As most gun owners know, some of the worst legislation in history has originated in California. And the mere size of the state (30 million people), along with their lopsided number of congressional representatives, means that many of their lunatic laws wind up affecting the rest of us. On January 1, 2018, hundreds of new laws, many affecting gun owners, took effect. Although residents can still own guns in the Golden State, they live under some of the most repressive laws in the nation.
But now the overwhelmingly Democratic-controlled state government has decided to enact even stricter laws. Starting this year, ALL ammunition purchases in California must be made in person, through a vendor licensed by the Department of Justice. There is no limit on how much ammunition you purchase in the state. Residents can technically still order ammunition online, but starting Jan. 1, purchases must first go to a licensed vendor who can charge you a processing fee. And effective July 1, 2019, you will also have to pass a background check! This will further increase the cost of gun ownership, which is likely the true purpose of the law.
The law also applies to “transfers” of ammunition from outside the state. Note that the (intentionally?) vague term, “transfer,” could mean that you could be found guilty of a crime if you possess ammunition that your son or daughter from another state brings or ships you as a gift, without going through a state licensed vendor!
Californians can also no longer purchase “assault rifles” — a term that has come to mean just about any gun that liberal California legislators consider “scary” looking. However, existing owners are “grandfathered” in and may continue to possess them, but they will have to register the ones they have. If you can’t see the potential for future restrictions, and/or confiscation, you aren’t paying attention.
These and other anti-gun laws are currently being challenged by gun rights groups such as the Firearms Policy Coalition. Additionally, lawsuits have been filed against the state over such laws limiting access to firearms as well as prohibitions against things like “bullet-button”-equipped guns and other “dangerous” accessories.
For decades now, the anti-2nd Amendment zealots have realized that “incrementalism” has the best chance of slowly taking away our rights — the “salami-by-the-slice” strategy. Their rhetoric has also become more deceptive — the words “gun control” have been replaced with “gun safety” in an attempt to sound benign. “Hey, we aren’t against gun ownership … we just want to pass ‘common sense’ laws to promote ‘gun safety.’ And, remember, it’s for the children.” Sure it is…
Unfortunately, in my many interactions with gun owners, I have recently heard too many of them voicing the opinion that gun control is no longer a threat. They seem to feel that somehow, with the defeat of a few high-profile gun-control advocates (for example, Hillary Clinton), “the battle is over.” But those who have spent almost literally a lifetime fighting for our 2nd Amendment rights have long warned that while we may have won some battles, the war to protect our rights will likely outlive most of us.
So, keep an eye on any pending legislation in your own state. Because as with many other bad laws, what happens in California seldom stays in California…