California Proposition 63 — Magazine Bans, Ammo Licensing, and More!

Proposition 63 new California laws sign

The election of November 8, 2016, caused in elation to many and sorrow to others. Regardless whom you voted for in the Presidential election, we should all be feeling more than a little sorrow for the residents of California. In fact, we should be downright outraged. While California has never been known as being overly friendly to gun owners or manufacturers, new laws have truly changed the game and made it easier than ever for residents or travelers to run afoul of the law.

California Proposition 63, the Background Checks for Ammunition Purchases and Large-Capacity Ammunition Magazine Ban Initiative, was on the November 8, 2016, ballot in California as an initiated state statute. Unfortunately, it was approved.

A yes vote supported prohibiting the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and requires certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.
A no vote opposed this proposal to prohibit the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require certain individuals to pass a background check in order to purchase ammunition.

Regulation of Ammunition in California

In July 2016, California enacted legislation to regulate the sale of ammunition. The legislation requires individuals and businesses to obtain a one-year license from the California Department of Justice to sell ammunition. The legislation also required sellers to conduct background checks of purchasers with the Department of Justice. Some provisions of the legislation repealed and replaced parts of Proposition 63.

Proposition 63 new California laws sign

Changes to State Law

Proposition 63 requires individuals who wish to purchase ammunition to first obtain a permit. The measure mandates dealers to check this permit before selling ammunition. The measure also eliminates several exemptions to the large-capacity magazines ban and increases the penalty for possessing them. Proposition 63 enacted a court process that attempts to ensure prohibited individuals do not continue to have firearms.

Proposition 47 of 2014 made stealing an item that is valued at less than $950 a misdemeanor. Therefore, stealing a gun valued at less than $950 is a misdemeanor. Proposition 63 made stealing a gun, including one valued at less than $950, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

State of the Ballot Measure Campaigns

Yes on Prop 63 outraised opponents five to one. As of November 15, 2016, supporters received $4.55 million, while opposing committees raised $872,615. The California Democratic Party, a supporter of Proposition 63, contributed $1.15 million to the campaign. The National Rifle Association was against the initiative and contributed $95,000 to opponents. Polls indicated that around 68 percent of residents supported Proposition 63 prior to the election.

Initiative design

Requirements to Buy Ammo

Proposition 63 was designed to require individuals who wish to purchase ammunition to first obtain a four-year permit from the California Department of Justice. The measure required dealers to check this permit before selling ammunition. California enacted legislation in July 2016 that repealed this provision and instead mandated dealers to check with the Department of Justice to determine if the buyer is authorized to purchase.

Licenses to Sell Ammo

In July 2016, California enacted legislation to regulate the sale of ammunition. The legislation required individuals and businesses to obtain a one-year license from the California Department of Justice to sell ammunition. Hunters selling 50 rounds or less of ammunition per month for hunting trips were not required to obtain a license.

Proposition 63 established a misdemeanor penalty for failing to follow these dealer licensing requirements.

Large-capacity Magazines

California banned large-capacity magazines for most individuals in 2000. Individuals who had large-capacity magazines before 2000 were allowed to keep the magazines. Proposition 63 removed the ownership exemption for pre-2000 owners of large-capacity magazines. The measure provided for charging individuals who do not comply with an infraction.

It shouldn't be called gun control sign

Court Removal of Firearms

Proposition 63 enacted a court process that attempts to ensure prohibited individuals do not continue to have firearms. The measure required courts to inform individuals prohibited from owning a firearm that they must turn their firearms over to local law enforcement, sell their firearms to a licensed dealer, or give their firearms to a dealer for storage. Proposition 63 also required probation officers to check and report on what prohibited individuals did with their firearms.

Out-of-state Purchases

Starting in July 2019, the July 2016 legislation would have prohibited most California residents from purchasing ammunition outside the state and bringing it into the state without first having it delivered to a licensed dealer. Proposition 63 moves up the start date of this law to January 2018. It also makes bringing out-of-state ammunition into the state, without first delivering it to a dealer, an infraction.

Penalty for Theft

Proposition 47 of 2014 made stealing an item that is valued at less than $950 a misdemeanor. Therefore, stealing a gun valued at less than $950 was a misdemeanor.

Proposition 63 made stealing a gun, including one valued at less than $950, a felony punishable by up to three years in prison.

Reporting Theft

The measure requires dealers of ammunition to report a theft or loss within 48 hours. It requires individuals to report a theft or loss within five days to local law enforcement. Failure to report was considered an infraction under the initiative.

Do you think California’s legislation will stand? Will other states try to pass similar legislation? How can California gun owners protect themselves from Proposition 63? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (20)

  1. With “Republican” majorities in both the house and the senate, why can’t the administration use the enforcement powers of the 14th Amendment to annul Prop 63? The right to keep and bear arms is a federal right. Congress has the power to protect those rights through the enforcement power of the 14th Amendment.

  2. Well it looks like California needs to change it’s State Flag by removing Republic and keeping its red star but make it larger. Fatalizism is an ugly policy!

  3. Since our vote doesn’t count in California, where more than 2/3rds of the legislature are democrats, we need to vote with our feet. Move to another state with more personal freedom than the Peoples Democratic Republik of Kalifornia. Take our money, businesses and jobs to a friendly state. California has 12% of the population of the United States but 22% of the homeless and 33% of all welfare recipients. They need us more than we need them. Without our tax money the state will drown. Legal gun owners are a responsible, hard working group of people in general. These laws will only punish them. Criminals do not follow the laws as they are writren now. What makes those fools think these will change anything? If all it took was a law, Chicago would be the safest city in the US, instead of the murder capitol. Knee jerk liberal mindset at its worst.

  4. I have lived most of my life in California, and Sadly I have watched it go from a great place to a spithole, in a matter of only a few years…

    Gun laws are only the tip of the iceberg… We need new leadership in Sacramento, these idiots have been buying their way into office for too long…

    They no longer represent what the people want, the only represent what their Corporate Masters want them to do…

    EVERYONE I know in California owns firearms, There is NO WAY 68% of California voted for this CRAP ! They lie and they manipulate the numbers to show what they want to see, Not what is really happening… Time to make it stop!!!

    1. John is right. California is run by a bunch of liberal idiots who don’t represent the people, just their own agenda. Tired of all the garbage that goes on in this state and I can see our rights guaranteed by our American Constitution slowly eroding. Too many outspoken minority views with loud mouths are allowed to determine what the majority want…those are the idiots running the local government…I think we are sheep to the slaughter if we don’t speak up.

  5. I am a Democrat, I live in California and I believe in the 2nd amendment. Just because I believe some things “LEFT” does not mean I am blanketed to want my firearms taken away. There are many NRA members in California, but, if you all take off who is left to fight for our rights. The largest problem is we label people one way or another, I have labelled myself a democrat but, I do not agree with all things democrat. If people were more willing to stand up individually for just what they believe well, I do but, I am no one.. I just wish there was a person from any political ambition who would just vote from their belief and not what they are SUPPOSED to vote. AND GOOD LUCK GETTING TRUMP TO FOCUS ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN HIMSELF.

    1. cher,

      See, you were doing so well in your attempt to extend an olive branch cloaked in bi-partisan love, but then your last sentence obliterated all the good you did with a display of the same ignorant bias you purport stifles individual thinking.

      For if you truly were to think on your own, rather than follow your parties talking points, you would know President Trump has reversed every damaging gun-control measure ever implemented by an Obama executive order.

      In the short time in office, such progress should make it impossible for you to utter words that Trump thinks only of himself. I don’t think he even owns a gun, so that shows he does think of others that do. But of course those facts still did not stop you from making an anti-Trump statement to stay in line with your party’s talking points – thus confirming you to be a non-thinking true Lefty more than even you realize.

      Try practicing what you preach first, then maybe we can talk.

  6. The only saving grace is that the idiots in Kalifornia will slowly but surely kill themselves off; victims of their own stupidity. Any way the other 49 states can vote for “Caleit”? We’d certainly be better off without the (morally and financially) bankrupt state dragging the rest of us down. Think of all the congresscritters we’d get shot of, too.Complete win-win.

    1. Ok, sure, but not all of us in the PRK are “idiots,” but are here fighting to retain whatever freedoms we still have. Trouble is, the few million of us here are outnumbered by many millions more leftcoast lberals. I’m tired of pro-freedom people in every other state where they haven’t had to fight for their fights EVER, tarring us all with the same brush when we’re doing all the heavy lifting, and the NRA isn’t doing $);t since they given up on us. $95k against the DNC’s $1.15 million? Seriously? The DNC made that investment because they know they can leverage it in other states, and we’re here on our own, with only BS sniping and snide comments from gun owners in other states. By the way, add Illinois, New York and Massachusetts to the same list of states populated by “idiots.” Gun owners in these states could use some help.

    2. Thank you Norm, you are not alone, there are plenty of us out here that think just like you, unfortunately we are outnmbered.
      Free States beware! CA liberals are leaving CA for your state to ruin you too! It’s happening in OR already, fight them off!!

  7. I certainly hope and pray that Trump will take issue with these laws. First, ammunition should not be controlled like this and it is a violation of interstate trade. High cap mags should be legal for all, anyway. LE is allowed to use them and also used handguns that are not on the approved handgun list for Ca, as far as I am concerned, this just made them military, so we are in a state of contunued Martial Law.
    This, and all of the patriot act, is illegal and needs to be overturned. We are not free.

  8. Let’s see, the Democratic Party contributed $1.15 million to pass this travesty, and the NRA contributed…. $95,000. I’ve supported the NRA for nearly 40 years. I’ve contributed to the ILA, and am a Life-Benefactor member, and an NRA Instructor. But IMO they’ve given up on California, and dropped the ball on both the Gunmageddon initiatives and here with Prop 63. They had the money to hire paid signature gatherers to get the Gunmageddon bills on the ballot, and they left it to NRA volunteers who only got a third of the signatures needed. (Of course lazy and apathetic gun owners who didn’t get out and sign the petitions didn’t help either.). They could have outspent the Democrats easily on this one, so now we’re left to deal with it. I’d like to understand what happened here.

    1. This California native son packed it in cashed out and and moved to a free state and am working hard to keep it free. Best decision of my life. Cut my cost of living by 50%. Your saving grace on the ammo issue is a weekend trip to Reno or Vegas to stock up on those things you need.

  9. All this outrage is as blatant a violation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution as can be imagined. Well, that is until they inevitably drop their pretense and confiscate weaponry from everyone in the golden state but law enforcement and the military. And the outlaws. The Founding Fathers are spinning in their graves.

  10. This iis just one more reason the criminals will scoff at California & it’s idiotic laws. It will actually make it easier for the ones committing gun violence to run rampant, due to the restrictions that are put on the law abiding citizens.
    Do I think this will spread? Only in other liberal overrun states would anything like this come close….but even they are not as commited to getting their people killed as California is!

  11. The liberals who cooked this one up must be a SPECIAL kind of stupid! I mean, how are they going to enforce their ammo ban? What is actually going to stop a California resident from driving across the state line and purchasing ammo, then going home again? It’s not as if other states have gone along with this stupidity (and hopefully this is one bit of the People’s Democratic Republic of Californication’s insanity that doesn’t catch on…). Are they going to implement roadblocks at the state line and vehicle searches? If they can tighten their border security that much, against people from WITHIN the USA, then they certainly have the ability (and would be better off spending their time, money, and resources, and fight more crime) to enforce the border security with Mexico more effectively instead. But, that might make TOO much sense for your average window-licking leftist to understand…

  12. It has always been said that California leads the Nation serving as the test ground to set the example for beneficial laws that should eventually become adopted as the model for the rest of our Country.

    But instead California’s model has done more to prove America actually can be brought to its knees by tyrants without as much as a whimper.

    Even with plenty of warning signs to alert California’s populace of such an imminent progressive tyrannical takeover, these American test-subjects instead serve as an example that most citizens no longer possess the grit and fortitude to exercise their right to rise up – and take the appropriate action to put down the enemy before it’s too late.

    These autocrats’ success is due largely to having infiltrated important roles throughout every aspect of government, then slowly dumbing down the public education system while masterfully corrupting and convoluting our laws to the point an average citizen can’t even understand what just happened to them.

    Make no mistake, the enemy has infiltrated the east and west coasts and are moving inland towards Middle-America. If this can happen on American soil as it has in places like California, New York or New Jersey – it can happen anywhere; how else do you explain 8 years of Obama?

    So I hope and pray that electing President Trump is a sign that we are finally awake and using our political will to rise up civilly in order to defeat the oppression brought about by these progressive liberals who so badly want us all to be made into slaves of globalism and the new world order.

    But if we fail this time around, I fear more drastic and less civil measures will be needed to maintain true freedom in our beloved Country.

    1. Getting into Calif without going thru an AG inspection station is very easy. The state would have to create a whole new bureaucracy and hire thousands to enforce this at the state line.

  13. California is hopeless. There are just too many liberal idiots living there that will vote for these ridiculous laws. And they continue voting for the liberal politicians that come up with them! They can’t seem to realize that criminals, by definition, will ignore the laws!!

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