Ammunition Sales Surge as Californians Seek to Beat New Gun Controls

PETALUMA, CA - APRIL 02: Boxes of 9mm and .223 rifle ammuntion sit on the counter at Sportsmans Arms on April 2, 2013 in Petaluma, California. In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut school massacare, California State lawmakers are introducing several bills that propose taxing and regulating sales of ammunition. Another bill is aimed to require a background check and annual permit fee to purchase any ammunition. (Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

California ammunition sales are surging as residents rush to beat the January 1, 2018, implementation of new gun controls targeting ammo sales.

The incoming controls are the outworking of Proposition 63, passed by voters in 2016.

On December 15 Breitbart News reported that California’s war on guns would broaden to include a war on ammo in 2018. These controls include a ban on any ammunition not purchased within the state of California. Moreover, they narrowly define legally purchased ammo as that which is acquired via a licensed dealer in the state.

These controls will not only lessen the supply of ammunition available to Californians, thereby driving up the price for bullets, but will also add processing fees to certain ammo sales, driving up the price even higher.

Right now Californians are buying ammunition at a frenzied pace, getting it at a cheaper price while they can.

Orange County Register quotes AmmoMan’s Eric Schepps, who said, “California has been consistently at the top of our sales, but the biggest difference is that in 2014, about one in 10 packages was going to California. Last year, it was about one in every five packages. Today, every other package we ship is going to a California ZIP code.”

Sales in California have been running well above AmmoMan’s normal sales all year, and have steadily climbed as we draw nearer to January 1.

Here are percentages on how far sales have run above normal each month:

  • May: 134.6%
  • June: 134.8%
  • July: 147%
  • August: 138.2%
  • September: 152.6%
  • October: 151%
  • November: 173.2%
  • December: 187.5%

Shepps said “folks that are intent on buying ammo ASAP.” And he said it is evident “there is more urgency among them as we head toward January.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at [email protected]. Sign up to get Down Range at

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California Dems Learn Gun Control Easy in Theory, Difficult in Reality

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Photo courtesy of krazydad/jbum, Flickr.

Since the passage of “Gunpocalypse” (June 30, 2016), and Proposition 63 (November 8, 2016), California Democrats have learned that gun control is easy to pass but difficult to implement.

The problem for Democrats is that they have already passed so many gun laws that they have now begun trading the real for the theoretical, struggling to find a way to stop the crimes and terrorist attacks that none of their existing gun controls have stopped. In fact, Democrats are fighting for gun control with such fervor that one of their current undertakings is reworking a previous law in order to bar law-abiding teachers from carrying guns for self-defense.

It was in this spirit of gun control upon gun control that the Democrats passed Gunpocaplyse and Prop. 63.

The Firearms Policy Coalition measures consisted of:

SB 880: Bans common and constitutionally protected firearms that have magazine locking devices.
SB 894: Re-victimizes victims by criminalizing the failure to report lost and stolen firearms.
SB 1235: Now competes with Gavin Newsom’s Safety for All Act/Ammo Ban [by enacting ammunition background checks].
SB 1446: Confiscation of lawfully acquired, standard capacity ammunition feeding devices.
AB 857: Forced “Ghost Gun” registration.
AB 1135: Bans common and constitutionally protected firearms that have magazine locking devices.
AB 1511: Bans the loaning of firearms.
AB 1673: Redefines “firearms” to include items that are not firearms.
AB 1674: Bans buying more than one firearm within a 30-day period.
AB 1695: Makes some non-violent misdemeanors punishable by prohibitions on owning firearms.
AB 2607: Dramatically expands who can request a Gun Violence Restraining order.

Prop. 63 consisted of a “high capacity” magazine ban and a background check requirement for all ammunition sales. All of these laws were passed after universal background checks, gun registration requirements, gun confiscation laws, a ten-day waiting period on gun purchases, an “assault weapons” ban, a “good cause” requirement for concealed carry, and numerous other state and local gun controls – -including gun-free zones — proved impotent to stop the December 2, 2015 San Bernardino attackers. But now that all the gun controls have been passed, The Trace reports that implementing them is another story altogether.

According to The Trace, California’s Office of Administrative Law found fault with the way the wording of the “assault weapons” ban had been presented to the public for comment. And on June 29, “a federal judge in San Diego issued a preliminary injunction halting the statewide ban on the possession of magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds from taking effect.”

Because of these and other problems, deadlines for citizens to register their “assault weapons” have been pushed back six months, and there are those who believe deadlines may be pushed back further.

The problem is simple: what works on paper does not always work in the real world. And because Democrats continue to theorize that gun control works, against the weight of the evidence, there is a growing chance their hypothesis will collapse under the weight of reality.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at [email protected]

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Effort Grows to Scale Back California Gun Control Restrictions

GunGun rights groups have turned up the heat on Sacramento’s newest firearms restrictions, mounting an effort to repeal seven fresh laws through the ballot this election year.

“The group ‘Veto Gunmageddon’ needs to collect 360,000 signatures for each measure by the end of the month to get them before voters in November, KCBS San Francisco reported. An uphill battle awaits. “Lawmakers passed a dozen gun control bills in June, seven of which Brown signed into law, including legislation requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and a ban on possession of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds,” as the San Jose Mercury News observed. Those provisions, the paper added, were identical to proposals Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom touted independently in his early-bird bid to succeed Gov. Jerry Brown in 2018.

Political powder keg

Although Democratic lawmakers irked by the redundancy have won out, analysts have speculated that Newsom could wind up benefiting most from politicking the Gunmageddon ordeal. “He will be able to say gun restrictions are under attack and that it’s more important than ever to pass my ballot measure,” Loyola Law School’s Jessica Levinson told the Mercury News.

What’s more, Newsom and his allies have already stockpiled a huge amount of cash relative to opponents of the Proposition 63 ballot measure. Prop. 63 “would ban possession of high-capacity ammunition magazines, require background checks for Californians buying bullets, create a process for getting felons to relinquish firearms and mandate reporting of lost or stolen guns,” the Los Angeles Times reported. “Newsom’s Safety for All Committee reported it has raised $3.8 million so far, compared with $467,000 raised by two committees opposing” Prop. 63.

Supreme struggles

The scramble to settle the fate of the state’s gun laws in the court of popular opinion has played out against the backdrop of a very different kind of legal battle — one where the public’s voice could count for nearly nothing. Gun activists succeeded in pursuing a controversial case to the door of the U.S. Supreme Court. Although judges recently shot down their suit against the state of California, which requires a license for concealed carry outside one’s home, the groups vowed to seek a final decision from the nation’s highest court. “The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco upheld the law in June, ruling 7-4 that there is no constitutional right to carry concealed weapons in public,” the San Francisco Chronicle recalled. “Opponents sought a rehearing before the entire appeals court, but the court said […] that the request had failed to win a majority among its 28 active judges. No vote total was announced.”

“The century-old state law requires handgun owners to obtain a permit from a local law enforcement agency before they can legally pack their weapons in public. The permits are virtually unavailable to anyone except police and security guards in most metropolitan areas, but are issued in most rural and inland areas to any adult who asserts a need for self-defense and does not have a disqualifying criminal record.”

A rush to bear arms

Californians have been loading up on firearms this year. At their current pace, Golden Staters will cross the million gun threshold by January. “The soaring gun sale totals — which show 554,203 firearms sales through late July — come in the wake of mass shootings in Orlando and Dallas, followed by calls for gun control legislation,” Southern California Public Radio noted, citing new data obtained from the Dealer Record of Sales, a gun tracking system run by the state’s Department of Justice. “The system shows gun sales on track to surpass 2015 nearly everywhere in the state,” the station added, although “the percentage of households in the U.S. with guns in them has been falling for decades.”

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