Op-Ed: Should Bullet-Buyers in Elk Grove Have to Give a Thumb Print?

The city of Sacramento requires people buying ammo to produce identification and give a thumb print.

by Connie Conley, Elk Grove Community Connection
Special to Elk Grove Patch 

With the recent massacres in Newtown and Aurora, communities across the nation are now having the discussion about gun safety, including having people register when they buy ammunition.  That same discussion is now taking place in Elk Grove.

Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a law back in 2009 with the intent to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, but the National Rifle Association filed a lawsuit saying there is no such thing as “handgun ammunition.”

However, an ammo ordinance passed back in 2008 by the Sacramento City Council has been quietly effective.  As reported by the Sacramento Police Department for 2009 alone:

“Detectives conducted follow up investigation on ammunition purchasers with the following results in 2009:

  • 109 prohibited people purchased ammunition
  • 24 had convictions for violence
  • 9 were gang members; 2 were sex offenders
  • 5 people indicted in federal court

Recovered or seized:

Equally as important, as reported recently on the local news and in published reports, Sacramento County District Attorney Jan Scully has also been proactive in prosecuting Sacramento's ordinance.  Since 2008:

  • 349 people have been banned from buying ammo in the city of Sacramento
  • 275 people with felony convictions were caught trying to buy ammo in the city ofSacramento
  • 270 people were prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s office

Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel has been quoted as saying, “Sacramento has proven that doing background checks on ammunition purchasers will keep dangerous ammunition out of the hands of criminals and make our neighborhoods safer.”

Recently Senator Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) announced plans to introduce legislation requiring those buying ammo to first obtain a permit from the Dept. of Justice.  However, as we have seen with the city of Sacramento, communities can take “local control.”

Elk Grove community members have also tried to be proactive.  Back in 2005, Elk Grove Coalition Advocating Proper Planning (EGCAPP) introduced a School Safety Ordinance to the Elk Grove City Council which included several components; one being the selling of guns and ammunition.  After repeated attempts, the Elk Grove City Council did take action last year; passing only the tobacco portion of the ordinance.

In the city of Sacramento, citizens who can legally buy ammo are doing so not seemingly too bothered by having to produce identification.  But it begs the question for those who can’t and know that:  Are they buying their ammo in Elk Grove? 

Should the Elk Grove City Council consider passing a similar ammo ordinance as the city of Sacramento? 


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Greg January 08, 2013 at 10:05 PM
No --- just one more bureaucratic burden thing to try to keep track of. The City can't even remember its own sign and zoning ordinances.
Ana Bertolucci February 05, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Absolutely. If you're not a criminal, then why is having to show your ID such a hardship?


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