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New California Handgun Law Puts Ammo on Lockdown

By Neetal Parekh on October 22, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Among the numerous bills signed into law was one restricting the sale of handgun ammunition in California.  Here are some quick facts about the new legislation:

  • The law will require licensed dealers to keep ammunition behind the counter.
  • Gun dealers can only sell less 50 rounds per month to a particular buyer.
  • Gun dealers must record information about the ammunition sale including: date, buyer's birthdate, name, address, driver's license, thumbprint, signature; amount, brand, and type of ammunition sold; salesperson it was sold by.
  • Internet and mail-order suppliers are banned from selling ammunition directly to California state citizens
  • It will be illegal for anyone subject to gang injunction to purchase handgun ammunition.
  • The law will take effect in 2011

Will the restrictions save lives?

The legislation was introduced to track criminals who use handguns to commit crimes.  Similar pilot programs instituted in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Oakland, and Sacramento has reportedly helped to keep bullets away from children as well as from dangerous criminals and has led to arrest of felons and gang members.

According to Daily News Los Angeles, Sacramento authorities reported that in the year since similar local ordinance was enacted, nearly 200 who were not legally entitled to own or possess firearms or ammunition were apprehended by authorities. 

How will it affect state gun dealers?

Gun dealers in California have mixed reviews about the new law.  Many feel that it will just force ammunition sales out-of-state, to places like Oregon a state which has fewer restrictions and less paperwork.  However, on balance, the state law provision that bans online sales may go to benefit state dealers.


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