I will try and keep this brief, however possible that is given the somewhat complex and ridiculous nature of the current and impending laws regarding ammunition in California.
Bottom line up front, currently buying ammunition for most citizens of California must be done through a licensed vendor. The vendor must be licensed via California Department of Justice. The vendor may be either an FFL or a licensed ammunition vendor. Ammunition may not be displayed in a such a way that customers can access it prior to purchase. Ammunition may not be purchased out of state then brought into California, doing so would be a misdemeanor. The ammunition must be obtained via a face to face purchase from the aforementioned licensed vendor. Any ammunition bought online must be delivered to a licensed vendor then transferred to the buyer. The costs for this service is determined by the licensed vendor so the savings from doing such may quickly evaporate. The only reason I can see for making such a style of purchase would be for specialty ammunition that is otherwise not commonly available.
Beginning July 2019, all ammunition purchases must be approved with what is essentially a “mini-DROS” styled background check. The check, which is supposed to take no more than 60 to 90 seconds, will cross check your name, firearm type, address, and a few other identifiers, with the State data base to ensure you can legally own the firearm and the ammunition. The check is not supposed to cost more than $1 unless you are denied. Then you can apply for a more thorough check, which will cost $19 and can take up to 10 days. There is no limit on how much ammunition you can purchase.
The DOJ will have the ability to track how much and what type of ammunition you purchase. There is no word as to what the DOJ will do with this information. My guess is not much, because in a relatively short period of time, the data collected will be of a very large volume that would likely preclude casual perusal. I’m guessing that most data review will be after the fact, for criminal investigations.
Now, if you will indulge me for a moment, let me step onto a soap box. California is a wonderfully diverse state. The natural beauty of this state is not equaled anywhere in the world. The weather in parts of California are the envy of many, as residents can enjoy year-round outdoor activities (such as the shooting sports) in temperate climates. Outdoor sports, culture, food, and entertainment opportunities are fantastic. But if you are a serious shooter or believe that the 2nd Amendment should be adhered to in both letter and spirit, then one can feel like disenfranchised. Too many gun owners failed to vote and continue to do so. Or they vote with other issues in mind, and disregard their constitutionally guaranteed rights. Some do it with the hopes that others will take up the standard and fight for their rights. Regardless, I urge you to get informed, get involved, write or otherwise contact your elected officials, and above all, vote.
I will close in saying that California Tactical Academy obviously supports your right to bear arms, and consequently ammunition. Everything will be done to make procuring ammunition in any quantity, as easy as possible within the confines of the law.
We will see you at the range.
Written by Mike Lazarus, California Tactical Academy.
Below are some commonly asked questions:
Q: What if I don’t have any firearms registered to me or my gun is registered to an old address?
A: If DOJ does not have anything on file with you in their Automated Firearms System (AFS) either because you are not yet a gun owner, or you do not have any firearms registered, you will not pass the eligibility check, and you will need to either 1) apply for the “one-time” $19 eligibility check, or 2) you will need to register your firearm. If your firearm is registered, but the address on file does not match your Driver’s License address, you will not pass the eligibility check, and you will need to either 1) apply for the “one-time” $19 eligibility check, or 2) update your information with the DOJ.
Q: What if I am not a California resident and/or do not have a California ID?
A: For now, till we will hear otherwise- You must have a valid CA driver’s license in order for us to run the eligibility check and sell you ammo.
Q: Will the DOJ be providing an on-line system to update my firearm registration information?
A: DOJ are working to develop a system with the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS) to quickly and easily register your firearm or update any of your information (ie. if you have changed addresses). CFARS website is www.CFARS.doj.ca.gov
Q: Why do I have to pay $1 ? Do I have to pay for it each time ?
A: The $1 fee is collected by the DOJ to fund Proposition 63. We have no control over this set fee. And you will need to pay it every time you’ll need to buy ammo, even if it’s on the same place a day after your first transaction.
Q: What if the system to conduct a background check is down ?
A: The CA DOJ is required to provide a phone number we can call in case of such an event.
Q: What about reloading components?
A: There is nothing in the provisions of Prop. 63 that regulates reloading components (powders, primers, projectiles/bullets). Reloading components are not governed by the laws created by Prop 63, however, it’s always possible he could pass new laws that cover reloading components at some point.
Q: This has me really upset. What can I do ?
A: TAKE ACTION! Join the fight with https://www.crpa.org/ they are a great group of people that are constantly fighting for our 2A rights, legal action against the government isn’t financial easy and every support is appreciated.