New California Ammo Regs Already Giving Vendors Trouble

Buying ammo in the Golden State will require background checks starting Jan. 1, 2018.  (Photo: Grant Hindsley /

California’s onerous new ammunition regulations haven’t even gone into effect yet, and gun stores are already wondering whether they’ll be able to sell ammo when the new background check requirement kicks in.

Last year Californians voted in favor of Proposition 63, a measure that institutes background checks for all ammunition purchases and requires sellers to obtain an “ammunition vendor license.” The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

The California Department of Justice (DOJ) was supposed to have solidified in July the process for obtaining such a license. But they failed to do so. They submitted the proposed regulations three days ago (December 1), which, as the NRA-ILA points out, doesn’t give ammunition vendors enough time to apply for and obtain a license before the law takes effect.

Even if the Golden State bureaucracy expedites the approval process, ammunition dealers will still not have enough time to get the state’s permission to sell ammunition. Unless the state extends the deadline, 6 million firearms owners in California might not have access to ammunition after the beginning of the new year.

Online sales aren’t an option as out-of-state vendors begin halting direct sales to customers in California.

Texas-based Defender Outdoors announced last month that it will cease direct online sales to California residents on December 17, 2017. Calling Prop. 63 a “whole new level of government oversight,” Defender Outdoors will only ship ammunition to licensed vendors, who may not even be able to receive it for another several months.

Law-abiding Californians also won’t be able to bring in ammunition from another state. As the law expressly prohibits such action. Failure to comply with Prop. 63 will result in a misdemeanor.

SEE ALSO: California SNAFU: Prop. 63 Proves to be Nightmare for Gun Shops, Ammo Dealers

The inability of vendors to obtain a permit by the new year isn’t the only problem with the law. The NRA-ILA notes several flaws in the sections of Prop. 63 that deal with ammunition.

It isn’t clear, for example, for how long ammunition licenses will be valid. The proposed regulation says that “the term of an ammunition vendor license is from January 1 through December 31. Regardless of the date of the initial license is issued.” This directly contradicts California law, which says that the license will be valid for “a period of one year.”

The regulations also don’t clarify whether ammunition stored behind the counter is permissible under the law. The law stipulates that the ammunition must be stored in such a way that requires the assistance of an employee. As the NRA-ILA points out, ammunition is often stored behind the counter in open shelving. This setup would seem to comply with the law. But the California DOJ hasn’t said one way or the other.

Whether or not California gets their act together before the January 1 deadline, now is the time for gun owners in the Golden State to invest in reloading equipment.

{ 67 comments… add one }
  • Brian Fletcher December 14, 2017, 3:29 pm

    The black market for ammo will soar and rival the illicit drug trade. Oh, and one other thing
    the liberal media fails to note is that individuals who posses both a Federal Firearms License
    and a Certificate of Eligibility issued by the CaDoJ are exempt for this ridiculous feel-good law.

  • The Truth December 13, 2017, 4:39 pm

    It’s not a defect it’s a feature.

  • TK. Anderson December 12, 2017, 9:08 pm

    If you don’t like the freedom of religion, you remove the symbols and effects of that religion using expensive lawsuits on poor people, education systems and cities that must cave to avoid financial ruin. This mission has been accomplished.
    If you don’t like the law that protects an individuals right not to be stopped and searched at random, you use “for the public’s safety” excuse. This mission has been accomplished, note the next DUI check point or USBP check point and of course when your car or home is invaded without warrant or cause.
    If you don’t like guns, limit all the effects, the ability to purchase effects and use the legal system to make any challenge to those limits outside the financial ability of the average person. Mission accomplished..

  • j. amato December 12, 2017, 1:44 am

    As a lifelong resident in the Commonwealth of PA. – I can’t imagine the thought of an entity or faction. that would limit or restrict the amount of ammunition we, as free men, acquire and use.- It’s truly another planet in Kalifornia.

  • Mark From Bristol December 11, 2017, 6:09 pm

    I’m from Indiana and are guns and ammunition regulations, laws are what they are and are not. We of course border Illinois and part of that is Cook County (Chicago) that has some of the strictest laws on the books. In Illinois you can’t even purchase ammunition without producing the same FOID (Firearms Owner ID) card that is necessary to purchase firearms whether you own a firearm or not. There is no such thing in my state of Indiana. You go through an FBI back ground check to purchase a firearm as an Indiana resident if you are above the age of 18, and you don’t go through a back ground check to purchase ammunition if you are above the age of 18. It has gotten so bad in Illinois that when Illinois residents come into Indiana to purchase ammunition that everyone is asked for their telephone numbers if the are a bordering Illinois county, and if they rattle off an Illinois number (Area Code) to the cashier, then they are asked to produce their Illinois FOID card in Indiana even though there is no such thing or law requiring such a thing in Indiana. It’s just that the Illinois politicians have put so much pressure on Indiana, at least the bordering counties to make it tough on Illinois residents to purchase ammunition in Indiana. I don’t no, but imagine that it must be the same for Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri. If I sold ammo in a county that borders Illinois that isn’t in Illinois and they requested me to do that, I would simply tell them what my state’s laws are and to go….I can’t say it here.

  • el rey December 8, 2017, 1:41 pm

    No prob. Just buy it from the illegals. They don’t follow no steenkeeng laws.

  • Dieko December 8, 2017, 12:53 pm

    Does that a mean no ammo to police departments too?

  • JohnE December 8, 2017, 12:46 pm

    Residents of California get what they deserve. The state moto is “Where the Insane Roam Free”. Any sane person would have moved out long ago Trumps wall should be built on the board of California to keep its residents in.
    Perhaps the fires buring LA will do us all a favor and take the entire mtro area or a good 10 Earthquake will drop the state into the ocean and cleans its filth.

    • Larry Brickey December 8, 2017, 9:40 pm

      Jobs keep them there. CA is just going step by step to make guns illegal.

    • Don December 14, 2017, 2:53 am

      “Residents of Califonia get what they deserve…Any sane person would have moved out by now.” Do all assumptions like this have to come from the mouths of inbred yokels like JohnE? In my family”s case, we have been here for generations as farmers, manufacturers and sportsman. It isnt until the last 15 years that all of these crazy laws have come about. The problem isn’t native Californians, it is everyone whom moves here from out of state and refuse to assimilate. Then you have people like JohnE who haven’t been no farther than 5 miles from the outskirts of his po’ dunk town, population 500. Instead of running your mouth, why not try to help us out. Us good guys are here trying to fight the good fight all alone.

      • ElRipley December 15, 2017, 9:19 pm

        Damn straight, week said! Gun owners in other states sit on their duffs and shoot their mouths off on how easy it is, and we all just should “vote them all out.” I’ve done more pro-2A work in the last 10 years than guys like JohnE have done in a lifetime. There’s maybe 10 million of us in this state fighting 30 million liberals and illegals, who vote a straight democratic ticket. If you can’t step up and help us, then at least have the courtesy to keep quiet. You wouldn’t have a clue how to handle the situation gun owners here in CA face. You think we don’t know about the People’s Republic and all these nutty laws, and need you to tell us? We live here, and have to deal with it everyday. I’m sick of you Camo Commandos in other states telling us how it’s our own fault for not “jist votin’ ‘em out! Giterdone!” Hot air rises, and s*** floats.

    • Adam T December 14, 2017, 8:28 am

      Some of us don’t have the ability to up and move. I work for the state and have 14 yrs in with 15 more to go. I can’t just up and throw it away. So in the meantime I’ll stay and fight.

    • Steve December 14, 2017, 1:40 pm

      Thank you John E, for your “support”! I live in the PRK (People’s Republic of Kalifornia) Conservatives are outnumbered 2-1 in this state. Because of this ratio, we are unable to get any type of conservative majority in our state legislature. The only recourse we have is the court system. Unfortunately, the 9th circuit court continuously rules against us. Your entire post is asinine at best! The conservatives did nothing to deserve this! The system is rigged in favor of the progressives, who continually violate the law, harboring illegals and allowing them to vote! They also have a monopoly on the welfare leaches. The only good thing that has happened lately is the Hollywood elitists are finally going down! A little support from the rest of the states would be appreciated! Remember, what happens in the PRK eventually permeates the rest of the country.

      • ElRipley December 15, 2017, 9:20 pm

        Excellent response Steve, thanks.

  • Mike S. December 8, 2017, 10:59 am

    “Even if the Golden State bureaucracy expedites the approval process, ammunition dealers will still not have enough time to get the state’s permission to sell ammunition. Unless the state extends the deadline, 6 million firearms owners in California might not have access to ammunition after the beginning of the new year.”

    Gee, the tyrants in Commiefornia wouldn’t actually plan this lack of access, would they? Naw!!!

    • bill kuhlmann December 8, 2017, 2:38 pm

      6 million gun owners in this state all need to vote as a block in all statewide elections and remove any anti constitution/bill of right liberal/progressive/socialist from office and elect pro gun, pro constitution legislators. it can be done. all the pro gun people with wide spread audiences must ALL preach the one proper candidate for statewide offices. if there are indeed 6 million gun owners (which i think is overly ambitious counting) they constitute a huge voting block that must work together. they all have to vote for a PROVEN pro constitution, pro bill of rights, pro gun candidate in a block. all the statewide antis elected to office( governor, state senators and attorney general) won their elections by FAR FEWER votes than 6 million. even in this diasterously run state it can be done.

      • Jerry December 8, 2017, 6:58 pm

        Unfortunately I’m stuck in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia due to family demands etc. The 6 million CA gun owners obviously don’t vote or don’t vote for pro-gun candidates. I vote and belong to the NRA, CRPA and other organizations. Imagine if 6 million CA gun owners joined pro-gun groups and voted for candidates that adhere to the Constitution and follow the intent of our founding fathers. It would be a breath of fresh air.

        • Jerry December 8, 2017, 7:03 pm

          BTW, a number of CA political offices do not have conservative candidates. The anti-gunners in these offices run unopposed.

        • Jason December 13, 2017, 6:37 pm

          Oh we voted but were outnumbered by the libtards in this state

      • Steve December 14, 2017, 1:46 pm

        The population of California is 39 million. Most of the 6 million gun owners live in Orange County. Unlike the progressives, we obey the law and vote only in our districts. The last election results showed the ratio of progressives, communists, illegals against conservatives is 2-1. That being the case, how do conservatives win a statewide election? Please explain!

  • james mcgee December 8, 2017, 10:55 am

    ca residents who want to fight ,get the names of all the anti gun politicians,get them out of office hart them ,were it harts , there jobs,mt our 2nd amendment rights are step on,where is the NRA when we need them

    • bill kuhlmann December 8, 2017, 2:53 pm

      Ca residents can do it by electing only 4 statewide offices. governor, state senator (2) and attorney general. it is almost immpossible to elect california legislators who would be in favor of constitution, bill of rights and also are pro gun. the dems/progressive/socialist/anti constitution legislature has been protected by gerrymandering the voting districts to keep their majority constituents in a block. By beating the top four, especially gov. and AG and removing the dem/lib super majority, that would nearly destroy their ability to pass bad laws. Just look at the car and gas tax bill coming to your wallets soon. It is a massive tax increase. Even Chief Justice Roberts would have trouble calling this a fee.

  • Magic December 8, 2017, 10:42 am

    Yes! The “Wall” should include the Cali border. And it could be cheap, too. All the twinks can just stand in a line and hold hands.

  • Magic December 8, 2017, 10:39 am

    Good old California. No steps forward. Just ten steps back.

  • Jon B. Hempel December 8, 2017, 10:27 am

    The more government tax’s, the more people feel entitled pay cash or barter, removing the government. Like wise, the more they regulate guns & ammo, the more people will feel entitled by avoiding government. I’m just like you. I don’t mind paying tax’s as long as the money is used wisely. But when the government is throwing money out the window, are we not entitled to grab some. The US Constitution is our ultimate rule of law. When government starts chipping away at the Constitution, they temporally forget we are entitled, We can change government just as fast as government can change us. As long as we can still buy smokes, booze, and candy, we will still have guns and all the ammo we want. Entitlement always has a very strong effect, government is only strong when we all agree. 49 to 51 is not much agreement so entitlements are free to function just like our Constitution envisioned. We are the people and we are entitled…

  • Mike Bolton December 8, 2017, 10:02 am

    Commiefonia isnt even worth visiting. Its all liberal elites and their slave illegals.

  • Dr. J. Burnett December 8, 2017, 9:11 am

    This new California ammunition regulation is a strong example of why my wife and I have moved out of California. Having “Moon-beam” Brown elected as governor was also a contributor.
    Dr. JRB

  • Infidel762x51 December 8, 2017, 8:54 am

    So if you drive into NV and buy ammo how can they prove it was not in your car when you left CA?? What a bunch of libtards. I have never been to the granola state and will never go there. I also don’t deal with any online vendors i know are based there.

  • Ronnie December 8, 2017, 8:43 am

    It makes you wonder why God is burning California down.

  • Alfred Friend December 8, 2017, 7:52 am

    I personally don’t care what California does. They can stay there and do whatever. I do not go to, buy from, or support anything in CA. Good luck to them and my dollars will go to places that “Make America Great Again”!

    • The Truth December 13, 2017, 4:30 pm

      If laws were just confined to the State of California it wouldn’t be a big deal but laws spread to other states. The state of Washington is adopting a lot of CA laws. Maryland and Massachusetts are adopting CA law word for word. The gun roster of approved guns from the state is spreading to other states like Maryland and Mass. Hardcore gun state Nevada is soon to fall. We must support gun owners in every state because these laws can spread like wild fire.

  • Bob December 8, 2017, 7:48 am

    Build the wall – and include the California border too. Have to keep those liberals confined and not let them infiltrate our country.

    • Steve December 14, 2017, 1:49 pm

      Thanks for your support Bob. These are supposed to be the UNITED STATES!

  • rwb December 8, 2017, 7:32 am

    what about a ship laden with ammo from overseas? we do get that stuff from russia so that will mean increased freight to go elsewhere than nazifornia,ohh fireworks too dont they use gun powder?

  • Jerry December 8, 2017, 6:52 am

    As I recall, 67% of California voters voted “yes” on Newsom’s Prop 63. This means the majority of California voters are ignorant, misinformed or outright morons. I tend to think the latter. It amazes me how these “sheeple” vote their rights away. These same morons will elect Newsom as California’s next governor.

    • Steve Gustafson December 8, 2017, 9:45 am

      Please don’t rub it in, tethered by grandkids, hate my state of birth, 4th generation

    • John December 8, 2017, 9:57 am

      I believe that this is a bunch of crap. I also believe that the Gov. is doing what it wants to do and is just saying that it passed here. Sneaking doesn’t begin to describe this government and how they do what they want under the guise of a “vote”.

    • joefoam December 8, 2017, 12:53 pm

      If the populace just sits by on election day and allows this to happen it’s on them. Liberals have been able to rally the troops to their causes for years, the conservatives need to take heed and do the same to defend their rights. the comment doesn’t cite voter turnout percentages but i’d be willing to bet it’s 30% or less. Time to get up off your butts and vote for what you want!

      • Mogman December 11, 2017, 4:55 pm

        It’s not necessarily a voting issue. There are twice as many liberals than conservatives in this state. I made plans and purchases to live out of state years ago, but my kids/grandkids now live in town. It is what it is. It’s hard to fight democracy when more than 50% of the people think in very liberal terms.

      • Steve December 14, 2017, 1:50 pm

        Conservatives are outnumbered 2-1 moron! WTF are we supposed to do once we vote?

      • ElRipley December 15, 2017, 9:25 pm

        WHAT do you think we’ve been doing? Let’s see you succeed in your state when you’re outnumbered three to one at the polls. Your “advice” is worthless.

  • Brian December 8, 2017, 6:52 am

    Hmmm, so how crazy can they get with the “no import of ammo” clause? For Example, I know CA doesn’t have CCF reciprocity now, but IF the concealed carry reciprocacy law currently being voted on in Washington goes through, would CA simply arrest out of state CCF holders because they “imported” the ammo loaded in the gun they’re carrying?

    • Brian December 8, 2017, 7:00 am

      And in the same note, since there is no LEO exemption, this means an out of state Police Officer carry legally in CA under LEOSA (HE218) can now be arrested, simply because he had bullets in the gun when crossing the state line or because the gun has a 10+ round mag. Wow!

    • Tom December 8, 2017, 7:49 am

      CA doesn’t uphold Federal immigration laws or marijuana laws, so why would they uphold Federal CCF reciprocity legislation?

  • Altoid December 8, 2017, 5:31 am

    It’s just like the left to write a seemingly innocent gun control law, and then make it contradictory or impossible to comply. This law basically cuts off all legal civilian ammunition supplies to California, because the state isn’t going to be in any hurry to straighten out the problems this law has created. It may never act. It’s intended purpose is to dry up civilian ammunition supplies. Don’t even try to say that wasn’t intentional.

  • Mark N. December 6, 2017, 7:52 pm

    There is at least one interpretation of the applicable statutes that some or all reloading supplies will fall within the scope of the law.

    • ElRipley December 15, 2017, 9:27 pm

      Only for prohibited persons; right now everyone else can still buy all the bullets, brass, primers and powder they want. BUT, it’s just a matter of time before they go after that as well, you’re right.

  • Gunfreak December 5, 2017, 6:20 pm

    Sooooo glad I left the communist state years ago when I did…

  • Dilligaf December 5, 2017, 5:41 pm

    That’s commiefornia for you!

  • Sepp W December 5, 2017, 5:31 pm

    This is the devious scheming of liberal bastions. Make anything that has to do with gun ownership so onerous, so aggravating, so obstinate that most people just won’t want go through with it. Government chiseling away at rights unchallenged. This will ZERO effect on criminals, because in liberal dystopias there are no criminals, only crime.

  • Mark December 5, 2017, 2:26 pm

    If you like guns it’s time to pack up and leave CA. I saw the writing on the wall decades ago and moved to NV. The only people CA embraces are queers, illegal immigrants and anyone not white. The whole state is set to collapse financially, as it has already morally. The sooner the better!

    • Steve December 8, 2017, 8:16 am

      I would rather stay in my home state and fight for what is right, even if futile, than to run away screaming in fear like a little sissy. California’s government is messed up, so was our nations until last election. With all that Gov moonbeam and our crony legislators are doing to hurt the people here in California, it is real possible to see a swing in power next election. With our latest 12 cent per gallon gas tax increase and almost doubling of vehicle registrations, even the extreme left is feeling the pinch in our budgets. Nothing changes minds about politics than a good hit in the wallet.

      • Steve December 14, 2017, 1:53 pm

        Hitting these morons in the wallet is the only way to get change in this state!

  • Bobs yer uncle December 5, 2017, 10:46 am

    They aren’t taking law abiding peoples guns away,just the ability to use them. Ca. is just a few more laws away from what amounts to confiscation and then the only people in charge will be criminal gangs. welcome to your creepy future world California.

    • Obvious follow on December 8, 2017, 4:16 am

      And by criminal gangs, you mean the CA government, right?

  • SuperG December 5, 2017, 10:23 am

    All that this law did was create a new black market for ammo. People lucky enough to be able to drive across state lines will not be too impacted by it, but the citizens in the major metropolitan areas will. It is a sad day for all honest citizens in California come Jan 1.

    • Mark N. December 6, 2017, 7:50 pm

      It will be illegal to import ammo into the state without a vendor’s license. So even a drive up to Medford or into Nevada or Aridzone to buy ammo and bring it back ist verboten. AFAIK, it is only an infraction (with increasing penalties for each subsequent offense) but if you get caught, the police will confiscate that pallet of ammo you just bought, and that is the worst penalty of all.

      • Dave December 8, 2017, 3:05 am

        The thought of that pallet going bye bye brought tears to my eyes.

      • Steve December 8, 2017, 8:24 am

        No border checkpoints between Cali and OR, AZ, NV or Utah, break no vehicle laws and you cannot be pulled over. California already tries to collect sales tax from any out of state or online purchase on our income tax form, Cali expects people to volunteer all the out of state purchases brought into our state, their is no monitoring of this law either. Also, this was tried in a slightly different way decades ago and was repealed due to the red tape and state costs.

        • Stickers December 8, 2017, 9:48 am

          There ARE check points (I-80 and US395 for example), and Utah, east of Nevada, is several hundred miles from bordering California.

        • Jared December 14, 2017, 6:00 pm

          They will turn the fruits, vegetables, checkpoints into fruits, vegetables, ammo…

    • Mark December 8, 2017, 8:05 am

      California: creator of cottage industries. Whether they be legal or not.

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