MT. SHASTA, Calif.,--California has 4.5 million registered gun owners. State officials estimate about 3 million are regular shooters and that they will buy ammunition four or five times each year. The new law will require a background check on every purchase of ammunition.
The law was approved by voters. Proposition 63 was passed in 2016 by 63% of California voters authorizing the state to do instant background checks on customers buying bullets.
The California Department of Justice, which will administer the background check program, estimates there will be 13.2 million ammunition purchases each year. But 13 million will be by people who already cleared background checks when they bought guns in California, so they are already registered in the state's gun owners' database.
The state is also seeking to require owners to prove that they are in the country legally if their drivers' licenses contain the notation that "federal limits apply."
Store clerks will run ammo buyers' identification through the state's gun owners' database and a second database of those who bought guns legally but are no longer allowed to own them because of certain criminal convictions or mental health commitments.
People wanting to buy ammo will have to pay a $1 processing fee each time they pick up bullets or shotgun shells.