Democrat State Representative Brian Kirkland wants to force gun owners to show state- or federally-issued identification before they can buy ammunition.
The goal, says Rep. Kirkland, is to keep loaded guns out of the hands of minors.
Kirkland says he’s plugging a hole in current legislation with this bill because current Pennsylvania law states that unless the seller ‘has reason to believe’ the buyer is under 18 or 21 (higher age restriction to purchase handgun ammunition) there is no requirement to verify the purchaser’s age.
“This is very safe legislation,” said Rep. “I don’t think this is making it harder for anyone to get a gun. You get carded to buy alcohol or tobacco. There is no accountability for the person selling ammunition.”
Kirkland’s plan runs into an obvious constitutional issue, his idiotic comparison notwithstanding.
There is no constitutional right to buy tobacco or alcohol but the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and that right famously ‘shall not be infringed.’
A natural outflow of this constitutional right is the ability to purchase ammunition for said arms without a government permission slip, otherwise a gun is just a clunky and useless paper weight.
“With the gun violence in my neighborhood (Chester, Pa.) and Philadelphia and Pittsburgh— you just see every time you turn the TV on, it’s a 15-, 16-, 17-year-old being shot or doing the shooting,” Kirkland said. “They are going to have illegal guns or ghost guns on the streets. They need ammunition to use them.”
Since these youthful criminals are already carrying loaded and illegal guns, why does Brian Kirkland insist an ID requirement on ammunition will prevent these young criminals from getting their filthy paws on bullets?
Because he’s just another useful idiot who thinks political busywork equals effective action.
It does not.
The Canadian Experience Sheds Light on His Stupidity
In Canada, you must hold a Possession and Acquisition Licence (PAL) before you can purchase ammunition. In order to obtain a PAL an individual must pass federal and local background checks, provide references and pass a federally-mandated firearms safety course, two courses if they want to own handguns.
As I research and report on every week via the Dennis R. Young Legacy Project, criminals violate Canada’s firearm and ammunition laws with wild abandon.
Worse, repeat offenders routinely violate their existing Firearm Prohibition Orders, and only a fraction of these violators are caught every year.
- In Canada, the RCMP reported that “As of December 31, 2019, there were 474,413 individuals prohibited from possessing firearms.” (The RCMP has not yet issued its 2020 Commissioner of Firearms Report.)
- Corrections Canada states the 5-year recidivism rate is 38%, so it’s possible, indeed probable, that as many as 180,000 of these criminals are violating their Firearms Prohibition Orders right now.
- Statistics Canada reported only 1,627 of these criminals were arrested and charged for violating their Firearms Prohibition Order in 2019. The numbers are slightly higher for 2020.
Yet our police agencies are able to arrest and charge less than 1/2 of 1% of these repeat offenders, which only proves the uselessness of Canada’s current Firearm Prohibition Order system and inability of Canada’s firearm and ammunition licensing scheme to keep both out of the hands of criminals.
The Firearms Prohibition Order system is not enforced against criminals, and the licensing scheme is only enforced upon the law-abiding.
Canada’s license requirement to purchase ammunition – far stricter than the simple ID requirement proposed by Rep. Kirkland – cannot keep illegal guns or ammunition for them out of the hands of these criminals.
That Democratic State Rep. Brian Kirkland insists a simple ID requirement will accomplish in Pennsylvania what a strict firearm and ammunition licencing scheme cannot accomplish in Canada proves just how ridiculous – as in richly deserving ridicule – both Kirkland and his ID requirement is.