By: Teresa Mull

A California judge has ruled that a law requiring background checks for the purchase of ammunition is unconstitutional, “onerous and convoluted.”

The AP reports:

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in San Diego ruled in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked him to stop the checks and related restrictions on ammo sales.

“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in a 120-page opinion granting the group’s motion for a preliminary injunction.

Background checks, of course, do not deter criminals. As a reminder, Dr. John Lott, Ph.D., President of the Crime Prevention Research Center has found:

“States with these background checks experienced an increase of 15 percent in per capita rates of mass public shooting fatalities. They also saw a 38 percent increase in the rate of injury. Nor is there evidence that expanded background checks reduce rates of any type of violent crime, including mass public shootings, suicide, murder of police officers and domestic violence against women. Other academic research by economists and criminologists consistently confirms this.”

In his groundbreaking research on this topic, Lott and other researchers show the truth:

(Source: Do Background Checks on Private Gun Transfers Help Stop Mass Public Shootings? By John R. Lott Jr. January 2, 2016. Crime Prevention Research Center)

Professor C.D. Michel from Chapman University School of Law points out another inconvenient truth:

“In a report titled ‘Firearm Use by Offenders’, our own Federal Government noted that nearly 40 percent of all crime guns are acquired from street level dealers, who are criminals in the black market business of peddling stolen and recycled guns. Standing alone, this shows that ‘universal’ background checks would have an incomplete effect on guns used in crimes.”

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at