no provision for preventing these same dangerous individuals from legally purchasing ammunition. This new law will remedy that flaw statewide and help to enhance the safety of our Communities,” Beck concluded.