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Gun Enthusiasts Get Ugly in California Legislative Push, Lock State Agents Out of Training Facility

U.S. Newswire -- Sacramento - A shooting range here has announced a ban on use of its shooting facilities by employees of the California Department of Justice because the Department is supporting two bills in the State legislature that the club opposes.

The bills represent groundbreaking new ballistic identification systems which would give police new crime solving tools. Each would set up systems for markings on gun ammunition in California that would help law enforcement investigators track down the perpetrators of shootings that might otherwise remain unsolved. One bill (AB 352) would require handguns to include a device that stamps a specific number on bullets that are fired by that handgun, while the other (SB 357) would require that ammunition manufacturers mark ammunition with a serial number for potential tracking.

The bills have the support of the California DOJ. No California law enforcement organizations oppose the measures. In a letter to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer, Thomas S. Hause, President of the Folsom Shooting Club, which operates the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center outside Sacramento, wrote "The Board of Directors of the Folsom Shooting Club (FSC) has directed me to advise you, in writing, that Department of Justice staff, while acting in their official capacity, are suspended from using the Sacramento Valley Shooting Center (SVSC). The FSC is concerned that your staff will further your efforts regarding AB 352 and SB 357 while using our facility."

Leaders of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Million Mom March are urging the club to drop the policy immediately. "It is offensive that the owners of this shooting range would rather side with criminals than with law enforcement and victims, not to mention that they are discriminating against people simply because they have a different view on legislation," said Amanda Wilcox, State Council Leader of the Million Mom March. "It is also very troubling when it is law enforcement agents who are using the facility for training purposes."

"What's next - should police who support sensible gun laws have their firearms taken away? This is un-American, and these guys ought to have their heads examined," said Jim Brady, chair of the Brady Campaign.

The move has generated a great deal of activity on internet chat sites. On one site, a person who self-identifies as a member of the Folsom club wrote "Our range relies on law enforcement agencies, mainly the California Dept of Corrections, for a large part of our revenue. So this is no small thing to do."

Another chat posting read "Every gun store, gun manufacturer, equipment supplier, and range should boycott all law enforcement sales and support." Another read "If more companies would make this stand and simply say 'if you're going to make it hard for the public to own firearms then we aren't going to assist you in arming yourself against them' maybe the balance would shift." Yet another read "We should ask our respective gun clubs to ban all law enforcement (not just the CA DOJ) from using their ranges as a training ground or for their pistol qualifications. We'll see how far that goes." (See the letter and the comments at http://calguns.net/eve/ubb.x/a/tpc/f/545600176/m/29010985521)

The state Assembly has passed AB 352, which would give police the ability to match bullet shells at the scene of a crime to the gun that fired the bullet. A day later, the State Senate passed SB 357, the bill that will require that all handgun bullets have a serial number that identifies the purchaser. These "cutting edge" proposals are important, powerful tools for police and other states may follow suit. AB 352 now moves to the State Senate and SB 357 now moves to the Assembly.

In 2003, there were nearly 1,600 handgun homicides in California. In a typical year in California, no arrest is made in almost half of the state's homicides because police lack enough evidence to find the murderer.


http://releases.usnewswire.com/GetRelease.asp?id=48548

*FW Note:

Kinda sux when you get a taste your of own medicine, don't it?

:wink:
 

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Yeah, like when Ronnie Barret tells them that as California outlaws his .50 rifles, he will no longer service those owned by the state! Just think, if no arms maker would sell to the states of NY or CA!
 
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