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 Ammo (courtesy

Mark N writes:

SB 53, California’s dreaded ammunition permit law, was referred back to the Public Safety Committee yesterday for amendment, and it resurfaced today with the following “generous” additional provision . . .

“(c) The department shall issue an ammunition purchase authorization to the applicant if the applicant is a firearms purchaser who submits firearms purchaser information to the department, for a firearm purchase occurring on or after January 1, 2016, passed a background check in connection with that purchase, and that information can be found on the department’s automated system, provided the applicant is not prohibited by state or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a firearm or a person described in subdivision (a) of Sections 27535. Eligible firearms purchasers shall apply with the department in a manner and form prescribed by the department and are subject to a fee not to exceed the reasonable costs of the actual processing costs of the department, including checking the automated firearms system but not to exceed ten dollars ($10). An application submitted simultaneously with a firearm purchase shall be approved within 10 days if the applicant passes the background check for the firearm purchase.” . . .

In other words, if you buy a firearm, the background check necessary to gain possession will count towards the background check needed to obtain the ammunition permit. (As an aside, the actual permit process doesn’t take effect until 2016 either–until then purchasers have to provide ID and a thumbprint to buy ammo. The Legislature has recognized that the background check for a firearm is more thorough than the felony only check requirement for the ammo permit. (See : below) So why do you have to pay an extra $10 to get the ammo permit?

In this regard, it is significant that California’s DROS system had been running a multimillion dollar surplus over the years, but rather than reduce the fee to actual cost (and to refund the excess fees to payees), the Legislature snagged the money to be used to fund the DOJ’s program to seize weapons from persons who have lost their gun rights. The final blow is the Legislature’s newly added statement of purpose, included no doubt as a defense to the inevitable lawsuits challenging its constitutionality:

Penal Code 30375. (a) It is the intent of the Legislature to ensure that prohibited persons do not have access to ammunition by requiring that any individual who wants to purchase ammunition in California have a background check. It is further the intent of the Legislature to streamline the ammunition authorization application process as much as possible for ammunition purchasers.

(b) The Legislature finds and declares that due to technological restrictions and cost concerns, a felony-only background check is, currently, the only background check that can be performed for ammunition purchases. This check will prevent the most dangerous of criminals from accessing ammunition. It is the intent of the legislature that this felony-only background check be expanded, once technology allows, to a comprehensive background check parallel to the firearms eligibility background check.

(c) The Legislature further finds and declares that given that the existing firearms eligibility background check is more extensive than the ammunition authorization felony screening, rather than requiring firearms owners to go through a new background check, the department may use automated firearms records of sales to reference the Prohibited Armed Persons File (Section 30000) to verify that a firearms owner has not become prohibited from purchasing ammunition. It is in the interest of public safety to strive for an exhaustive background check system that precludes criminals and other prohibited individuals from purchasing ammunition.

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  1. Guess that bit doesn’t matter for me, since I’ve decided I will not purchase any more firearms while I live in CA. I refuse to pay the state any more fees or taxes associated with firearms than I absolutely must. (Not that there will be much left to purchase anyway. Handguns are dropping from the “approved” list at an alarming rate, and the “assault rifle” ban will undoubtedly become law.)

    • I have all the guns I could ever need or use. None of these are EBRs as they aren’t my thing. No more purchases for me either. As for ammo, I like to go to Reno ever so often. I’ll just double up on my fun there.

      • I also have all the guns I will ever need. But there is that 10/22 for my grandson, and maybe the lever action. Also, Magnum Research makes a very pretty 1911. And then I was thinking of getting an AR-15 in 5.56 just because every American needs one. And of course, there is the……. but I don’t need any of them, but getting them would sure be fun.

      • Brace yourself – the CA ag check stations on the CA/NV border will now be used to check if you are bringing any ammunition into the glorious People’s Republic. They will probably be able to search your vehicle without a warrant if you “look like a gun owner” – or they will have your license plate in their data base.

        When that happens, get a detailed road map of the area around Reno – you can go north out of Reno on Washoe County roads, get into CA around the Red Rocks area north of Bordertown, and sneak into the PRCa through Quincy.

        • Are any of those still open? It seems like every one I’ve seen for years has been shut down. I drove through one from OR to CA a few months ago, no stopping.

        • I had dual residency for better part of 2012. I’ve never been stopped at those things and have rarely seen anyone else get stopped. The few times I’ve seen people get stopped, they were usually cargo vans.

          You do bring up a good point however. Remove all gun related stickers from your vehicle, if you have any.

        • I fail to see how “looks like a gun owner” qualifies the border check stations to conduct a warrantless search of a private vehicle. Are they going to stop and search every black or Hispanic male in a hoodie? And I recall not long ago some videos of people refusing to be searched for fruits and vegetables. When the inspectors told them they would not be allowed to enter California (as if) they just laughed at them. Even the CHP had to admit that they could not be detained or searched without their specific permission. Pro-gun bumper stickers, or even an NRA sticker on the back window qualify as freedom of speech under the First Amendment and hardly qualifies as reasonable proof of a crime in progress or probable cause for a warrant. By what authority then would they be able to search you or your vehicle? And they certainly have no constitutional authority to deny you entrance to their state, especially via a FEDERALLY funded interstate highway. IMO

        • I have nothing on my car to suggest gun ownership. I drive a generic, craptastic camry that looks like a million others. If I get signalled out for a search it will be because they’re searching everybody. Not practicle.

          Besides. If it gets that bad I’ll simply store what I have and not buy any more. 9 million gun owners driven out of the market is going to effect some one’s bottom line. Production cut backs and price increases coming in the future to make up the loss.

  2. Is there a $10 fee every time? You continually hear people say they aren’t coming for your guns, I don’t see why people need guns, you can still get your hunting rifles. You just have to point to Cali and Jersey. That is the future they want for the whole country. There can be no discussion or compromise with these people, the point of infringement was 69 years ago, there has never been a single actual compromise (we’ll just take these guns away, deal?), just chip chip chip away.

    • I think the ‘permit’ needs to be renewed periodically, but I don’t remember if it’s annually.

      That isn’t the worst part. They are going to ban internet sales of ammunition (although I haven’t seen when that takes effect). Since local shops never have anything in stock or are ridiculously expensive, that will pretty much make getting ammo very difficult to impossible. Even buying it in another state won’t be much help. The last time I was in the Phoenix area no one had any ammo there either. And neighboring states may decide they aren’t too keen on selling ammo to Californians.

      • Time to get a P.O. Box in a neighboring state then. Fear not though, I am sure that they will come back with some anti-trafficking of ammo laws that will attempt to prevent CA residents from getting their ammo elsewhere. It is abundantly clear that the only way CA or NJ will ever be brought in line is through the courts. It takes way too long, and it is risky, but I just don’t see another way.

      • Yes, the permit has to be renewed every two years, with a background check–unless you’ve bought a new firearm apparently. And they’ve changed the internet ban thingy–someone realized that it violated the Commerce Clause. Now internet sales ARE permitted, but you have to have the ammo sent to your local LGS, as the law still requires a face to face transaction to check your ID (until 1/1/2016) or your permit and record your ammo purchase I am not so sure how cooperative your LGS will be with this process, though, since they obviously don’t get anything out of the deal except foot traffic.

        • I’m sure the LGS’s will pretty quickly come up with some kind of transfer fee which, of course, will add to the cost of your ammo. Major bummer all around.

  3. “It is in the interest of public safety to strive for an exhaustive background check system that precludes criminals and other prohibited individuals from purchasing ammunition.”

    How in the world would any “system” know that someone is a criminal? If someone is a criminal, that means our criminal justice system convicted them and they are supposed to be in prison!!!

    So what is the point of the new “system”? Is it there to prevent prison escapees from purchasing ammunition? That would be ludicrous. Is it there to prevent parolees from purchasing ammunition? Why would they need to prevent parolees from purchasing ammunition when their “system” would already prevent parolees from purchasing firearms? After all a parolee would have no need of ammunition if they did NOT have any firearms. Or does their “system” anticipate that parolees will acquire firearms illegally so the California legislature wants to stop parolees from purchasing ammunition for their illegally acquired firearms? If that is the case, what makes them think a parolee who acquired a firearm illegally would somehow be unable to acquire ammunition illegally?

    This clearly shows that the California legislature is either extremely ignorant, insane, criminal, or some combination thereof. As far as I am concerned, that establishes a “crisis of legitimacy” for the California Legislature. What are the good people in California (I know they are in the minority) going to do about it?

    • Get ready for California to start complaining that their tough new violence prevention measures are being frustrated by neighboring states where ammunition can be freely purchased.

      • No shit. Me and several of my friends who may or may not have had boating accidents have already planned annual trips to neighboring free states for supplies.

    • “This clearly shows that the California legislature is either extremely ignorant, insane, criminal, or some combination thereof.”

      I think that sums it up. Some actually do believe that these laws will keep guns and ammo out of the hands of people who intend to commit criminal acts with them. Others are just seeing them as a way to effectively disarm the public.

      It isn’t what CA gun owners will do about it – it’s what will all of the organizations that want our money (NRA, CRPA, etc.) will do about it. Now it is going to take challenges in the courts. That will take years. I’m not holding my breath.

      What I plan to do about it is move out. But I can’t do that in less than 5 years.

      • No. It’s not that “…the California legislature is either extremely ignorant, insane, criminal, or some combination thereof.”

        They are embarked on a gradual campaign of eradicating gun ownership, shooting sports and hunting. First in this state. Then the rest of the nation.

        • I covered that possibility with the “criminal” category. The California Legislature are acting as criminals if they are purposely infringing on the rights of their citizens.

      • “Others are just seeing them as a way to effectively disarm the public.”

        Nailed it… No doubt in my mind this is the goal, plain and simple… For the good of the children of course… Don’t worry kiddies the Po-Po will protect you…

  4. Look at the long term play here.

    The antis in Sacramento are acting as their constitutents want,which is to regulate firearms out of existence.Meanwhile the judiciary is striking down unconstitutional carry restrictions .Sooner or later case precedent will end discretionary issue CCW,and they know it .

    So,they’re eliminating the retail and sales channels because what good is a CCW permit if you can’t get ammunition ?

  5. when is this state going to wake up…when is slips into the sea?…recall. recall. recall. recall. recall. recall. recall…………

    • I haven’t looked to see if that option even exists. And even if it does, it wouldn’t work. In the case of CA those legislators are doing exactly what their liberal, progressive, Democratic constituents want them to do. Gun owners are woefully outnumbered in the districts that elected the a$$hats in the first place.

    • Ok let me be blunt here.
      There is a recall option but it isn’t worth it. 3.5 million minimum just to take out one politician in one district.
      It is better to look at all those who one by 10% or less and focus on 2014.
      I am guessing the vast majority of these bills will be signed into law.

      48 is now back up after including most of the text from 53 which was sent back.
      396 is also back on the table as well.

      It is all being passed, and pushed through. Brown is the last person to appeal too at this point. I am really frightened where this will lead.

      • Be sure to write a letter to Governor Brown urging him to veto these laws. Brown is a gun owner and fairly reasonable when it comes to firearms. He isn’t interested in filling state prisons with law-abiding people or adding more mind-numbing complexity to California statutes.

  6. East and West Coast politicians are trying desperately to ruin the entire nation and deprive all citizens (SUBJECTS) of the right to own firearms.
    I’m sick of this shit, we’d do well to start hanging career politicians…short rope / tall tree.
    Our political system is failing us, time for a change.
    The unworking have oppressed the working.

  7. So are you going to see roadside ammo stand opening up (like fireworks stand) right on the border of in the free states?

    Maybe I’ll buy me a couple dillon presses and tumblers and all the assorted components and set up an “Ammo While You Wait” stand. You bring in your brass and I refresh it and you take completed ammo back across the border.

    Are components going to be taxed in CA? Can you still make your own ammo under these laws? Will there then be an increase in reloading in CA?

  8. How on earth is this going to be fixed. I’m an optimistic guy and I believe it could happen in my lifetime but the stuff like this makes me think we ALL have a long road ahead of us.

    Not worrying about your neighboring states is just as bad as not caring about cosmetic feature bans because your revolvers and your 16ga doubles will be safe.

    The best way I can envision this being resolved is that more and more people CONTINUE to get into shooting and that the people who are already into shooting get into watching out for their rights.

  9. I am grateful I live in a state where I can walk in just as I did this morning and purchase as much ammunition as I want to without any ID. Cash and carry no questions asked the way it should be.

  10. Shall we blame the legislators for violating the constitution, the dumba$$ voters for electing the politicians, or the courts for failure to protect the Bill of Rights?

    It is exceedingly obvious that this measure will greatly drive up ammunition costs within CA. The internet has great deals on ammo, and I purchase ammo online regularly. I suspect also that there will be carve outs, yet again, for law enforcement. I almost hope that they don’t. These ridiculous gun laws might as well burden police officers just as much as everyone else. That way, it is pretty obvious how ridiculous these measures are.

    As a side note, I’m looking into a lateral transfer into WI State Troopers.

    • “Shall we blame the legislators for violating the constitution, the dumba$$ voters for electing the politicians, or the courts for failure to protect the Bill of Rights?”

      …yes, yes, and yes.

    • Lateral transfer is a big decision to make, best wishes and I hope you find an agency that fits you well. Ever consider anywhere in WA? Despite having a fair amount of the same kind of nuts you have down there, for the most part they leave guns alone.

  11. I remember stopping by the local hardware store in my small CA town on Saturday mornings, dropping a 20, maybe two, and coming out with enough ammo to have lots of fun in the hills nearby. Better times in CA. Miss my friends and family I don’t see as often now days. Miss the scenery. Wouldn’t go back, though.

  12. What do they do about people who reload in California that have enough supply’s to cover them for the remainder of there shooting ? I am in Oregon I can only hope that the legislature in Salem learns something from Colorado and does not follow California.

  13. “This check will prevent the most dangerous of criminals from accessing ammunition.”

    Sure it will. Now you’ll have straw ammo purchasers and elevated robberies of ammunition. Good job Californians. Keep that think tank churning out great ideas.

    • I think we can color that gone but someone please correct me if I’m wrong…. From what I’ve read that was one of the biggest reasons they passed this unlawful “law”…

      • Addressed above in a comment. Internet sales are still OK as long as the ammo is shipped to a licensed ammo vendor (your LGS) for compliance with the face to face and ID requirements.

  14. I blame California’s hunters and “average” gun owners for letting things get this out of hand.

    California has more gun owners than most states have citizens. And yet, only a fraction of those are active and tried to sound the alarm, get involved, and so on. Still, anywhere else in the country (other than maybe NYC), this fraction would be more than enough to get things going.
    And yet the “casual” gun owners of CA just couldn’t be bothered to do anything. This isn’t a new problem, this has been ratcheting up for the better part of two decades, and yet nothing could be done to get them involved when there was still a fighting chance.

    Now California is deep fried and f**ked. Now your average Billy dipshit, who liked to go hunting once or twice a year but never bothered to vote or anything else, is on the road to felon-ville the first trip he takes his old ammo with him. Now Mr. Can’t-be-bothered who inherited his grandad’s carbine decades ago owns an illegal weapon with illegal magazines, and the first time his boy takes it to the range, he’s going to leave in cuffs.
    Nice work, assholes. The world tried to tell you, your neighbors tried to tell you, but it was either too important to look like you were a good progressive, voting for all the right pet project candidates, or you were just too damn lazy to get involved at all. It was more fun to sit home and watch tv or play xbox than take the whopping 15 minutes to look into an election and vote in it.
    I don’t give a shit about the 5 million asshole hunters who just woke up with a sore ass and their panties around their ankles. Instead, my heart goes out to all you guys, the thousands or hundreds of thousands, who tried to stand and fight with those lardasses tied around your necks. I hope you guys can get out of there soon. At this point, I’d rather see the gun community at large quarantine California by taking up residence in places like Oregon, Arizona and Nevada and fortifying their new home states against this kind of garbage. I think that’s the only thing left to do.

    • I will admit I was late t the game, only the last couple of years, have I been active.
      I have however been very vocal. Hence articles on TTAG, GRAA affiliation, and doing a show on the matter.
      We only had a couple of hundred folks show up at the rally a week ago. No press, nothing. Have Californians given up?

  15. boy, they can’t stop messing with the bill (and that’s a good thing–time is running out). IT was amended yet again last night to include, among other things, the following with respect to internet sales:

    The delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition may only occur in a face-to-face transaction with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity from the purchaser or other transferee. transferee, provided, however, that ammunition may be purchased over the Internet or through other means of remote ordering if an ammunition vendor in this state initially receives the ammunition and processes the transfer in compliance with this section and Article 3 (commencing with Section 30345). An ammunition vendor is required to promptly and properly process those transactions. An ammunition vendor is not required to house ammunition orders longer than 30 days.

    So that is enough incentive for the LGS to handle these deals–it is mandated to do so.

  16. Looks like in a few years the only way that Californians will be able to see guns is when the criminals and police are aiming at them, and the only contact they’ll have with ammo is when someone fills them full of it.

    Oh! What a glorious utopia!

    The need to touch guns will become so severe that they will ‘assault’ innocent firearms in DGU’s just to feel that smooth cold hammer forged barrel. They will grab guns… grab… guns? They’ll become the very thing we hate most. Gun grabbers!

    It’s ‘their’ evil plan to turn ‘us’ into ‘them’. Why didn’t we see this coming?

  17. I’m the idiot that moved from Idaho to this god forsaken state. As an avid hunter I’ll have to now pursue hunting in other states. California Fish & and Game will no longer receive my money for a hunting license if I have to go through a background check to purchase ammo for hunting. Sacramento has no idea how devastating this legislation is to the CA economy.

    Citizens who give up their freedoms for safety and security receive neither.

    • Forget about the background check, these dummies passed a law banning lead ammo. You’ll probably have to get depleted uranium bullets if you want to shoot anything.

  18. *stops the Dillon*
    Someone say background checks for ammo? Hahaha….

    The best part of California is that we have neighbors who are free. Arizona, Nevada, Oregon.
    If you haven’t already purchased a reloading bench, nows the time to do so. I still need to, but I have friends who are set up to reload pretty much any caliber. We also all have cars, so making huge group buy ammo runs isn’t going to be a problem.

  19. just come to Nevada ,we’ll sell you all you want California and there is no law against that in either state.California just continues to step on their tusshy,they don’t get it. BUT, I heard STUPIDITY IS CONTAGIOUS.So maybe they shouldn’t come here.

    • False. It is unlawful for a Californian to buy a rifle in Nevada unless you have it shipped to an FFL in California. Federal law requires interstate transfers to go through a CA FFL for CA residents.

      It is illegal for either an FFL or a private person to sell and deliver a firearm to someone who does not live in the same state as the seller where that transaction is unlawful in the sellers state or the buyers state.

      • ConstitutionalRight says:
        September 12, 2013 at 20:13

        [False. It is unlawful for a Californian to buy a rifle in Nevada unless you have it shipped to an FFL in California. Federal law requires interstate transfers to go through a CA FFL for CA residents.

        It is illegal for either an FFL or a private person to sell and deliver a firearm to someone who does not live in the same state as the seller where that transaction is unlawful in the sellers state or the buyers state.] .

        charlie says;
        excluding any CA specific laws
        I believe restriction to only transfer between buyers and sellers of same home state only apply to handguns.
        Rifles and shotguns I believe can be purchased in adjoining states of the buyers home state.

  20. This is going to make more ammo sold on the black market. Just like they sell drugs on the streets they will sell ammo on the streets.

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