California Court Rules Ammunition Ban AB962 Unconstitutional

The 2011 Ruling from the California Court, in a dramatic ruling, gave gun owners a win in a National Rifle Association / California Rifle and Pistol (CRPA) Foundation lawsuit. Fresno Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Hamilton ruled that AB 962— the hotly contested statute that would have banned mail order ammunition sales and required all purchases of so called “handgun ammunition” to be registered—was unconstitutionally vague on its face. The Court enjoined enforcement of the statute, so mail order ammunition sales to California can continue unabated, and ammunition sales need not be registered under the law.

The lawsuit was prompted in part by the many objections and questions raised by confused police, ammunition purchasers, and sellers about what ammunition is covered by the new laws created by AB 962. In a highly unusual move that reflects growing law enforcement opposition to ineffective gun control laws, Tehama County Sheriff Clay Parker is the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit. Other plaintiffs include the CRPA Foundation, Herb Bauer Sporting Goods, ammunition shipper Able’s Ammo, collectible ammunition shipper RTG Sporting Collectibles, and individual Steven Stonecipher. Mendocino Sheriff Tom Allman also supported the lawsuit.

The ruling comes just days before the portion of the law that bans mail order sales of so called “handgun ammunition” was set to take effect on February 1, 2011. The lawsuit, Parker v. California is funded exclusively by the NRA and the CRPA Foundation. If it had gone into effect, AB 962 would have imposed burdensome and ill conceived restrictions on the sales of ammunition. AB 962 required that “handgun ammunition” be stored out of the reach of customers, that ammunition vendors collect ammunition sales registration information and thumb-prints from purchasers, and conduct transactions face-to-face for all deliveries and transfers of “handgun ammunition.” The lawsuit successfully sought the declaration from the Court that the statute was unconstitutional, and successfully sought the injunctive relief prohibiting law enforcement from enforcing the new laws.

The lawsuit alleged, and the Court agreed, that AB 962 is unconstitutionally vague on its face because it fails to provide sufficient legal notice of what ammunition cartridges are “principally for use in a handgun,” and thus is considered “handgun ammunition” that is regulated under AB 962. It is practically impossible, both for those subject to the law and for those who must enforce it, to determine whether any of the thousands of different types of ammunition cartridges that can be used in handguns are actually “principally for use in” or used more often in a handgun. The proportional usage of any given cartridge is impossible to determine, and in any event changes with market demands. In fact, the legislature itself is well aware of the vagueness problem with AB 962’s definition of handgun ammunition and tried to redefine it via AB 2358 in 2010. AB 2358 failed in the face of opposition from the NRA and CRPA based on the proposal’s many other nonsensical infringements on ammunition sales to law abiding citizens.

Constitutional vagueness challenges to state laws are extremely difficult to win, particularly in California firearms litigation so this success is particularly noteworthy. Even so, an appeal by the State is likely, but the Court’s Order enjoining enforcement of the law is effective – February 1, 2011 – immediately regardless.

Despite this win for common sense over ill-conceived and counter productive gun laws, additional legislation on this and related subjects will no doubt be proposed in Sacramento this legislative session. It is absolutely critical that those who believe in the right to keep and bear arms stay informed and make their voices heard in Sacramento. When AB 962 passed there was loud outcry from law abiding gun owners impacted by the new law. Those voices must be heard during the legislative session and before a proposed law passes, not after a law is signed. To help, sign up for legislative alerts at and and respond when called upon.

Seventeen years ago the NRA and CRPA joined forces to fight local gun bans being written and pushed in California by the gun ban lobby. Their coordinated efforts became the NRA/CRPA “Local Ordinance Project” (LOP) – a statewide campaign to fight ill conceived local efforts at gun control and educate politicians about available programs that are effective in reducing accidents and violence without infringing on the rights of law-abiding gun owners. The NRA/CRPA LOP has had tremendous success in beating back most of these anti-self-defense proposals.

In addition to fighting local gun bans, for decades the NRA has been litigating dozens of cases in California courts to promote the right to self-defense and the 2nd Amendment. In the post Heller and McDonald legal environment, NRA and CRPA Foundation have formed the NRA/CRPA Foundation Legal Action Project (LAP), a joint venture to pro-actively strike down ill-conceived gun control laws and ordinances and advance the rights of firearms owners, specifically in California. Sometimes, success is more likely when LAP’s litigation efforts are kept low profile, so the details of every lawsuit are not always released. To see a partial list of the LAP’s recent accomplishments, or to contribute to the NRA or to the NRA / CRPAF LAP and support this and similar Second Amendment cases, visit and

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!

Comments (34)

  1. If the folks from California would use some of this anger towards CTD, and INSTEAD, direct it to the DAMNED FOOL law makers anti-gun right politicians in your state, maybe you wouldnt HAVE to DEAL with this CRAP that is YOUR STATES FAULT. Why not direct your anger CORRECTLY towards the state of California??

    Go cry there. Oh wait, you all are TOO LATE. The state practically STOLE all of your gun rights. Grow a SPINE!!

  2. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the final section 🙂 I handle such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time. Thank you and good luck.

  3. Thanks for discussing your ideas on this blog. Also, a fantasy regarding the banking companies intentions if talking about foreclosures is that the loan company will not have my installments. There is a certain quantity of time that the bank will require payments here and there. If you are too deep inside hole, they should commonly call that you pay the particular payment completely. However, i am not saying that they will have any sort of payments at all. In case you and the financial institution can seem to work a little something out, this foreclosure approach may stop. However, when you continue to pass up payments beneath new strategy, the foreclosed process can pick up from where it was left off.

  4. Hope this BS bill gets squashed quick….Ive perused CTDs’ website many times to order items but always noticed they won’t ship to CA. So I’ve spent my thou$ands (literally)elsewhere. I won’t bash them because I realize business is business, they just aren’t getting any of mine. I can’t wait to begin ordering all my mail order ammo again from my old reliable source!!

  5. Now everybody settle down here. The common enemy are the people who want to deny law abiding citizens their Constitutional rights, set by our blood shedding for fathers, not some supply warehouse. Damn, get a grip on what just happened. CheaperThanDirt is there if you want to use their services, there are other places to buy your goods elseware.
    CheaperThanDirt has a program where you can donate a dollar to the NRA with each purchase. How many people out there bitching donated with every purchase? Any business you go into will have a sign posted somewhere that states “We have the right to deny services to whom we choose”, or something of similar verbage. But you probably still give them your money for cheap beer and stinking cigarrettes. All the businesses are doing is protecting themselves from some crazy class action lawsuit(s). Now simmerdown and buy your ammo and supplies where you choose.
    My bitch is digging through my old ammo box and finding a box of high quality 45ACP, purchased at Turners Sporting Goods, from around ten years ago, with a pricetag marked at $7.95. Now there is something to bitch and moan about!!!!!! Well what the *%@$ is that all about?

  6. Guy I know used to teach Hunter safety courses…. The anti/gun/hunting people used to sign up for it…then not show. They did this to fill the spots, so that people that really WANTED to hunt, would not be able to get their license. The instructor begged the state to allow a ($10) refundable deposit from the applicants… They refused to allow this…

    Ever think that the folks running their mouths here aren’t the same???

    Oh, By the way, if you think California is bad, try New York….

    Hitler and Stalin would be laughing their asses off….

  7. No doubt the legislators who proposed this law would be happy to see the infighting and complaints about CTD.

    CTD is not our enemy! Those attacking the 2nd Amendment are the enemy. If you like a competitor better, shop there.

    Speaking for myself, I like CTD. They have pretty good prices, a wide selection of ammo, and fast delivery.

  8. Here is what CTD told me when I asked if they would sell me ammo in CA since I have both a COE and a C&R, which would have done the trick and made it legal –


    We will not be selling or shipping ammunition to CA regardless of an individual’s credentials.

  9. This is great news!!!! Finally! As if the criminals would abide by ANY Seconed Amendment-infringing laws! Now I can keep buying ammo legally through!!!! You guys should try it — they ship super fast, and I haven’t found cheaper, high quality ammo anywhere else!

  10. California native, Texan by choice. CTD your prices look good to me and I appreciate the rapid response I receive when I Email a question to you.

    Tell them naysayers in California to get a life and grow a pair!!!

  11. The sucking sound you hear is CTD trying to make it LOOK like they are behind the repeal of Ca. AB962 but on this web site there own CEO let Ca. DOJ know he, CTD would cowdown on bent knee and go beyond and not sell any thing including reloading supplys ( see to Ca. Everyone in Ca. should send back to CTD there funny books, but there is something to be said for free bathroom tissue? Yes CTD has a right to sell or not to sell to whom ever they want or what they will sell in any state, and as they said CA. is 26% of there total sales. SO maybe they will not miss us if WE in Ca. do not ord ANYTHING from them? that is our right, it works both ways!

  12. Cheaper than dirt sucks. Outrageous prices during Obama Panic and not selling perfectly legal items to CA residents. Bayonets, pistol grips etc. Never a cent. Too bad we have some good ole boys that have to suck CTD dick

  13. Dont blame CTD MOVE OUT OF CALIFORNIA or get out and Vote.. I Left CA in 01 and all I can say is God Bless Texas!!!!!! The gun laws are better here but could still use some improvement.

  14. So all of you guys bashing CTD own big businesses and have been sued by government agencies in California in the past? Oh wait, I know that you don’t and haven’t. Any company is in business for one thing….MAKING MONEY. If it isn’t profitable for a business to deal with a particular state because it has to fear being sued by every liberal AG for BS laws, then I don’t blame them for not selling there. Buck up, quit whining and take care of the real problem you have in your Commie state, LIBERAL BS! This decision is a victory for ALL gun owners.

  15. CTD, you are no supporter of CA In Fact you are part of the problem. Our state doesn’t need ANY outside support to clean up the problem here, unless you are willing to support our pro 2A efforts to get rid of the knuckleheads in office. Caving to any ati gun effort helps the idiots who are trying to get rid of guns. Trust my words here, This state is first in everything. When they finally do kill off all of the patriots here who support gun rights, you will be next. Keep up the good work CTD, your “efforts” are quite helpful. ever see The movie Braveheart? You are robert the BRUCE. We will never forget. NEVER!!

  16. Don’t claim any victory CTD! You will not relish in this! Don’t even know why you would post this. Like the rest I will by from somebody else.

  17. Thanks CTD for helping to defeat this F***ed up law. Still, I will never buy a thing from you guys. You denied me on one of those M7 bayonets, and those aren’t even illegal in California.

  18. “common sense boycott of the CA legislature”

    What kind of sense does that make? You think the people that voted to ban the ammo sales give two craps about CTD’s stupid stance? It only hurt the people that DIDN’T support the ban.

    I can’t even get CTD to send me a pistol grip for my WASR-10. Is that a ‘common sense boycott’ as well?

    Well the good folks in CA can do a common sense boycott of CTD, what’s good for the goose…

  19. “When AB 962 passed there was loud outcry from law abiding gun owners impacted by the new law. Those voices must be heard during the legislative session and before a proposed law passes, not after a law is signed.”
    that’s for sure…it wasn’t last minute gripers that stopped AB 962, it was the powerful NRA and their supporters.

    This was a close call.
    we almost had to literally bite the bullet ~

    Anyone who hasn’t joined the NRA yet really needs to…
    NRA has the money, lawyers and the power to stop this kinda unconstitutional b.s. .. We can complain after we loose our rights but thats way too late… Get informed people.. Keep up on what the anti-gun people are trying to legislate against us before it becomes a law.
    Remember, anti-gun people work harder at taking our rights away than we do at keeping them.. You can join NRA for 35 bucks a year and get a good magazine every month. It wasn’t last minute gripers that stopped AB 962, it was the powerful NRA and their supporters.

  20. Too many kids give up too soon when it takes a few extra minutes to google information your passioned about.
    Cool, to bad I still wont buy a damn thing from CTD again. The fact that they wouldnt sell LEGAL RIFLE AMMUNITION to people in california if the handgun ammo sales ban passed put a bad taste in my mouth

    Thanks CTD, for shitty service, rediculous shipping cost, and retarded policy that did nothing good for the cause’ in CA. Sure glad there is places with better prices, better service, and better attitude then you.

    Comment by ZF — January 18, 2011 @ 7:30 PM
    too many microwave kids around now days. Course that could be a post from some angry adult too. CTD, thanks for standing tall, by including law enforcement !!! Keep up good work! RMS

  21. I don’t know what the above poster is complaining about. CTDs refusal to sell ammo in CA included law enforcement and was intended to join several other companys in a “common sense boycott” of Ca Legislature.

    Of course, they want to sell ammunition, that’s what they do. I have boght parts, magazines, and munitions from them and never regretted it. Don’t be bitter. Relish this victory against a totalitarian law.

  22. Cool, to bad I still wont buy a damn thing from CTD again. The fact that they wouldnt sell LEGAL RIFLE AMMUNITION to people in california if the handgun ammo sales ban passed put a bad taste in my mouth

    Thanks CTD, for shitty service, rediculous shipping cost, and retarded policy that did nothing good for the cause’ in CA. Sure glad there is places with better prices, better service, and better attitude then you.

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

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

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.