A California judge has blocked a pending state law that would have required Californians to provide a thumbprint and photo identification when buying handgun ammunition, reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. Judge Jeffrey Hamilton in Fresno ruled hat the law scheduled to go into effect Feb. 1 was “unconstitutionally vague.” Gun-rights groups had argued that some types of ammunition can be used in both handguns and rifles, making enforcement and compliance a challenge.
State Sen. Kevin de Leon, a Los Angeles Democrat and author of the law, said, “This Republican judge decided his personal ideology was more important than the safety of kids and police officers.” Using the judge's reasoning, de Leon continued, a separate law banning the sale of “cop-killer” bullets that can penetrate body armor should also be tossed. At issue is language in the law that bars sales of ammunition “principally for use” in handguns without a thumbprint and ID. The law's objective, de Leon said, was to aid investigations and potentially prevent crime by making it easier for police to track criminals already barred from owning handguns who buy ammunition. The law would require Californians buying handgun ammunition over the Internet or by mail order to have it shipped to a licensed vendor. There, buyers would still have to provide the thumbprint, ID and other information.