proposed laws

PA Bill Number: SB531

Title: In general provisions, providing for findings regarding firearms and ammunition; and, in preemptions, providing for regulation of firearms and ...

Description: In general provisions, providing for findings regarding firearms and ammunition; and, in preemptions, providing for regulation of firearms a ...

Last Action: Removed from table

Last Action Date: Jul 15, 2020

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upcoming events

Valerie Gaydos Reception - 08/13/2020
Black Dog Wine Company 7425 Stubenville Pike, Oakdale, PA

Concealed Carry Seminar Hosted by PA State Rep. Eric Davanzo - 08/13/2020
West Newton Sportsmen's Club 35 Sportsmans Rd, West Newton, PA

FOAC Monthly Meeting - 09/13/2020
South Fayette Township Municipal Bldg. 515 Millers Run Road, Morgan, PA

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Appeals panel says California can enforce ammo background check :: 05/15/2020

A federal appeals court allowed California to enforce its voter-approved requirement of background checks for purchasers of ammunition on Thursday and said the state was likely to win reversal of a judge’s ruling that the law violated the constitutional right to bear arms.

The checks, similar to those required nationally for firearms bought from a licensed dealer, were part of Proposition 63, a gun-control initiative sponsored by then-Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and approved by 63% of the voters in 2016. It did not take effect until last summer, and was promptly challenged by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, an affiliate of the National Rifle Association..

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In a preliminary injunction order April 23, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego said, “Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”

He also said 16% of legally qualified ammunition buyers had been wrongly rejected since the background checks took effect.

The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco put Benitez’s ruling on hold April 24 while it considered the case. On Thursday, the three-judge panel said the state had presented an adequate argument to justify leaving the law in effect during its appeal.

“Second Amendment rights are not unlimited,” said the panel, which included Judge Daniel Collins, an appointee of President Trump. The other two judges, Jacqueline Nguyen and Barry Silverman, were appointed by Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

Citing the court’s 2014 ruling upholding San Francisco’s ban on hollow-point bullets that explode or splinter on contact, the panel said the right to purchase ammunition, like the right to buy guns, can be subject to reasonable government restrictions.

The court also said the background-check requirement had been in effect more than nine months before Benitez ruled, and during that period Californians “could purchase ammunition lawfully and with minimal delay.”

In a separate case last year, Benitez ruled unconstitutional a California ban on buying or selling high-capacity gun magazines, those holding more than 10 cartridges, but agreed a week later — after a flurry of gun purchases — to put his ruling on hold while the state appealed.

Supporters of the background check law said it usually took about five minutes for a licensed dealer to conduct. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whose office defended the law in court, said it had prevented more than 750 individuals from “illegally purchasing ammunition.”

“Violent criminals and people with serious mental illnesses shouldn’t be able to get their hands on ammunition,” Becerra said in a statement.

Bob Egelko is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: Twitter: @BobEgelko