California's new law placing restrictions on the sale and purchase of ammunition is drawing some gripes from local merchants and their customers.
They say the new rules will limit access and raises prices.
Cheryl Klein, a manager at Bear Mountain Sports, said she's heard a number of complaints about the new law banning ammo purchased online from being delivered to homes. Ammo must now be sent to a licensed vendor, likely increasing costs as well as adding an extra trip for the consumer.
"I’m sure it impacts almost every average gun owner," Klein said of the spate of new gun laws. "They already jump through hoops to get their guns and now they have to jump through hoops to get their ammo."
Also, as of Jan. 1, it's illegal to bring ammo purchased out of state back to California. Some people travel elsewhere to purchase ammunition in bulk at a reduced rate, Klein said. Now they'll be paying extra.
Valley Gun owner Ken Quarnberg said it's hard to tell in the long run what the effect of the new laws will be. Local sales will probably increase in the short-term, he said, but it's another instance of government inserting itself into an aspect of his business and that of others.
He said the stated purpose of these laws is to keep the guns out of the hands of "bad guys," but the bad guys are going to get them one way or another. Laws haven't prevented that from happening yet.
Quarnberg said it's his belief prison realignment laws and the reclassification of certain felonies as misdemeanors drive crime more than access to firearms. Some people convicted of crimes that used to carry a significant jail term are now released in a matter of days, he said.
"There's an easy way to keep firearms out of (criminals') hands, and that is to keep (those criminals) off the streets," Quarnberg said. "But California doesn't seem to have the stomach to do that."
And the legislature isn't finished. In July 2019, anyone buying ammunition in the state will be required to undergo a background check.
The new ammo law that took effect Jan. 1 also caused more immediate problems for some retailers.
More than 100 Wal-Mart stores were forced to temporarily stop selling ammunition earlier this week because of a delay in issuing newly required permits on the part of state officials.
Local gun shops, however, were not impacted.
Under one of 2018's new gun laws, ammunition vendor licenses issued by the state Department of Justice are now required of all stores that sell ammunition. Any stores that sells firearms as well as ammunition already have the required license.
So stores like Wal-Mart, with 131 California locations that sell ammunition but not firearms, were forced to get the vendor license. And the DOJ licenses arrived a day late, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The Bee quoted Wal-Mart spokeswoman Delia Garcia as saying the company received its licenses midafternoon Tuesday and was “in the process of making them available to our stores so that they can resume normal sales as quickly as possible.”
While smaller, local businesses weren't forced to close, however briefly, the new laws still aren't sitting well.