How California's New Ammo Regulations May Impact You

We all know just how hostile to the Second Amendment the state of California is. If there’s a ludicrous idea to allegedly reduce crime but will really just impact the rights of ordinary Americans, California will jump all in for it. Such is their way.


A while ago, the state enacted numerous restrictions on ammunition, clearly taking a cue from public intellectual and policy expert Chris Rock (language in this clip is NSFW):

The new regulations come into effect in a staggered manner, which means it’s hard to keep up with what’s happening when. Luckily, The Firearms Blog has a guest post from Cabela’s Laura Cromwell dealing with this tidbit.

Jan. 1, 2018

  • Vendors must have Department of Justice approval to sell ammo – Current retailers with an ammo supply may stop providing ammunition altogether due to the process of getting DOJ consent. For hunters and shooters in rural areas who rely on mom-and-pop sporting goods stores, they may need to seek out a new supplier as well as plan on driving a lot farther to find the ammunition of their choice.
  • Importing ammunition – Californians must go to an ammunition vendor that has been approved by the DOJ. If a resident orders ammunition from a website, the ammo in question must be sent to an approved vendor for the consumer to pick up. Purchasing ammunition out of state and then returning to California runs the risk of carrying a misdemeanor charge of transporting ammo across state lines.
  • Transferring ammunition – For anyone who has ammunition they are looking to part with, you will need to enlist a DOJ-approved vendor to complete the transaction, same way you would transfer a firearm to a new owner.

July 1, 2018

  • State permission is now required to manufacture or assemble a gun.

Dec. 31, 2018

  • Any unmarked firearm possessed after July 1, 2018 must now have a serial number.

July 1, 2019

  • Background Checks For Ammunition Required – California residents will need to have a background check prior to purchasing ammunition—with a processing fee. Any firearm owner will tell you that a background check is standard procedure for buying a gun, but to have a background check for a box of .223 is just an additional hurdle.

This is expected to hurt small retailers the most, with the regulatory environment becoming a huge disincentive to carrying ammunition. That means California residents will need to check with their favorite retailers to make sure they will continue to carry ammo. It also means that gun rights activists in California have a lot of ground to make up, because this is draconian.

The question is whether these new regulations would stand up to judicial scrutiny. I have no doubt that California courts will find these rules constitutional, but would it survive higher courts? I have to believe they don’t, if for no other reason that this is a clear attempt to restrict an individual’s right to keep and bear arms. That said, I’m not a legal expert. This is something for the legal experts to hammer out.

In the meantime, real people will be impacted by this.

My advice? Buy ammo in bulk whenever you can, just so you can minimize the hassle. And fight this stupidity with every fiber of your being, because this is a gross affront to Californians’ Second Amendment rights.

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