Gavin Newsom Proposes National Ammunition Background Checks

FILE - In this May 9, 2019 file photo Gov. Gavin Newsom discusses his revised 2019-2020 state budget during a news conference in Sacramento, Calif. The state Senate rejected Newsom's budget proposal Wednesday, May 15, 2019, that would put a tax on most residential water bills to improve drinking water …
AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File

California Governor Gavin Newsom proposed Monday that the U.S. as a whole adopt California’s new law requiring background checks for purchasing ammunition.

“I’d like to see them model California’s background check on ammunition purchases,” he said Monday, as quoted by the Sacramento Bee, in a meeting with state leaders about gun violence and white supremacy.

“Guns don’t kill people, guns require a dangerous component, and that’s ammunition.”


Newsom and other leaders were responding to the mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The Dayton shooter appears to have harbored radical left-wing beliefs, but these are not being raised as a point of concern.

In 2016, then-Lieutenant Gov. Newsom championed the passage of a referendum, Proposition 63, requiring that anyone seeking to purchase ammunition in the state complete a federal background check, over and above the background check for purchasing a gun.

The law caused a surge of ammunition purchases before it went into effect on July 1, 2019. Its effect on mass shootings is also unclear, and too early to measure.

Last month, there was a mass shooting at a garlic festival in Gilroy, California, in which three people were killed (not including the shooter) and over a dozen injured.

The Los Angeles Times reported Monday that in its first month of being in effect, the new law “blocked more than 100 felons and other prohibited persons from buying ammunition.”

However, in most mass shootings, the killers pass background checks in purchasing their guns legally.

Nevertheless, Newsom has often touted the new law as an example for the rest of the nation to follow. He did so after the shooting at Marjorie Stonemason Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year, and did so again Monday.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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