News Alert: California Judge Tosses Background Checks for Ammo

New law deemed “onerous” and “constitutionally defective”

News Alert: California Judge Tosses Background Checks for Ammo

Hunters and gun owners in California scored a huge win against anti-gun forces Thursday when U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez issued an injunction preventing the state of California from enforcing Proposition 64, which greatly restricts legal gun owners from purchasing ammunition.

“These new laws are constitutionally defective for several reasons,” wrote Benitez in a 120-page opinion. “First, criminals, tyrants, and terrorists don’t do background checks. The background check experiment defies common sense while unduly and severely burdening the Second Amendment rights of every responsible, gun-owning citizen desiring to lawfully buy ammunition. Second, the implementing regulations systematically prohibit or deter an untold number of law-abiding California citizen-residents from undergoing the required background checks.”

Judge Benitez went on to write “California’s new ammunition background check law misfires and the Second Amendment rights of California citizens have been gravely injured” in his ruling in favor of a lawsuit brought forth against the state by the California Rifle & Pistol Association.

Proposition 63, along with California Senate Bill No. 1235, put undue strain on hunters and gun owners in California, first by eliminating direct shipments of ammunition to consumers, and second, requiring background check for all ammunition purchases. The latter restriction was enacted on July 1, 2019, and immediately made buying ammo in California all but impossible as state background check system created a tangled web made all but unnavigable by bureaucracy.


It should be no surprise Judge Benitez agreed.


“We know that a very large number of law-abiding citizens holding Second Amendment rights have been heavily burdened in order to screen out a very small number of prohibited persons attempting to buy ammunition through legal means,” wrote Benitez. “[It] could be that the background check laws are having incredibly chilling effects on law-abiding gun owners.”

California has become the front lines in the anti-gun battle, as the state has put forth and enacted a number of laws expressly designed to prevent legal, Constitutionally protected gun ownership, including universal background checks, “assault weapon” and extended magazine bans, gun registry, red-flag law and purchasing limits on both the number of guns and age of the gun buyer, among a raft of other questionable regulations. This most recent decision gives California residents a reason to celebrate in a time when big wins are hard to come by.

“This is a devastating blow to the anti-gun-owner advocates who falsely pushed Prop 63 in the name of safety. In truth, red tape and the state’s disastrous database errors made it impossible for hundreds of thousands of law-abiding Californians to purchase ammunition for sport or self-defense.” said Chuck Michel, President and General Counsel of the California Rifle & Pistol Association. “The Court found that the flimsy reasons offered by the government to justify these Constitutional infringements were woefully inadequate."

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Hunting Coues Deer South of the Border

Former Delta Force Operator Kyle Lamb hikes the rugged desert mountains of northern Sonora in pursuit of the diminutive Coues species of whitetail.

Top Ten Hunts

Top Ten Hunts

Here at Petersen's Hunting we have compiled the 10 best hunts caught on camera from the last 2 years of Petersen's Hunting TV. Enjoy!

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Are you leaving some of the best parts of your turkey in the woods? Recipes

Don't Waste the Best Meat: Wild Turkey Leg & Thigh BBQ Recipe

Michael Pendley

Are you leaving some of the best parts of your turkey in the woods?

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system. Optics

How to Mount a Rifle Scope for Maximum Accuracy

Joseph von Benedikt

Here's how to toughen up the weakest link in your shooting system.

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills. How-To

4 Shooting Drills to Make You a Better Hunter

Jeff Johnston

Practice under pressure with these high-intensity drills.

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters. Wheels Afield

2020 ATV Buyer's Guide

Rick Sosebee - June 23, 2020

Check out the new fleet of off-road options for hunters.

See More Trending Articles

More Conservation

New restrictions are popping up in several states that could ruin the fall season for many hunters. Conservation

New COVID-19 Restrictions Threaten Fall Hunting Plans

Lynn Burkhead - August 12, 2020

New restrictions are popping up in several states that could ruin the fall season for many...

Coyote contests are under fire from anti-hunting organizations. Conservation

Anti Efforts to Ban Predator Hunting on the Rise

David Hart - August 26, 2019

Coyote contests are under fire from anti-hunting organizations.

New research reveals the value of connected habitat. Conservation

Big Game Migration from Private to Public Land

Andrew McKean - November 11, 2019

New research reveals the value of connected habitat.

Leasing ground is big business, but is it bad for hunting? Conservation

The Impact of Leasing Land on Hunter Participation

David Hart - May 05, 2020

Leasing ground is big business, but is it bad for hunting?

See More Conservation

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now