Ammo-restrictions bill signed into law

PASADENA, Calif. /*Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger*/ signed a law mandating the first statewide requirements to register before you buy handgun ammunition.

To get a box of ammunition for a handgun a buyer will have to provide identification and give a thumbprint.

"This is about keeping the lifeblood of handguns, the ammunition, out of the hands of criminals and convicted criminals," said state /*Assemblyman Kevin de Leon*/ (D-Los Angeles).

The thumbprint and ID will go into a book kept by the dealer, a book that can be checked by law enforcement. The new state law is similar to those already in effect in places like Los Angeles and Sacramento. That law is credited for the arrests of hundreds of criminals.

"We need a statewide program here because criminals go on and move to another city," said Governor Schwarzenegger.

Gun rights advocates say the law isn't going to be very effective because the information will not be fed into a statewide database, and it will only help after a crime is committed.

"We have great concerns this is the beginning of a massive effort by law enforcement to further infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens," said Sam Paredes, executive director, /*Gun Owners of California*/.

Even proponents of the new law admit it gives law enforcement information after the crime is committed. There is hope that in the future there will be a real-time check of criminal or gang records.

"It does provide a common sense and an additional safety measure," said L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca.

Gun store owners oppose the new law. They don't think it will really deter crime. And they believe it will cost them.

One gun store in Pasadena averages 100 boxes of ammunition a day.

"It would be an encumbrance for customers and we would require employees to log out all handgun ammunition," said Victor Darby, manager of Turner's Outdoorsman.

The law takes effect in January 2010, but there's a grace period that doesn't require ID or fingerprints until February 2011.

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