Were California's ammunition stores operating illegally?

As of Jan. 1, 2018, businesses and individuals selling ammunition are now required to hold a license. To obtain a license, ammunition dealers have to demonstrate they aren't a prohibited person. (Jan. 1, 2018)

The new year was met with some confusion from ammunition store owners because of a law that went into effect on the first day of 2018.

Businesses that sell ammunition are now required to have a license to sell ammo. But as the law went into effect, shop owners had yet to receive the licenses from the state.

Here's what happened:

California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country but until now, the state didn’t regulate ammunition sales as tightly as firearms.  In July 2016, California enacted a law requiring individuals and businesses to hold a one-year license from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The change is part of Prop 63, which also required background checks for ammunition purchases and banned large-capacity ammunition magazines.

However, in June 2017, a federal judge blocked the section of Prop 63 banning large-capacity magazines from going into effect the following month. The judge granted a preliminary injunction, meaning the order is temporary while the legal case is ongoing, after five San Diego County residents and the California Rifle & Pistol Association filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Xavier Becerra claiming the section violates Second Amendment rights. 

Despite the suit against one section of the law, all other sections of Prop 63 are currently on schedule to go into effect.

As of Jan. 1, 2018, businesses and individuals selling ammunition are now required to hold a license. To obtain a license, ammunition dealers have to demonstrate they aren't a prohibited person. The law became an issue this week when the DOJ lagged in issuing the licenses, forcing some ammo stores to open and operate illegally.

ABC10 contacted the DOJ to find out more about the delay and the next step for ammo store owners.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the DOJ issued this statement:

"Ammunition regulations from the California Department of Justice were approved today. The Department has processed applications and issued licenses."

It's important to note, the law doesn't apply to firearm dealers which are already licensed, only to businesses currently selling ammunition without a license.

Any vendor who fails in complying with the new regulations three times would have their ammunition dealer's license permanently revoked.

© 2018 KXTV-TV


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