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Skelton: California needs crackdown on bullets

June 17, 2013|By Los Angeles Times Staff
  • A pistol, part of an assault-style rifle and ammunition magazines allegedly dropped by a gunman during a mass shooting spree, are displayed at the Santa Monica Police Department headquarters earlier this month.
A pistol, part of an assault-style rifle and ammunition magazines allegedly… (David McNew / Getty Images )

California already has some of the toughest gun laws in the country. Now George Skelton says it needs to apply the same approach to bullets.

"Guns don't kill people. Bullets do," he writes in his Monday column.

The latest example of the problem, Skelton says, is the mentally disturbed man who stockpiled 1,300 bullets before going on a deadly rampage in Santa Monica.

"We regulate firearms," says Garen Wintemute, director of the UC Davis Violence Prevention Research Program. "Firearms are nothing more than bullet delivery devices. If we're going to regulate the delivery device, we should regulate the bullet that the device delivers."

One proposal, from state Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), would require a background check and a license to buy ammo. The measure passed the Senate and is pending in the Assembly.

"There's nothing that's an absolute solution," says Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. "But if you put enough controls in place, that makes it less and less likely there will be gun violence."

All of Skelton's columns are here


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