AB962 – California Ammunition Restrictions

There’s been a lot of hubbub over the newly signed legislation in California that restricts ammunition sales. Governor Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 962 into law on Monday. This law contains many new regulations on ammunition sales. We’ve boiled the new law down to its essence and are presenting it here in a much simplified form.

Under the recently passed Ammo Restriction bill (named “Anti-Gang Neighborhood Protection Act of 2009”), the following changes to the law will occur. These changes will go into effect starting February 1, 2011.

  1. Registration and finger printing of handgun Ammo Purchasers
  2. Mandatory Storage & Display Requirements for Ammo Dealers
  3. Ban on the Sale of Handgun Ammo through the Internet or mail order
  • The bill would prohibit supplying or delivering, as specified, ammunition/handgun-ammo/?utm_source=blog.cheaperthandirt&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=linkwhisper-auto-linking” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer” title=”handgun ammunition”>handgun ammunition to prohibited persons, as described, by persons or others who know, or by using reasonable care should know, that the recipient is a person prohibited from possessing ammunition or a minor prohibited from possessing ammunition, as specified. Violation of these provisions is a misdemeanor with specified penalties.
  • The bill would provide, subject to exceptions, that commencing February 1, 2011, the delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition may only occur in a face-to-face transaction, with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity of the purchaser or other transferee. A violation of these provisions would be a misdemeanor.

NRA is planning the repeal of AB 962: NRA and Assemblyman Hagman have agreed to amend his own already pro-gun AB373 into legislation that would repeal AB962. The newly amended AB373 will be heard in the State Legislature in January of 2010.


California Assembly Bill 962 (2009) (AB 962) was a gun control law in California, authored by Assemblyman Kevin de León, and signed into law by Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger on October 11, 2009. AB 962 was set to take effect on February 1, 2011, but was ruled unconstitutional by Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton on January 18, 2011, in Parker v. California.

AB 962 would have required that all transfers of ownership of “handgun ammunition” be done in a face-to-face transaction, with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity of the purchaser or other transferee. As part of every “handgun ammunition” transfer, AB 962 would have required vendors to record and maintain, for a time period no less than five years: the transaction date, the ammunition brand and caliber, the processor’s name, as well as the purchaser’s driver license number, signature, name, right thumbprint, residential address, phone number and date of birth. The bill also aimed to stop felony gang crimes by making it a misdemeanor to possess ammunition while associating with a criminal street gang.

On August 19, 2010, the NRA-CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project filed a lawsuit challenging AB 962. The lead plaintiff in the lawsuit was Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker. The lawsuit alleged that the mandates in AB 962 were incomprehensible, and that the definition of “handgun ammunition” was unconstitutionally vague.

On January 18, 2011, Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled, in Parker v. California, that the definition of “handgun ammunition” was indeed unconstitutionally vague. The Court enjoined enforcement of the bill. Mail order ammunition sales to California therefore continue, as well as the unrecorded sale of handgun ammunition to anonymous buyers.

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

1 Comment;

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.