SACRAMENTO, CA - Before the midnight deadline, Gov. Schwarzenegger acted on 685 bills that were on his desk. He signed 456 and vetoed 229.
One of the bills that he signed was Assembly Bill 962. It requires handgun ammunition to be kept behind the counter where customers cannot access it without assistance. It also requires gun shop owners to thumbprint people who buy handgun ammunition, as well as record their identification and provide that information to police.
Schwarzenegger released a statement explaining why he signed the bill.
"To the Members of the California State Assembly: I am signing Assembly Bill 962.
This measure would require vendors of handgun ammunition to keep a log of information on handgun ammunition sales, store ammunition in a safe and secure manner, and require the face to-
face transfer of ammunition sales.
Although I have previously vetoed legislation similar to this measure, local governments have demonstrated that requiring ammunition vendors to keep records on ammunition sales improves public safety. These records have allowed law enforcement to arrest and prosecute persons who have no business possessing firearms and ammunition: gang members, violent parolees, second and third strikers, and even people previously serving time in state prison for murder.
Utilized properly, this type of information is invaluable for keeping communities safe and preventing dangerous felons from committing crimes with firearms.
Moreover, this type of record keeping is no more intrusive for law abiding citizens than similar laws governing pawnshops or the sale of cold medicine. Unfortunately, even the most successful
local program is flawed; without a statewide law, felons can easily skirt the record keeping requirements of one city by visiting another. Assembly Bill 962 will fix this problem by
mandating that all ammunition vendors in the state keep records on ammunition sales.
As Governor, I have sought the appropriate balance between public safety and the right to keep and bear arms. I have signed important public safety measures to regulate the sale and transfer of .50 caliber rifles, instituted the California Firearms License Check program, and promoted the use of microstamping technology in handguns. I have also vetoed many pieces of legislation that sought to place unreasonable restrictions and burdens on firearms dealers and ammunition vendors.
Assembly Bill 962 reasonably regulates access to ammunition and improves public safety without placing undue burdens on consumers. For these reasons, I am pleased to sign this bill."
Click here for a full list of what bills the Governor signed and vetoed.