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Ammo. (Photo: Ammoland.com)

Federal Judge Blocks California Law Requiring Background Checks to Buy Ammo

‘California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured’

By Katy Grimes, April 24, 2020 10:29 am

U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez just blocked California’s law requiring background checks for people buying ammunition.

The judge ruled on Thursday in favor of the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which asked him to overturn the law requiring background checks and related restrictions on ammo sales.

U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez. (Photo: casd.uscourts.gov)

Remember, Judge Benitiz also recently ruled against a California law which prohibited buying or selling magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

“The experiment has been tried. The casualties have been counted. California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured,” Benitez wrote in his order.

Benitez explains: “The purported state interest to be achieved by these new laws is keeping ammunition out of the hands of prohibited Californians. These new laws are constitutionally defective for several reasons. First, criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition. Second, the implementing regulations systematically prohibit or deter an untold number of law-abiding California citizen-residents from undergoing the required background checks. Third, in the seven months since implementation, the standard background check rejected citizen-residents who are not prohibited persons approximately 16.4 % of the time. The purported state interest to be achieved by these new laws is keeping ammunition out of the hands of prohibited Californians. These new laws are constitutionally defective for several reasons. First, criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition. Second, the implementing regulations systematically prohibit or deter an untold number of law-abiding California citizen-residents from undergoing the required background checks. Third, in the seven months since implementation, the standard background check rejected citizen-residents who are not prohibited persons approximately 16.4 % of the time. Fourth, the ammunition anti-importation laws directly violate the federal dormant Commerce Clause. Fourth, the ammunition anti-importation laws directly violate the federal dormant Commerce Clause.”

“Criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks,” Judge Roger Benitez, wrote in the 120-page order. “The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition.”

Benitez said in the order, “Proposition 63 has constructed an unnecessarily complicated maze that all ammunition purchasers must navigate. Metaphorically, all ammunition to be bought or sold must be kept in the back storeroom of a licensed ammunition vendor. In order to be admitted to the storeroom to buy ammunition, a California resident must first pass through a main gate. The main gate requires proving citizenship. Proceeding through the gateway, the California resident is then presented with a choice of four doors. Each door is a different kind of background check and each doorway leads to the back storeroom.”

Gun Owners of California explains what this means to California gun owners:

  • Retail sales of ammo can resume immediately without background checks and fees.
  • Online sales can also resume.
  • Transfer and sales between friends can also resume without limitations.
  • Ammo venders no longer must register with the state as dealers.
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5 thoughts on “Federal Judge Blocks California Law Requiring Background Checks to Buy Ammo

  1. More good news for Californians, especially when we are faced with the obvious dangers of continual and inexplicable prisoner release by the state and some counties.

  2. Good news, but this article could use some serious editing. Multiple sentences and points duplicated throughout.

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