One of the most far-reaching gun-control measures proposed this year in California cleared its first hurdle Tuesday after its author said it is needed to address an “epidemic of gun violence’’ in the United States.
The legislation by Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) would require ammunition to be sold by licensed dealers, would require buyers to provide identification and subject them to background checks and possible enforcement if they are not eligible to carry guns.
The bill would also outlaw kits for magazines capable of holding more then 10 rounds and require the state to notify local law enforcement agencies when someone buys more than 3,000 rounds of ammunition in a five-day period.
Skinner said the bill addresses issues raised in recent mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado.
The state already requires people to show ID when buying cigarettes, alcohol and some cough medicines, she told the committee. “Why is it easier now to buy bullets than to buy alcohol, cigarettes or Sudafed?’’ Skinner asked the Assembly Public Safety Committee before it voted 5-2 along party lines to approve AB 48.
The measure was opposed by groups including the National Rifle Assn. and Gun Owners of California with warnings that it appears to violate the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens. Sam Paredes, who heads the latter group, said it will make it illegal for Boy Scout leaders to give Scouts bullets for firearms training if the leaders are not licensed dealers.
“Folks are just going to cross state lines and purchase their ammo there,’’ predicted Assemblywoman Marie Waldron (R-Escondido), who voted against the bill. The measure still requires approval by the full Assembly and Senate.