Ammunition sales surge ahead of California's mandatory background check

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Firing Line in Clovis continues to be a popular spot for gun enthusiasts. So much so that owner Jake Belemjian is finding it difficult to keep his shop stocked with ammunition these days.

With background checks on ammo beginning next month, bullets are flying off the shelves.

"It's even surprising to me how much we're selling," said store owner Jake Belemjian.

The new requirements are part of Proposition 63, which was approved by California voters almost three years ago.

A portion of the law requires certain individuals to pass a background check to purchase ammunition. But details on how the new mandates will work are still a bit sketchy.

"We think, and I say we think because the DOJ has not given us any guidance on this, but we think the purchaser will need to fill out a form of some kind, sign it and we would put on there what they're purchasing on that form...quantities, caliber all that kind of stuff," Belemjian said.

Gun shops would then input the information into their computers and wait for a response from the state.

Store owners say it could take 10 seconds or 10 days to get a response. No one knows for sure.

"We're supposed to get one of three answers. First one, is instantly approved," Belemjian said. "Instantly denied or instantly delayed which you're guess is as good as mind what that means."

Customers we spoke to question these new requirements since there are already waiting periods and background checks on those who purchase guns.

One man said he believes the regulations punish law-abiding citizens

"They just want more money to go through the background checks," he said. "You already been through it once. They already said you're allowed to buy a gun now you got to give them more money for the gun."

California residents can expect a background check to go along with a one dollar service fee every time they purchase ammunition.

"The State is going to not only collect information on what firearms you own and have that registration. Now they're going to know what ammunition you have purchased," Belemjian said.

The state is also proposing residents must use a Real ID to purchase firearms and ammunition by October 1 of 2020.
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