A judge has ruled that key sections of a California law restricting the sale of handgun ammunition cannot be enforced because they are unconstitutional.
Gun rights advocates celebrated Tuesday's ruling in Fresno County Superior Court, saying the law would have created uncertainty by forcing local gun shops to decide for themselves what type of bullets were covered by the restrictions.
Gun owners must be 21 years-old, and pass a safety test, to buy these weapons. However, law enforcement officials currently have no idea who buys ammunition in California, including here in San Diego. That's about to change.
Starting February 1st, gun users must show a photo ID and give their thumb print when they buy hand gun ammunition making it easier for police to track purchases, and catch felons and others who are not allowed to buy or possess ammunition.
The bill also would have required handgun ammunition to be bought in a face-to-face transaction, which they say would not have prevented a tragedy like the Arizona shooting rampage that killed six and injured U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Shooting suspect Jared Loughner legally purchased ammunition the morning he allegedly opened fire at Giffords' district meet-and-greet outside a Tucson Safeway.
Some gun users say keeping track of ammunition is a good idea.
"People if they have nothing to hide, they have nothing to fear," said one gun user who identified himself as Christian.
Others say criminals will find other ways to buy, or steal, their ammunition.
"They're not following any laws to begin with, so the only thing this is going to have any effect on is people who are trying to do the right thing and are trying to be law-abiding citizens, which are the majority of gun owners any ways," said Dennis Rohman with the P2K Gun Range in El Cajon.
The new law also requires all gun shop owners to store ammunition behind the counter which makes it harder to steal. Opponents say that won't work, either claiming the same attempt to lock spray paint behind cabinets didn't deter graffiti.
Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, signed the measure calling it a good way to "keep communities safe, and prevent dangerous felons from committing crimes with firearms."