Saturday, October 07, 2006

Los Angeles City Councilman Seeks Ways to ID Ammo Buyers

The Los Angeles Times reports that city councilman Jack Weiss is requesting that LAPD come up with a way to identify folks who purchase ammunition. Purchasing ammo in Los Angeles currently requires a legal photo ID and a fingerprint. The establishment that sells the ammo keeps the record of the sale on file. Here is the article:

A Los Angeles councilman asked the LAPD and city attorney's office on Friday to study ways to identify those who purchase ammunition.

The request by Councilman Jack Weiss follows a Rand Corp. report, released Thursday, that found dozens of ex-felons and others legally prohibited from buying ammunition purchased more than 10,000 rounds of bullets and shotgun shells during a two-month study period in 2004. The rounds, the report said, were purchased at 10 businesses in Los Angeles that sell ammo.

So, the Rand Corporation performs an "objective analysis and study" of who bought ammunition in Los Angeles and finds that felons are purchasing ammunition. During this study, the Rand Corp. found:

A total of 2,031 people purchased 436,956 rounds of ammunition during the study period. This included 10,050 rounds of ammunition purchased by 52 people with felony convictions or other violations on their records that legally prohibit them from buying ammunition.

Felons purchase less ammo than non felons. OK, that is not quite the conclusion that the Rand Corp. came up with:

While the study examined only a short period of time, researchers say it provides the first reliable information about whether ammunition is routinely purchased by people who are barred from possessing ammunition.

“We found that it's not uncommon for people with criminal records simply to buy ammunition at a retail store,” said Greg Ridgeway, co-author of the study and a researcher at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. “It is particularly risky for communities to have guns and ammunition in the hands of such people.”

Past studies have shown that guns and ammunition possessed by felons and others prohibited from owning weapons are more likely to be used in violent crimes than weapons bought by people with no criminal histories.

The Rand Corp. has just stated that criminals are more likely to commit crimes than non-criminals. That is what we have been saying all along. I did not notice that little tidbit of fact pointed out in the news paper article, did you?

The Rand Corp. goes on to recommend the following:

The RAND study says if lawmakers want to prohibit the illegal sale of ammunition they could extend the instant background checks required before guns are sold to also cover the sale of ammunition.
It appears that this is the recommendation that Councilman Weiss is interested in promoting, but the Rand Corp. also recommended:

Another alternative is for law enforcement officials to take advantage of ammunition sales records to provide tips about felons who may illegally possess firearms, according to researchers. Ammunition logs have been used by Los Angeles area law enforcement officials to obtain search warrants that have led to the recovery of illegal firearms, according to the study.
Go after the criminals instead of making even more hoops for law abiding citizens to jump through. That is an idea that makes a bit of sense. I'll leave the discussion about whether or not Felons should be allowed Second Amendment rights for another day.

The councilman should have read that last paragraph, and then pondered upon it for a minute or two. If he had, he could have come up with this amazing idea - The city has proof of 52 felons that have purchased ammunition illegally. 52 people who have broken the law once again. They have their photographs, they have their addresses, and they have their fingerprints. If Councilman Weiss is so worried about criminals having ammunition, he should be demanding 52 arrests.


E. David Quammen said...

Rand Corp., eh? Well, let's see what the U.S. Constitution says about that....

Let's see now, where was that...Oh, yeah, here it is:

"The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms Shall NOT be Infringed"

And ammunition is a logical coexistent with the arms, so it cannot be infringed upon either.

Don't see one thing about any Rand Corp. in there at all. That pretty much makes them a MOOT POINT doesn't it?

They still keep trying to excite the TYRANNY of the majority, I see.....

John R said...

The arguments they try to use get further and further out into left field and each one is weaker than the last, yet they get support. I really do not understand how that happens.

Anonymous said...

Politicians have no grasp on reality...