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California ammo background checks hinder legal buyers

New California law is preventing law-abiding gun owners from buying ammo much more than people who are actually prohibited.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 10:51 AM
Updated: Dec 12, 2019 10:52 AM

SHASTA COUNTY Calif. - It has been about 6 months since California began the requirement of background checks to buy ammunition in the state.

While the law has defiantly attacked controversy from both sides of the argument, the short time it’s been has yielded some surprising statistics.

In a response to a lawsuit filed in a San Diego court against the legality of the law, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra shared the statistics around it.

Out of about 345,000 background checks, 62,000 people were denied or rejected, along with 101 that were prohibited.

The problem with that is most of those 62,000 can legally own ammunition.

For local stores like Olde West Gun and Loan in Redding, they are seeing a lot of rejections too.

“For us, [those we've seen be prohbited] maybe we have seen four or five” said Richard Howell, the general manager at Olde West Gun and Loan. “But the denial rejection rate has been unbelievable.”

Even Law Enforcement officers aren’t immune.

“I have a friend who works for the Anderson Police Department. He just recently moved and his address on his driver’s license doesn't match with the DOJ has on file so he was denied.” Howell says.

One of the most surprising things, however, is that ammo is much harder to get than a gun itself.

Howell told us that “but with that same driver’s license in that same address not matching he could walk in here and buy a gun.”

This complicated process also is turning people away and potentially prompting them to illegally go out of state to buy ammo.

While the law has stopped some who are not allowed to own ammo from buying a gun, the hardship it causes.

“Where is if you came in here looking to buy a gun and the birth date was wrong and the driver’s license and the name were right, you would clear,” Howell told us, “But you tried to buy one box of 22 ammo you're going to be denied and I don't care if you’re Fire Chief, Police Chief, or the Sheriff of Shasta County, you're not getting a box of ammo.”

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