It's July 1, meaning a host of state laws across the country take effect today (or would if they weren't current blocked by courts, hi Alabama's awful abortion ban!) and California's 2016 background check laws now apply to the sales of ammunition as well as firearms.
The bustle inside LAX Ammunition on the Friday before Father’s Day betrayed the gloom of the outside sky.
Employees inside the Los Angeles-area gun shop had their hands full chatting with customers who were looking to replenish their ammo supply before July 1, with some customers spending hundreds of dollars in the process.
Why the hurry? That’s the day a new state law will require almost all buyers to go through background checks before being able to buy bullets, potentially increasing the amount of time and money it takes to make purchases.
“We're probably up by 400% from where we were last year for this past month, and this month, in total sales,” says Daniel Kash, the store’s president.
As it is, California has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation — the state bans most assault weapons and restricts the sale and possession of large capacity magazines. There’s also a 10-day waiting period prior to the sale or transfer of a firearm, among other restrictions.
The passage of Proposition 63, a gun control measure approved, coincidentally, by 63 percent of California voters in 2016, will strengthen those laws by taking aim at the sale of ammo.
“Everybody that has a gun ... knows about the law that's upcoming,” Kash says. “That's why you see the store being as busy as it is this week for the Father's Day Sale. People are stocking up right now, basically.”
The new law — championed by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, a longtime advocate of gun control — is meant to protect the public by keeping ammunition from getting into dangerous hands, the state says.
- Customers will have to receive a background check every time they make an ammunition purchase, paying $1 each time.
- Those who don’t already have their information in the Department of Justice’s system for these point-of-sale screenings will have to pay up to $20 for an initial screening.
- Vendors will have to make sure customers aren’t on a DOJ list that names people who are prohibited from buying guns for various reasons — for example, committing a felony — before selling to them.
All ammo sales will have to take place in person — even online orders will have to be shipped to a licensed vendor’s store before customers can pick them up.
Gun owners and enthusiasts aren’t happy, arguing that the new law will cost extra time and money.
“The biggest question on people's minds is what the process is going to be like, and how burdened someone's going to be, whether it's going to take it a tremendous amount of additional time, or whether it's going to cost them more money,” says Alexander Reyes, a manager at Martin B. Retting, a gun shop in Culver City near Los Angeles.
I don't understand, conservatives sure like to make things cost extra time and money when it inconveniences women trying to have reproductive health care or black or brown people, students, the elderly, and the disabled trying to vote.
Here's the thing though, we make people go through hoops to get a drivers' license or buy a car, and firearms are designed to, you know, cause grievous bodily harm to someone on purpose. We might actually want to regulate that.