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Posted By FFL Dealer Network on 09/13/2018 in Ammunition

California Proposition 63

California Proposition 63

Backdoor Gun Control

A recent law in California for ammo sales has gun enthusiasts worried. California Proposition 63, Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Initiative, was approved in 2016 in the Golden State. It is in effect now, excepting the injunctions while it works through the court system. 

As expected, the law is being challenged in court

In short, this new law bans "the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and requires certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition." In other words, get a permit from the state to buy ammo and buy it only in face-to-face transactions. The permit is $50 and buyers are limited in how much ammo they can buy in a month. Ammo may not be purchased and shipped. 

People with a federal firearms license, except the Collector and Relics license, are exempt. 

"Therefore, on December 22nd, 2017 MidwayUSA will no longer be able to ship ammunition to you without a valid FFL license in California," says a notice at Midway

Read a detailed breakdown at The Truth About Guns


California Proposition 63 does cover magazines. Does Prop 63 affect ammo only? Does it affect reloading components and if so, which components? 

Based strictly on the law, reloaders need not worry, at least right now. The Truth reports, "The California law does not regulate 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." 


This effort to more strongly regulate ammo is a backdoor attempt at gun control. The measure passed in less than half of the state based on geography. California's rural communities, which are generally conservative and support gun rights, voted no. The coastal and southern end of the state voted to support Prop 63. This instance of the political divide is one of the many, many reasons some Californians want to split the state up into 3 or more states, but that's another story. 

"Without ammunition, thousand-dollar weapons are little more than expensive paperweights," says Natasha Frost, writing for Quartz

It's not new. Former US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan attempted so slam gun control by hiking the taxes or excise fees, on ammo through the roof. The Baltimore Sun reported the senator's 1993 proposal, "would impose a 100-fold increase in the tax on certain bullets and a 50 percent tax on all other handgun ammunition," and the senator's effort was to tax certain parts of the gun industry "out of existence." 

California already tightly regulates the projectiles. Beginning in 2019, all hunting with firearms has to be with lead-free bullets. Copper, brass, bismuth, steel and tungsten are the top contenders for lead-free ammo right now. 

Right now this applies only to hunting. Target shooting and personal defense weapons are exempt from the lead-free requirement. 

Given the political mindset in the parts of California that are anti-gun, this is just another step toward banning guns. Dominos fall.

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