Monday, July 04, 2016

New California Ammunition Law: Restrictive, Burdensome, Costly, Ineffective

Governor Jerry Brown has signed into law SB 1225.  It is a lengthy, extremely restrictive law regulating the sale of ammunition in California.  It is so restrictive, that it might not hold up in court.  Challenges to the law may have to wait.  The law only goes into effect *if* the very broad, very anti-Second Amendment proposition "Safety for All Act of 2016" is not approved of by the voters.  So this bill, and several others signed by Governor Brown, do not go into effect *unless* voters refuse to approve of the anti-Second Amendment  "Safety for All Act".

What the legislators and Governor Brown have done, is create a "we win - you lose"  scenario for Second Amendment supporters.  If they vote against the proposition, these extremely restrictive laws go into effect.  If they do not vote against the propostiion, the proposition goes into effect.  It is a lose-lose deal for the people of California.

If the proposition  does not pass, then the law will be phased in from 1 January, 2018 to 1 January, 2019.  Individual purchasers will not be constrained until 1 January, 2019.

The restrictions in the law are sweeping and costly.  The law is long and complicated.  Listed below are summaries of a number of the main points of the law.

1.  All ammunition sales to individuals are required to be face to face and shall require a background check.  A long list of occupational exceptions, exceptions for concealed carry permit holders, law enforcement, etc. will not be required to process the background check, but sales will be recorded. Vendors may charge a fee of up to $10 per background check.

2.  It will be illegal to purchase ammunition through the mail.

3.  It will be illegal for residents of California to purchase ammunition out of state, and bring it back into the state.   Ammunition purchased outside the state will be required to be sent to a licensed vendor in California.

4.  Non-residents may legally transport ammunition into and through California, but may not sell it in California, unless is is sold through a licensed vendor subject to a background check.  There are exceptions for sale to a direct family member, registered domestic partner, or hunting partner in quantities of no more than 50 rounds per month.

5.  All ammunition sales will be kept on a computer data base that will be checked against a list of people who have been ruled to be prohibited possessors of firearms.

6.  Nearly all private transfers of ammunition within the state of Callifornia will be required to be done through a licensed ammunition vendor, who may charge a fee for the process.

I expect a rush on ammunition in Nevada, Oregon, and Arizona gun shops over the next two and a half years.  Mail order sales to California will skyrocket.

That is if the "Safety for All" initiative (the anti-Second Amendment types are really good at Orwellian use of words) fails.  If the "Safety for All" initiative passes, the provisions above go into effect starting 1 January, 2017, according to discussion of the initiative on  That is only six months from now.

One thing the California law does not regulate is the reloading of ammunition, or the sale of components such as gunpowder for reloaders, projectiles, wads, cartridge cases or shotgun hulls or primers.  Gunpowder and primers have hazmat restrictions, but they could be ordered in bulk by gun clubs.  The sale of these items is unrestricted by California law. 

Reloading takes a small investment in tools and in the aquisition of skills, but it is not difficult.  I started reloading cartridges under supervision when I was 13.  I was doing it by myself at 16. 

I expect there will be a surge of interest in reloading in California.

A law similar to this one was tried nationwide in the 1970s and 1980s.  It was found to be so burdensome and ineffective, that even the BATF testified against it in Congress. 

It was repealed in 1986, through an enormous grass roots effort that forced the repeal to come to a vote against the will of the Democrat house leadership.

Charlie Rangel (D-NY, currently involved in numerous scandals) was acting Speaker when it passed. He managed to amend the bill to include the 1986 ban on production of automatic firearms for sale to citizens under the Natinal Firearms Act.  No crimes had been committed with that class of firearms for 50 years. After the rules were suspended, and the reform passed, Rangel rigged an amendment.  A voice vote was called for by surprise. It clearly lost, but Rangel rulled it passed. All was recorded on C-Span video. But that is another story.

This is another burdensome, ineffective law that the U.S. Congress could override as too restrictive of interstate commerce, if it so chooses.

The amount of ammunition used in crime is minuscule.  This law only burdens and punishes responsible and honest shooters.  It will easily be circumvented by lawbreakers.

©2016 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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Anonymous said...

If you will read the constitution you will see that one state can not stop another state from doing business with any citizen. the state legislatures never bother to read the federal constitution but the federal constitution makes state laws like this unconstitutional. any American citizen has the right to travel anywhere in the country with anything the federal government allows that citizen to own. your second amendment rights travel with you. the second amendment is a federally guaranteed right No state has the authority to interfere with that right. the state of California has no authority to deny rights the federal constitution guarantees to all citizens. the tenth amendment guarantees that all federally guaranteed rights are guaranteed to all citizens no matter where they are in this country and the tenth amendment removes any state claim to a states rights issue. the second amendment is in the federal constitution bill of rights. individual states have no authority to deny anything the federal constitution is required to guarantee. The citizens of California are first United states citizens with all rights guaranteed. crossing any state line does not remove your guaranteed rights. every legal citizen is first a citizen of the united states then they are a resident of the state they reside in, retaining all of the rights any other citizen in any other state is entitled to. beside this there is nothing in the California state constitution that gives the power to the state legislature to pass any thing related to weapons laws. California has been passing weapons laws for many decades and the legislature has no written authority to pass those laws.
Brown has a history of passing anything that he thinks the state can make a penny off of. the last time they voted him out of office his nick name was tax and spend Brown.

Dean Weingarten said...

California has imported massive numbers of foreign born to vote Democrat since then.

The population of California is now 27% foreign born.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't make me happy to say this, but I have read through the legislation and it does prohibit the purchase of reloading bullets. Stock up...