CCRKBA CALLS CA. THUMB-PRINT-FOR-AMMO PROPOSAL ‘INSIDIOUS PRIVACY INVASION’

Tuesday, May 25th, 2004

A bill passed by the California Senate that would require ammunition buyers to provide a thumb print at the time of purchase amounts to “an insidious invasion of privacy,” the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) said today.
“California lawmakers are trying to reinvent a broken wheel,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “Recording ammunition sales has proven to be ineffective in solving crime, and requiring a thumb print moves this idea into the realm of the ludicrous. It’s a waste of time and taxpayers’ money, but more importantly, this constitutes a serious privacy issue. If this measure dealt with something other than a gun control issue, the ACLU would be screaming about it.
“If this becomes law,” he added, “it is just another example of California lawmakers treating honest gun owners like criminals. What comes next? Will citizens be required to submit a fingperprint to buy a car? Will the next dumb idea force gun owners to submit their medical records before they can legally buy firearms and ammunition?”
Senate Bill 1152, which passed the Senate 22-16 and has been sent to the Assembly, would require anyone who purchases ammunition to provide personal information to the retailer, including a thumb print. The dealer would have to retain that record. Presumably, this thumb print could be used as evidence in court for a post-purchase conviction in the case of a charge being filed against someone who is not eligible to own or possess a firearm or ammunition. But Waldron noted that such requirements have been tried in the past and scrapped.
“Requiring such information has yet to prevent or solve a single crime,” Waldron stated. “If this measure is enacted, it might result in the creation of a black market for ammunition. It could also open the way for retailers to be prosecuted for a technical violation if they don’t get a readable fingerprint. How many gun dealers know the proper way to roll a thumb print? Is anybody in Sacramento thinking about any of this?
“Gun rights organizations fought similar proposals ten years ago, because they accomplished nothing,” Waldron recalled. “It would appear that some California lawmakers are no smarter now than they were then.”