Legally avoiding CA’s ammo background check law

Starting July 1st, California is requiring background checks on ammunition orders. Direct-to-buyer online sales are also banned for most people, though one can arrange to have the order sent to a local shop who’ll charge a fee for receiving it and administering the background check.

Were it just a standard background check, it’d be an annoying infringement on one’s rights, but pretty par for the course for California.

But it’s not. From the article,

The state Department of Justice, which will administer the background check program, estimates there will be 13.2 million ammunition purchases each year. But 13 million will be by people who already cleared background checks when they bought guns in California, so they are already registered in the state’s gun owners’ database.

They will pay a $1 processing fee each time they pick up bullets or shotgun shells.

[…] [O]wners of unregistered weapons will have to pay $19 for a one-time background check that can take days to complete and is good for a single purchase within 30 days. Wilcox said that should encourage owners to register their firearms.

That’s pretty sneaky: they rely on the fact that people are lazy and cheap and so are more likely to register their guns if it’s cheaper and faster for them to buy ammo if they do. Plus, the state knows how often one’s buying ammo and I’d be surprised if they weren’t analyzing those records for various purposes.

Fortunately, one can avoid this requirement by simply getting a C&R FFL and a state-issued Certificate of Eligibility (which is basically a document saying “I passed a NICS check!”) to continue to buy ammo online without needing to check in with the state for each purchase.

I highly recommend doing this.