Wayne County commissioner Reggie Davis is proposing tyrannical, and unconstitutional new rules for the purchase of ammunition in Wayne County.
Wayne County is the most populous county in Michigan. It is home to 1.7 million people and includes the city of Detroit. The county encompasses a total area of 673 square miles.
Davis’s “bullet bill” ordinance would require law enforcement approval before a buyer could purchase ammunition. The buyer would also have to go through a mental screening to qualify to buy ammo. The buyer would need to repeat these steps for each new ammunition purchase. The purchaser would be forced to cover the cost of the screening.
Gun shows would be exempt, but the buyer would still have to produce a non-expired certificate from a mental health screening stating that they are eligible to purchase ammunition.
“We’re up against some state and federal laws. Even if it takes me going to lobby in D.C., and I expect it will, we need to make these changes,” Davis told the Detroit Free Press.
Not only will Davis’s “bullet bill” increase the cost and time that it would take a consumer to buy ammunition by forcing them to go through a mental background check, but the bill would also put a new tax on all ammo sold to customers.
According to Davis, the money collected via the tax would go to teach students “about the second amendment, about how to use a gun safely and about gun violence.”
Davis does not believe his legislation be to unconstitutional. Although he does expect resistance from pro-gun groups like the NRA, he considers his proposal as a common-sense reform. He also states that he is a believer in the Second Amendment and has respect for groups such as the NRA.
Davis hopes to work with the NRA to find a compromise that would be agreeable to all parties. So far, the NRA does not have a public stance on the “bullet bill.” This lack of a stance is most likely due to the newness of the proposed legislation.
Davis was a gun owner who claimed to own Glocks, sawed-off shotguns, and sniper rifles. An assailant shot and killed Davis’s brother. This experience set Davis off on his crusade for gun reform. Davis no long owns any firearms.
Others do not share Davis’s opinion that this move is constitutional and sees other motives for the ordinance including continued racism by the Democratic party.
“As the President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies who happens to be on the NRA Board, I’ll call this what it is. This is clear and obvious racism by Democrats running Wayne County on behalf of the progressive socialist political agenda,” National Federation of Republican Assemblies President Willes Lee told AmmoLand. “Heck, this is economic discrimination, hitting friends who most need self-protection and can least afford this proposed so-called ‘public safety’ measure.”
Lee went on to tell AmmoLand, “Our Second Amendment ‘Shall Not Be Infringed’ does not include law-abiding neighbors paying for forced mental evaluations by progressive doctors to exercise our God-given right of self-defense. It does not include Wayne County’s liberal law enforcement granting ‘approval’ of good folks’ right to defend their life. ‘Shall not be infringed’ does not include or even imply an additional tax on those least able to afford it, taking food off their table, to defend their children and property.”
Lee is not alone in his beliefs. AmmoLand spoke to Gun Owners of America Director of Communications Jordan Stein about the proposal. He too does not believe it to be constitutional.
“Just as firearms are protected under the Second Amendment, ammunition is secured as well,” Stein told AmmoLand. “As every other prior restraint on the Second Amendment, this proposed gun control will be ignored by criminals and make it harder for honest people to defend themselves.”
AmmoLand reached out to Davis to get a comment about how this proposal would hurt poor shooters from places like the inner city of Detroit more than shooters from the middle-class suburbs, but Davis did not return our request for comment as of the time of this writing.
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Meanwhile in California, which already enforces some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, there is a movement underway against the unfettered sale of bullets.
Gun control advocates here have pushed to limit internet sales, ban large-capacity magazines, require sellers to have licenses, raise taxes on bullets, and mandate serial numbers or other traceable markings on ammunition so that the police can more easily track them.
Such regulations, several of which have been enacted and take effect this year and next, are inspired by the view that the best way to limit gun violence is to approach it as a “bullet control” problem. As Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat from New York, told the Senate 25 years ago, when he introduced legislation that would have imposed a 10,000-percent tax on hollow-tip ammunition, “guns don’t kill people; bullets do.”
Across the country, bullets remain subject to far fewer federal restrictions than the weapons that fire them. Purchasing ammunition typically requires no form of identification, is handed over with no questions asked and, in most of the country, can be ordered online and delivered to doorsteps. In contrast, gun dealers have to keep detailed sales records of firearms and generally have to be licensed. If someone buys more than one handgun, the purchase is reported to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Gun buyers usually have to pass background checks.
Outside a handful of states, virtually none of these regulations apply to ammunition.
But here in California’s state capital and in Los Angeles, elected officials long ago passed local laws requiring ammunition dealers to keep detailed logs of sales.
Beginning next year, ammunition dealers across the state will be required to maintain logs of all sales — one of many steps California has taken to limit access to bullets.
Critics such as Lawrence Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said the new ammunition rules were burdensome to law-abiding gun owners, including hunters, range regulars and sports shooters. He added that they offered minimal crime-fighting utility for police and imposed unfair costs on gun sellers and makers.
“Raising taxes on bullets to offset the cost of gun violence is akin to putting a levy on prescription drugs to pay for the price of heroin addiction,” Mr. Keane said.
Gun rights groups have vowed to continue fighting against these and similar measures.
“It is wrong to treat California’s law-abiding gun owners like criminals,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director of the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action.
Gun rights groups have worked for several years to block a California microstamping law that was to take effect five years ago. The act would mandate that all new semiautomatic pistols sold in the state be equipped with technology that would imprint shell casings in two locations with a microscopic array of characters that could be used to identify the make, model and serial number of the firearm.
Last month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the law in a 2-1 decision.
Other limitations on ammunition purchases have already been enacted in California.
In January of this year, a state restriction on internet sales went into effect, preventing online buyers from having bullets delivered directly to their homes. Instead, ammunition must be shipped to a licensed dealer so that the police can run a background check.
Aiming to reverse that ban, the N.R.A. filed a lawsuit in April on behalf of Kim Rhode, an Olympic gold-medalist in shooting events, who said the rule imposed an undue burden on her ability to get special bullets she needs to practice.
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
November 25th, 2018