View Full Version : (CA) URGENT: Bill to effectively BAN HANDGUN AMMO NOW IN COMMITTEE!!!

06-16-2005, 2:01 PM
One last chance to stop this from getting to the Governator.

SB 357 (Dunn) is a bill that would require individual serial numbers to be etched on each and every handgun bullet sold in CA, down to and including .22LR.

The bill PASSED from the Senate and is now in the Assembly Public Safety Committee.



Mark Leno, Chair Dem-13 (916) 319-2013 Assemblymember.leno@assembly.ca.gov

Jay La Suer, Vice Chair Rep-77 (916) 319-2077 Assemblymember.Lasuer@assembly.ca.gov

Rebecca Cohn Dem-24 (916) 319-2024 Assemblymember.Cohn@assembly.ca.gov

Mervyn M. Dymally Dem-52 (916) 319-2052 Assemblymember.dymally@assembly.ca.gov

Jackie Goldberg Dem-45 (916) 319-2045 Assemblymember.Goldberg@assembly.ca.gov

Todd Spitzer Rep-71 (916) 319-2071 Assemblymember.spitzer@assembly.ca.gov

Committee phone: (916) 319-3744

Committee Email public.safety@assembly.ca.gov

06-16-2005, 2:47 PM
Oh god, that assembly. Trust me it will pass. Leno, Cohn and Goldberg are known gun prohibitionist. Cross my fingers though..

06-16-2005, 7:48 PM
I wrote something like this on the other thread about SB352, but it makes more sense here...

"will criminals be required to buy these new Micro stamped bullets"?

06-17-2005, 6:32 AM
From Jim Matthews:

GUN BILLS: SB 357, the bill that would require serial numbers on all
handgun and rimfire ammunition, is even more onerous that I've been
reporting. In a survey of the five major ammunition makers in this country,
I was unable to find a single one who could meet the requirements of the law
or would even attempt it because of the exorbitant costs involved. Said one,
"I know of no process that can number each bullet.... I suspect that
California would not get any handgun ammunition."
The politicians who wrote the legislation like to say that bullet
numbering is no different than numbers and dates on yogurt packaging. The
reality is that all ammunition already has numbers on its packaging. A
fairer analogy would be to have numbers on each pimento in a can of stuffed
olives. It would be illegal to have pimentos without numbers, and you would
have to sign for each can of pimento-stuffed olives you buy. The numbers
would also have to be placed on the pimentos in such a way as to survive
being chewed, swallowed and digested.
The reality is that this bill, if passed and signed, will signal the end
of handgun and all rimfire rifle and pistol shooting for the millions of us [in CA, I would add]
who use these guns legally. Of course, it won't matter at all to criminals.

Mike Searson
06-17-2005, 7:52 AM
I hope Arnold marches up to the Wizard and asks for some ******* Courage before 352 and 357 hit his desk.

06-17-2005, 8:45 AM

06-17-2005, 9:00 AM
Any new news ?? I emailed all of those clowns yesterday but of course all I got back was auto responses

Mike Searson
06-17-2005, 9:21 AM
I'm thinking the Assembly could kill this in committee.

Send letters, calls, emails and faxes to the committee folks; include the NRA Article and letter written by SAAMI or points from those.

Then work on the folks in the Assembly. Send letters and words of encouragement to our friends...but contact and be reasonable with those who may be fence sitters to openly hostile.

We have to stop these bills from becoming law.
Haven't they taken enough away from us?

06-17-2005, 9:43 AM
Originally posted by Mike Searson:
I'm thinking the Assembly could kill this in committee.

Send letters, calls, emails and faxes to the committee folks; include the NRA Article and letter written by SAAMI or points from those.

The letter from SAAMI would DEFINITELY be better recieved than anything from the NRA.

These are communists we're dealing with here, remember!

Could you please post a link to the SAAMI aricle??


06-17-2005, 10:00 AM
Here is the link to the letter from SAAMI in Adobe Acrobat format: http://www.saami.org/docs/LKTestmnyCAAssmblyPSCommAB352.pdf

Please post this on other firearms forums and email lists!

Mike Searson
06-17-2005, 10:29 AM
Thanks Shooter!

Here's the letter I was talking about:

06-17-2005, 1:40 PM
The letter is about AB 352 not SB 357. These are two different bills. mark

06-18-2005, 7:33 AM

06-18-2005, 2:21 PM
Please note that the http://nramemberscouncils.com/legs/asmpubsafety.shtml
web page has an incorrect district fax number for Mark Leno. It is 415-557-3015

Also Rebecca Cohn's district fax and voice numbers have changed (office move). Fax is 408-282-8927.Voice is 408-282-8920.

Mike Searson
06-19-2005, 9:37 AM
Here's SAAMI's position.

Question: Was Attorney General Lockyer correct when he claimed today that it would only cost manufacturers "one quarter of one cent" in additional cost in order to laser engrave a serial number on the base and side of a bullet of "handgun ammunition", as required by SB 357?

Was the Attorney General's office accurate when it stated other costs (i.e. handling) would bring the increase to approximately one half of one cent.

Was the bill sponsor, Sen. Dunn, correct when he claimed that the "cost is negligible" and that it was "easy to implement" bullet serialization into the ammunition manufacturing process?

Answer: No. The Attorney General and Senator Dunn's cost estimates are seriously WRONG and without any basis in fact. Unfortunately, the Attorney General's office and Sen. Dunn are willfully uninformed about modern ammunition manufacturing processes.

Had the Attorney General's office, Sen. Dunn or the sole-sourced, skateboard company with this technology, Ravensforge, bothered to contact the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, Inc. (SAAMI), the technical trade association of the nation's leading manufacturers of sporting firearms and ammunition, or any of the major ammunition manufacturers, they would have learned that it would cost each ammunition manufacturer tens of millions of dollars to manufacture serialized ammunition. In order to comply, ammunition manufacturers would need to build a new factory.

The cost of ammunition would increase from pennies now to several dollars per cartridge. It is sheer, uninformed fantasy to suggest that costs would only increase by half a cent.

The ammunition industry is a high-volume, low-profit margin business. The three largest ammunition manufacturers (Federal Cartridge, Winchester and Remington Arms) produce more than 15 million cartridges a day! Even if it took just a fraction of a second to laser engrave a bullet with a serial number, ammunition production would be slowed down dramatically. SAAMI estimates that it would take as much as three weeks to make what is now manufactured in a single day! No manufacturer can withstand such a massive slow-done in production. They would cease to be profitable. Instead manufacturers would have no alternative but to abandon the California market. This is because the tens of millions of dollars needed to comply with SB 357 far exceeds the reasonable profit a manufacturer could ever hope to make selling ammunition in the California market. The cost to comply would bankrupt any manufacturer that tried. Even abandoning the California market comes at a cost. Manufacturers will suffer lost sales and profits; but the lesser of two evils remains to abandon the market.

SAAMI offered to take members of the Legislature, including Sen. Dunn, and the Attorney General's office, on a tour of an ammunition manufacturing plant. Regrettably, neither Sen. Dunn, nor the Attorney General's office availed themselves of this opportunity to learn first-hand why this proposal is infeasible.

Question: Is it accurate, as the Attorney General's office argued today, that putting serial numbers on bullets is no different than what other product manufacturers, like drug companies, do in putting a serial number on the product packaging?

Answer: No. Drug companies, for example, may put a lot number or other identifying code on their product packaging, but they do not put a unique serial number on individual aspirin tablets. Placing lot numbers on product packaging is not done to identify and record in a government-run database the identity of law-abiding consumers. Major ammunition manufacturers, like other product manufacturers, already put lot numbers on their product packaging to identify when the product was made. Imagine what would happen to the price of a bottle of aspirin if drug companies had to place a unique serial number on each aspirin tablet?

Question: Was it accurate when the Attorney General's office said "industry" test fired bullets to determine whether the technology worked?

Answer: No. The Attorney General's office was misleading if it was trying to suggest that any major ammunition or firearm manufacturer assisted in conducting any testing of this technology. Certainly the Sporting Arms and Ammunition Manufacturers' Institute, Inc. was never contacted by the California Department of Justice or the sole-source vendor of this technology, Ravensforge, which primarily manufactures products to protect property from skateboards.

SAAMI remains concerned that there has been insufficient objective, independent testing of this technology on the hundreds of different types of ammunition that exist. We have significant questions about whether a micro-laser engraved serial number placed on the side of a bullet (projectile) would still be readable after the bullet has traveled down the rifled-surface length of a barrel at a very high velocity (1,200 feet per second) while at the same time rotating at a high RPM rate. The Legislature should require more testing than the extremely limited, non-scientific testing done by the sole-sourced vendor, Ravensforge.

SAAMI, as it has in the past with other technologies like "ballistic imaging," supports further independent, objective, peer-reviewed testing of this technology.

Question: Was the Attorney General's office accurate when it said this bill would not impact rifles?

Answer: No. The bill applies to so-called "handgun ammunition," which the bill fails to define. The bill would apply, for example, to .22 caliber rimfire ammunition because there are handguns chambered in that caliber. However, there are tens of millions of rifles that are also chambered in .22 caliber, which is the single must common caliber ammunition for target shooting.

There are many, many other examples of rifles that are chambered in calibers that are also common for handguns. This has become increasingly common as Cowboy Action Shooting has become very popular, including in California.

Question: Was the Attorney Generals office correct in stating that this bill would not impact non-serialized ammunition owned by consumers after the effective date of the bill.

Answer: No. In fact, this bill, when coupled with the certain abandonment of the California market place by ammunition manufacturers, becomes a de facto ammunition ban and confiscation. Consumers may possess non-serialized ammunition in their home, but the moment they walk outside their house to drive to their local shooting range for an afternoon of target shooting they become a criminal. The only realistic option for consumers is to turn over to local enforcement any non-serialized ammunition in their possession. We agree with the Attorney General's office that hundreds of millions of rounds of ammunition are purchased each year by consumers in California. A conservative estimate would be that law enforcement would confiscate at least 500 million rounds of non-serialized ammunition from law-abiding Californians, but not a single cartridge from a criminal.

Question: Was Senator Dunn's comparison of bullet serialization to a DNA database valid?

Answer: No. California does not fingerprint or take DNA samples of every person residing or visiting California, although it is technically feasible to do so and many more crimes would be solved. This is because the vast, overwhelming majority of citizens are not committing crimes. Similarly, the vast, overwhelming majority of gun owners are, as even the Attorney General's office acknowledged today, law-abiding. Collecting the identity of law-abiding consumers when they legally purchase ammunition for lawful purposes will not, SAAMI believes, materially assist law enforcement. This is because criminals do not and will not walk into a firearm dealer and provide identification when they purchase ammunition. They acquire ammunition the same place they obtain firearms; they steal them or they get them on the illegal black market. This bill will simply create overnight an illegal black market for non-serialized ammunition.

Question: Is it accurate that this bill will not impact law enforcement?

Answer: No. This bill will have a substantial adverse impact on law enforcement and municipal budgets.
The bill does not exempt law enforcement from its requirements. Therefore, state and local law enforcement will not be able to purchase non-serialized ammunition from manufacturers. As explained above, manufacturers cannot incur the massive costs to make serialized ammunition. Therefore, it remains unclear from whom law enforcement will purchase ammunition for training and use in the field. If they are able to secure serialized ammunition, the price of such ammunition will be substantially higher than current prices. This will likely lead to deleterious consequences, like a marked decline in law enforcement training to improve and retain officers' marksmanship because a municipality or the state will not be able to afford the price of training ammunition.
As always, for more information, please contact me at 203-426-1320 or visit http://www.saami.org.

God forbid, you do an internet search.

Mike Searson
06-19-2005, 9:42 AM
California Bullet Serialization
A Bad Idea With National Repercussions
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer is in the process of submitting a proposal to the California legislature to mandate that any handgun bullets and their cartridges manufactured, imported and sold in the state be engraved with a serial number. The stated goal of this proposal is to match bullets or their casings recovered at a crime scene with the purchaser of the ammunition. Although this idea sounds laudable in theory, it is totally unworkable in reality. If California passes this legislation, it threatens to bankrupt any ammunition manufacturer that attempts to comply with the legislation, would most likely force an end to all ammunition sales within the state—including those to law enforcement, and because of the nature of the ammunition market, would cripple the ability of our armed forces and law enforcement to procure domestically manufactured handgun ammunition.

The proposal being considered requires that:

All handgun ammunition cartridges manufactured, imported, sold at retail or possessed in the state have a serial number laser engraved on the bottom of the bullet (projectile) and on the inside of the cartridge casing;

All cartridges contained in a box of handgun ammunition must bear the same unique serial number;

All packaging would bear the serial number for the cartridges contained in that box and that each box of handgun ammunition and the cartridges contained therein would have a unique serial number; and

We understand that under this scheme licensed retail firearms dealers would be required to record the identity of the purchasers and the serial number of the ammunition to be housed in a government-run database.

The ammunition industry in the U.S. dates back centuries. Each year U.S. manufacturers produce over 8 billion rounds of ammunition. The manufacturing processes of today that takes a lead ingot and casts it into a bullet, and a copper bar that is made into a cartridge, the loading of powder, mating of the bullet and cartridge, then finally packaged is sophisticated, highly automated and geared towards mass production to reduce costs and increase production. Any proposal that would slow this process down to serialize individual rounds would result in hundreds of millions of dollars in costs to manufacturers and the reengineering and redesign of most equipment used in the ammunition manufacturing process. Simply put, it is impossible for manufacturers to comply with the California proposal and remain economically competitive.

Why This Is Not Just a California Issue
In the firearms and ammunition industry, the civilian market supports research, development and sales to our military services and law enforcement. Unlike rifle ammunition, all pistol ammunition purchased by the armed forces and law enforcement comes from civilian manufacturers. By themselves, these markets are too small to support the extremely high volume necessary for ammunition manufacturers to stay in business. California is one of the largest markets for handgun ammunition manufacturers in the country. If manufacturers were forced to abandon the California market, many could face bankruptcy, and our armed forces, homeland security, and state and local law enforcement would suddenly find themselves facing dramatically increased costs for their ammunition. This would curtail training, reduce target practice and leave our armed forces personnel and law enforcement vulnerable on the battlefield and on America’s streets.

The Proposal
The California proposal being Attorney General Lockyer is based on technology under limited development and testing by Ravensforge Skateboard Solutions (http://www.ravensforge.com), a company that specializes in products to prevent damage by roller blades and skateboards. To our knowledge Ravensforge has not consulted with any firearms manufacturer on incorporating this technology into ammunition manufacturing. It appears Ravensforge is seeking to be a “sole source” provider of this technology and creating a monopoly for itself through legislative fiat.

Problems with this technology in the manufacturing process include the following:

Huge Costs: It would cost hundreds of millions of dollars for firearms manufacturers to completely redesign their production facilities to incorporate the laser engraving bullets and casings;

Economically Impossible: It is not possible with the equipment available today to serialize bullets or cases under Attorney General Lockyer’s proposed scheme. For example, serializing the base of the bullet and interior of the case would have to occur after each component has been manufactured and passed through many—though not all—steps in the quality control process, but before the bullet, case, primer and powder are assembled into a single round. However, after the round is assembled, it might be rejected as it undergoes final quality control measures (e.g., powder charge weight, inverted primer, dents, blemishes) that can force its removal from a particular lot. Removing one round would force pulling an entire box (ammunition is typically sold in 50 round boxes) since you cannot sell a 50 round box with 49 rounds. Also, SAAMI standards recommend testing across an entire product run for test firing, thereby interrupting serial number sequence and adding even more costs to the process;

Safety Concerns Abound: The presence of a laser on the assembly line process close to propellant could be an explosives hazard. For example, standard safety precautions prohibit camera flashes on the factory floor;

Packing and Tracking: A large ammunition factory typically produces over 8 million rounds of ammunition/day. There is simply no other way to guarantee that sequential numbers would be packed in an identically numbered box other than through human packing. It would take literally hundreds of workers to hand pack this volume of ammunition, thereby making this process a non-starter. Tracking and registering the purchasers of hundreds of millions of ammunition boxes would cost tens of tens millions of dollars in store employee staff time, computer infrastructure, and additional government workers. Moreover, leading manufacturers will produce over 1,600 different ammunition varieties (many calibers multiplied by different bullet weights) on a daily basis. Again, volume and speed of the manufacturing process prohibit the possibility of serializing without slowing output to a virtual trickle, thereby driving up prices to the point where a box of ammunition will be prohibitively expensive.

No Proven Law Enforcement Benefits
To our knowledge, there is not one, independent, study that has been produced demonstrating any value in serialization. In fact, the enormous costs to implement such a system would draw funds away from proven crime fighting initiatives. Moreover, loopholes exist in the proposal that render it ineffective. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

To date, home re-loaders are exempt from the plan, thereby offering criminals easy access to unmarked ammunition;

A round of ammunition can be disassembled, its markings removed, then reassembled;

A revolver can be used in the commission of a crime, thereby leaving no spent shell casing if it is discharged; and

Spent shell casings can be collected from target ranges and reloaded (a common practice), thereby effectively masking ownership; and

Those determined to procure unmarked ammunition will purchase it from out of state or on the black market.

A significant portion of the California legislature has been hostile to the firearms industry. If the serialization proposal is taken up and passed to further an anti-gun agenda, the repercussions will be felt across the country. In the end, it could result in the bankruptcy of the U.S. ammunition industry, the destruction of a critical component of our defense industrial base, force the military and law enforcement to curtail training and become dependent on foreign sources of ammunition, and send the cost of a box of bullets well beyond what most could pay.

Mike Searson
06-19-2005, 9:52 AM
Here's a link to a letter by a Senator from America to the Governor about the Bill.


Here's a link from the Governor of Arkansas concerned for ammunition manufacture in his state:

James J. Fotis, Executive Director of The Law Enforcement Alliance of America states that SB 357 will endanger officer safety by harming police firearms training. "http://www.saami.org/docs/LEAA-OppSB357.pdf."

Anthony J. Craver, http://www.saami.org/docs/MendocinoSheriff-oppAB352SB357.pdf states "This is not a way to reduce gun-related crimes. Let's face it; this is just one more way to make gun ownership in California more difficult for honest people."

Mike Searson
06-19-2005, 9:53 AM
Industry Leaders Voice Opposition
Winchester Ammunition manufactures several million rounds of ammunition in a single day to supply the military, law enforcement agencies and sportsmen.
"Any attempt to comply with the proposed requirements would result in a massive slowdown in production," says R. M. Hammet, president. "It would be impossible as a matter of pure economics for my company to comply with this proposal and remain profitable."

Thomas L. Millner, president and CEO of Remington Arms Company, Inc. claims that "this proposal would be prohibitively expensive to implement" and would "turn modern assembly lines into early 19th century piece work shops."

http://www.saami.org/docs/LtrCALeg121604.pdf to the California legislature states that there are important cost/benefit and public policy questions that must be fully examined and answered before bullet serialization of ammunition is imposed upon the industry.

The National Association of Sporting Goods Retailers, the association of more than 51 of the strongest and best firearms and sporting goods wholesale distributors in North America, say that passage of this bill would have a tremendous negative impact on the sporting goods business in California. Technology is untested and serialization will not reduce crime.

The California Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. opposes bullet serialization not only because there are too many "unconsidered and uncontrollable variables" that make this legislation an impractical crime-prevention tool, but also this "would quickly become just another poorly thought out law that in reality, once again, affects lawful citizens who are not a part of the firearms-related crime problem."

The CRPA is also urging California sheriffs to oppose serialized handgun ammunition. "The issue of survivability of a serial number on bullets is only a small part of the total picture ..."

06-20-2005, 8:28 AM

06-21-2005, 10:01 AM

Mike Searson
06-21-2005, 3:58 PM
Here's a letter written by a Bay Area Law Enforcement Officer against this Bill.

An excellent example for the rest of us to follow:

I wish to strongly urge each member of the Assembly Public Safety Committee to vote "No" on SB357. As a 20-year veteran police officer, I have never read a more inane and incredible proposal and I shudder to think what tortured path of "manufactured criminality" such a law would lead us down.

The law proposed in SB357 is so inherently biased against law-abiding sportsmen, so ridiculously deceitful in its proposed "advantages", so clearly designed to advance an anti-gun agenda NOT supported by the majority of rank-and-file police officers throughout the nation, as to be laughable, were it not so upsetting.

To believe that the proposed "bullet serialization" would have any genuine effect on reducing crimes (or helping solve them) is the height of imbecility. What it WOULD do is likely force most ammunition manufacturers to simply stop selling ammunition in the State of California. What it WOULD do, if I read it correctly, is create a financial windfall for one single company. (Can we all say "featherbedding"?) What it WOULD do is make commercially manufactured ammunition prohibitively expensive for honest citizens. What it WOULD do is create a monumentally huge task for governments at every level to attempt to enforce.

SB357, quite simply, seeks to accomplish a form of "gun control", despite decades of the vast majority of the citizens of this country, and this state, rejecting such controls. I am, as always, horrified and saddened that individual lawmakers throughout the nation continue to seek to advance their own personal agendas, regardless of the wishes of the populace who elect them to office, and repeatedly attempt to whittle away the rights of the law-abiding citizenry.

I am sending this to every member of the Committee, since, regardless of who represents me geographically, you all represent me as members of my state's government.

Again, I urge you to vote "No" on SB357.

Thank you.


Name with held for officer safety from disgruntled forumites

06-21-2005, 10:59 PM
Committee, since, irregardless of who represents me geographically, you all represent

Nitpick - "irregardless" is not a word. It is a double negative.

The word, my friends, is "irrespective".


06-21-2005, 11:56 PM
Nitpick on the nitpick - Turby, he could have just used "regardless."

I sent my letters, too. Although it's frustrating as hell, and it may be a waste of time and stamps, we have to do it.

Mike Searson
06-22-2005, 6:43 AM
Thank you Mr Helper.

06-22-2005, 1:56 PM

06-22-2005, 3:31 PM
Originally posted by MaxQ:
Nitpick on the nitpick - Turby, he could have just used "regardless."

Hah hah! Ok, ya got me there..

For the record.. I sent 3 letters - one to Gov Arnie, 1 to my local senate rep, and 1 to the local assembly rep.

I can and will write more as needed!


Mike Searson
06-22-2005, 4:27 PM
Good on you, Turby!

Notify as many people as possible, too.
I notified several Right Wing newsletters I get in email (Move Forward, Federalist, Stephen Frank,etc) some of them had never heard of it, let alone that it cleared the Senate.

I've also posted this as a sticky in the firearms forum I moderate on UsualSuspect.net

06-23-2005, 8:15 AM
Oh - and I took Bill Wiese's suggestion - I HAND WROTE each letter in pen using my own writing. And I signed my real name plus my real address, just to let them know that there's a real person over here who cares and wants to keep this country and state FREE.