California gun owners face new background checks for ammo purchases

California became the first state in the country on Monday to require background checks for all ammunition purchases.

Under the new law, gun owners now have to pick up bullets in person, in the store. That means if the buyer makes the purchase online, it must be shipped to a gun shop for pickup. Gun owners will be subject to a background check every time they make a purchase, even if they are already registered with the state.

Gun owners are required to pay $20 for the first spot check and $1 for each additional purchase.

Opponents say in addition to costing gun owners time and money, the law will send buyers across state lines for ammo, hurting business for sellers in California. Advocates says it’s meant to keep bullets out of the wrong hands.


Hunters in California are also facing new regulations this week.

They are now legally required to use non-lead ammunition or face stiff fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.

Advocates say switching to non-toxic ammunition will safeguard hunting families from lead exposure and protect wildlife from illness and in some cases, death.

Lead ammunition is still allowed is for target shooting at firing ranges.