California hunters hit by state's new ammunition laws

DUBLIN, Calif. (KGO) -- The biggest hunting day of the year in California will take place on Sunday. That's when dove hunting season begins.

But, good luck finding ammunition for it. And even if you could, the state's brand new ammunition laws are rejecting up to a third of would-be buyers.

Inside the Guns, Fishing, and other Stuff store in Dublin, we've been watching Christopher - he doesn't want to use his last name - trying to buy pistol ammunition under the state's new law, but brought in the wrong identification.

"Had to go out to the car and get the proper credentials," he said.

He's lucky. Christopher has registered a gun in the last five years, so he's on the state Department of Justice pre-approved list. A one dollar fee, and a quick computer background check and he can make the purchase - after five-to-10 minutes.

"It's still unreasonable," he said.

California voters approved Proposition 63 in 2016, beefing up laws covering the purchase of ammunition.

Backers hope it helps reduce mass shootings like the Gilroy garlic festival by making it harder for felons, and people with mental illness to buy ammo.

RELATED: Gun shop owners say California's new ammo law is not ready to be implemented

But, it's also making it tough on hunters, two days before the busiest hunting day of the year, the kick off of dove hunting on Sunday.

"You have to fill out the same paperwork as if you were purchasing a gun," said Bill Morgan, owner of Guns, Fishing, and other Stuff.
He tells us it used to be as simple as just grabbing a box of shells off the shelf and taking them up the register to pay, but now it can be more expensive, and more time-consuming. and many people don't realize that.

"A lot of them do, but the rule is about half of them don't," he said.

In addition, Morgan says hunters now have to use steel shotgun pellets, not lead. A last minute run means he's out of that. And if you haven't registered a gun since 2014, be prepared to wait.

"It's 19 dollars, takes ten days, then you can come pick up the ammo," he said. "But, you have to make the purchase within 30 days. If you don't, you have to go through the whole process again."

Which means, if you haven't bought any ammo, and you plan to go dove hunting this weekend, you should make other plans.
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