San Francisco takes aim at high-powered ammo

Progress was made this week in an effort to reduce gun violence in San Francisco.

A meeting by a Board of Supervisors committee approved two pieces of legislation Thursday that would make the sale and transaction of certain military-grade ammunition illegal to possess in San Francisco, the San Francisco Examiner reports.

In addition, businesses would also be required to report anyone to the police who buys at least 500 rounds of ammunition in a single transaction.

While state and federal legislators have refocused on gun control matters since the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in Connecticut, this new legislation would address the issue of gun control on the city streets.

The ordinances are what Supervisor David Campos is calling:

“A very measured approach to the rising problem of having too many guns on the streets.”

The ammunition in question are hollow-point bullets with barbs, which are already illegal to sell in The City.

Jason Elliott from the mayor’s office explained to the Ex that the barbs on these bullets:

“… cause significant damage to internal organs and make surgical repair effectively impossible.”

Violators would face up to six months in jail or a $1,000 fine. Military officers and members of law enforcement — such as Police Capt. Denis O’Leary, who supports the ban — would be exempt from the legislation.

This is not to say there isn’t opposition to the ordinances. Robert Green, who was present at the committee meetings, reportedly said that the focus should be on prohibited individuals who are purchasing ammunition, and that the proposed legislation “will do little to nothing to help public safety.”

Campos pointed out that recent mass shootings have been carried out by individuals who could legally purchase ammunition and had no criminal history, and that notifying the police is half the battle:

“You should not be afraid of the chief of police knowing that you’re purchasing ammunition. if you’re not doing anything wrong or illegal, the fact that the chief of police knows should not be a problem.”

The Board’s city operations and neighborhood services committee voted to move along both items for votes by the full Board of Supervisors.