In 2016, California voters approved Proposition 63: The Safety for All Act. The bill included several measures on gun control. Packed into the legislation was a ban on high-capacity magazines (more than ten rounds) and a criminal background check requirement for purchasing ammunition. It also changed the law on gun theft; stealing a gun (including one valued at less than $950) is now a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.
California already prohibits felons from purchasing or possessing firearms. Gun sellers are required to run a criminal background check on any adult attempting to buy a gun. However, nothing stops an individual who has stolen or acquired a gun from an unlicensed seller from purchasing ammunition.
Proposition 63’s ammo restriction is the first in the nation. This Monday was when the new rule on buying bullets went into effect. Naturally, many gun owners in California rushed to gun stores to purchase stockpiles of ammo. VICE News reports that some customers purchased as many as 1,000 rounds in bulk.
Those rushing to beat the deadline were not people with criminal records necessarily; there may have been a financial incentive compelling them to act quickly. The new law requires customers to pay $1 each time they go through a background check to buy ammo and $20 if the Department of Justice (DOJ) doesn’t already have their information in the system.
Criminal Background Checks for Bullets
Even though the Golden State already had some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, the new rule on ammo is a huge step forward. Governor Gavin Newsom is committed to keeping both guns and bullets out of the hands of those who would harm others. The new law reads:
Reasonable, common-sense gun laws reduce gun deaths and injuries, keep guns away from criminals and fight illegal gun trafficking. Although California has led the nation in gun safety laws, those laws still have loopholes that leave communities throughout the state vulnerable to gun violence and mass shootings. We can close these loopholes while still safeguarding the ability of law-abiding, responsible Californians to own guns for self-defense, hunting, and recreation.
The new rule was met with fierce opposition by gun-rights activists and the National Rifle Association (NRA). The NRA sued the state over the new law, which is why it took almost three years to implement. The ban on high-capacity magazines has not gone into effect either because the gun lobby has sued over that measure as well. A federal judge agreed with the NRA, but California is appealing the decision.
Orange County Criminal Defense Attorney
Please contact the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower if you are facing criminal charges in the state of California. Attorney Brower has the experience to advocate for you and help achieve a favorable outcome.