Thousands of hunters and target shooters in California are stocking up in advance of a host of new state gun laws that include ammunition regulations that are among the most stringent in the nation, reports the Sacramento Bee. Lawmakers and voters passed a slew of gun control laws in 2016 that impose significant new restrictions on the state’s more than 6 million firearms owners. The new regulations, which take effect in stages over the next two years, affect a broad range of practices, from where you buy ammunition to how you store guns and who can borrow them.
Several new laws target ammunition purchases. Among the changes coming as of January 2018: Californians who want to buy ammunition online or through catalogs will have to ship their purchases through a licensed dealer. For the first time, state residents will have to undergo a background check when buying ammunition. Although the restrictions on ammunition purchases don’t take effect for another year, retailers say gun owners have been buying more ammo amid uncertainty and confusion over the new laws. “We’re selling a lot more ammunition right now,” said Patrick Jones, owner of Jones’ Fort gun store in Redding. “And we will continue to do so up until the time the registration kicks in.” It’s not unusual to see spikes in gun and ammunition sales almost any time a new gun law is passed or even proposed at the state or federal level. Law enforcement officials, retailers and other experts on firearms policy say, in the case of California’s new regulations, the fears that gun enthusiasts have about rising prices and limited availability of some types of ammunition likely are well-founded.