Since July, California ammunition buyers have had to submit to background checks before every purchase at an additional cost of $1.
Now, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to see a national law requiring other states to follow suit.
"I'd like to see them model California's background check on ammunition purchases," Newsom told reporters Monday during a gun violence meeting with state leaders. "Guns don't kill people, guns require a dangerous component, and that's ammunition."
Following mass shootings in Gilroy, El Paso and Dayton, Newsom said ammunition sales is a missing piece of the national discussion about how to reduce gun deaths.
"It's interesting we are debating background checks on guns, but we're not debating background checks on their dangerous component," he said. "That's rather curious to me. It's an incomplete part of this debate."
California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 63 in 2016, which, in part, enacted the added layer of review for ammunition sales.
The new gun control law requires ammunition dealers to run a buyer's ID through the state's Automated Firearms System. The system then informs the seller if the buyer has any felony convictions or other issues prohibiting the purchase.
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The California Rifle & Pistol Association filed a motion in San Diego federal court last month to block the new ammunition purchasing law.
"While making sure dangerous people do not obtain weapons is a laudable goal for government, California's scheme goes too far and must be enjoined," the group wrote.
On Monday, Newsom and state leaders outlined a number of ideas to address gun violence, such as more school counseling and rigorous academic studies examining the issue.
But Newsom declined to throw his support behind any bills that will be considered when state lawmakers return to the Capitol next week. One plan would limit gun purchases to one a month, while another would expand gun violence restraining orders.
He wasn't enthusiastic about creating a statewide gun buyback program.
"In some cases, it does a little good but I don't think it gets to the magnitude of the challenge we have -- the gun culture that's so dominant in this country," he said.