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If You Can't Ban the Guns,
Try to Ban the Ammo

LOS ANGELES  — Gun control advocates appear to have a new strategy: They're going after the ammunition.

With an estimated 250 million firearms in the United States — one for every man, woman and child — guns are a fact of life in America, even if gun control advocates win the political war.

But the nation's supply of ammunition is more limited, so now anti-gun activists are targeting bullets.

"We know that criminals are still getting guns on the street through the black market," said Luis Tolley of Handgun Control Inc. "We shouldn't allow them to also easily walk in to a store and buy as much ammunition as they want."

Los Angeles is the most recent city to consider a ban on the sale of ammunition. Some city leaders call the proposal a possible remedy to reducing violence, but opponents say gun control advocates are once again targeting law-abiding citizens instead of criminals.

"I wish they were half as anxious about prosecuting criminals," said James Baker, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association. "Unfortunately, they don't seem to have the same enthusiasm for actually putting the blame where the blame belongs and that's on the criminal element."

The 1992 L.A. riots are a good example, Second Amendment supporters say. Although the city temporarily banned legal ammunition sales, rioters stole the guns and ammunition they needed.

"This is a proposal by the Clintonian, left-wing, socialist elitists who think they are above the law," said Bob Kahn, a gun store owner.

But the movement may be growing: Chicago and a handful of other cities have enacted restrictions that make it difficult, if not impossible, to buy and sell ammunition.

"California has an enormous impact on the national debate," Tolley said. "Ultimately that can lead to action by Congress."

Several gun control programs got their start right here in California. So, the question remains whether the proposed ban on ammunition in Los Angeles will be another shot heard around the nation.


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