Your guide to Ammo Laws in California 2023

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California Ammo Laws 

California ammo laws are among the most stringent in the nation, closely mirroring the state's strict firearm regulations. These rules cover everything from purchase and ownership to storage and disposal. Staying informed is essential to ensure full compliance with the state's ammunition guidelines.

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    California Ammo Laws Regulate Selling Ammo

    Private Party Ammo Sales

    In California, private party ammo sales are tightly regulated, distinguishing it from the more lenient federal guidelines. For private party ammo sales, California ammo laws mandate that every transaction must go through a licensed ammunition supplier. Simply put, individuals can't directly sell or transfer ammo to each other without this intermediary. Whether in-person or online, all ammo sales and transfers must be routed through these authorized vendors. Furthermore, these vendors are required to record every transaction, ensuring a traceable record for every sale.

    california ammo laws icon

    California Ammo Laws Regulate Selling Ammo

    Private Party Ammo Sales

    In California, private party ammo sales are tightly regulated, distinguishing it from the more lenient federal guidelines. For private party ammo sales, California ammo laws mandate that every transaction must go through a licensed ammunition supplier. Simply put, individuals can't directly sell or transfer ammo to each other without this intermediary. Whether in-person or online, all ammo sales and transfers must be routed through these authorized vendors. Furthermore, these vendors are required to record every transaction, ensuring a traceable record for every sale.

    • Is it illegal to sell ammo at a garage sale?

      Yes, it is illegal to sell ammunition at a garage sale in California. The state mandates that all ammunition sales must occur through licensed vendors to maintain proper recording and compliance with the Department of Justice. Selling ammo at a garage sale bypasses this requirement and poses a risk of legal repercussions if the sold ammunition is linked to any illicit activity or traced back to the informal sale.

      California Ammo Laws: Penal Code 30312

    • Can you sell ammo without license?

      To sell ammunition legally in California when neither party is a licensed vendor, you must go through a licensed ammunition vendor. The buyer will provide personal details and undergo a background check by the California Department of Justice to ensure eligibility. This process guarantees a safe and compliant transaction. The vendor will keep a recorded record of the sale for tracing purposes. Remember, the ammunition being sold must be legal in the state, and both the seller and the buyer need to be eligible to possess it.

      California Ammo Laws: Penal Code § 30352

    • What About Gifting Ammo to Family?

      While most ammo sales or transfers must go through a licensed vendor, immediate family members can gift ammo to each other without this step. This means ammunition can be directly gifted to immediate family members without the need for an ammunition vendor. Immediate family members include: 

      • spouses,
      • registered domestic partners,
      • parents,
      • children,
      • grandparents, or
      • grandchildren

      However, it's essential to ensure that the recipient can legally have ammunition. Moreover, the ammo gifted must be legal within California.

      California Ammo Laws: Penal Code 30312(c), 16720.

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    California ammo laws restrict certain bullets

    illegal bullets in california

    Certain types of ammunition are prohibited for possession and use within the state. It's crucial for residents and visitors alike to be aware of these restrictions to ensure they remain compliant with California laws. Here, we'll delve into the types of bullets that, while legal in many states, are explicitly banned in California.

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    California ammo laws restrict certain bullets

    illegal bullets in california

    Certain types of ammunition are prohibited for possession and use within the state. It's crucial for residents and visitors alike to be aware of these restrictions to ensure they remain compliant with California laws. Here, we'll delve into the types of bullets that, while legal in many states, are explicitly banned in California.

    • illegal bullet types

      The following are types of ammo that may be legal in other states but are prohibited in California:

      • Armor-piercing ammunition is illegal to sell, manufacture, or possess as detailed in Penal Code § 30315.
      • Tracer rounds for handguns are prohibited by Penal Code § 30301.
      • Incendiary ammunition is prohibited.
      • Flechette darts and bullets containing or carrying an explosive agent are prohibited by Penal Code § 30210 and Penal Code § 20710 respectively.
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    California Ammo Laws on possession

    Who Can Possess Ammo?

    In California, not everyone is permitted to possess ammunition. Specific laws dictate who can and cannot have ammo based on various criteria, ensuring public safety. It's crucial to understand these restrictions to avoid legal complications.

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    California Ammo Laws on possession

    Who Can Possess Ammo?

    In California, not everyone is permitted to possess ammunition. Specific laws dictate who can and cannot have ammo based on various criteria, ensuring public safety. It's crucial to understand these restrictions to avoid legal complications.

    • Minors Under 18

      Minors under 18 are generally prohibited from possessing live ammunition unless they meet specific exceptions, such as having written consent from a parent or legal guardian or being engaged in certain lawful activities like competitive shooting or hunting.

    • Handgun ammo restricted to 21+

      Individuals under the age of 21 are prohibited from possessing handgun ammunition.

    • When Firearms are Prohibited, So is Ammo.

      If you are restricted from possessing firearms federally or in the state, then it is illegal to possess ammunition under Penal Code § 30305(a)(1). Prohibited persons include, but aren't limited to :

      • Persons who are unlawful users of or are addicted to narcotics or any other controlled substances (including medical marijuana)
      • felons, individuals convicted of certain misdemeanors, and individuals with restraining orders against them.
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    California ammo laws for secure storage

    Ammunition Storage & Disposal 

    Navigating the laws related to ammunition ownership, storage, and disposal in California is essential for both safety and compliance. These regulations dictate how ammunition should be stored to prevent unauthorized access and outline proper disposal methods to minimize environmental impact.

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    California ammo laws for secure storage

    Ammunition Storage & Disposal 

    Navigating the laws related to ammunition ownership, storage, and disposal in California is essential for both safety and compliance. These regulations dictate how ammunition should be stored to prevent unauthorized access and outline proper disposal methods to minimize environmental impact.

    • can you throw away bullets in california?

      No. Ammunition should never be thrown away or left in public spaces, as doing so is illegal in California.

      Under California ammo law CA Penal Code § 30300 [Ammunition Restrictions]:

      You can not dispose of ammunition if you know, or using reasonable care should know, that a child or anyone prohibited from possessing that ammunition is likely to gain access. (summary)

      Penalty: Up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.

    • Where can I dispose of ammunition?

      Local police departments, gun shops or firing ranges may accept smaller quantities of ammunition, or you can use an ammunition disposal service like Ammo Guy that will come to your location to safely remove any amount of ammunition at no cost, ensuring it is properly disposed of, recycled, or repurposed.

      Ammunition Disposal Service Near You:

      At Ammo Guy, we're committed to offering a safe and legal ammunition disposal service for our neighbors in Orange County, Los Angeles, and the broader Southern California region. If you're outside of these areas, we recommend California Gun Services, which provides a reliable disposal service throughout the entire state of California. We work hand-in-hand to ensure that everyone has access to trusted disposal services, in line with local laws.

    • how much ammo can you own in california?

      There is no set limit on the amount of ammunition you can own in California, provided that you're legally allowed to possess ammunition, the ammunition itself is legal in the state, it was acquired lawfully, and it is stored properly.

    • does ammo in california need to be locked up?

      While California doesn't have a specific law requiring ammunition to be locked up, it's crucial to secure it if you live with individuals prohibited from possessing ammo, like children under 18. If such individuals access your ammo, you could be held responsible, especially if you knew or reasonably should have known they might access it.

      Properly storing ammunition not only protects your family but also contributes to the safety of the broader community.

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    California ammo laws regulate buying ammo

    Buying Ammo in CA

    California's ammunition laws dictate strict regulations for purchasing ammunition within the state. These laws are designed to ensure responsible ownership and usage of ammunition, aiming to enhance public safety and prevent unlawful activities.
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    California ammo laws regulate buying ammo

    Buying Ammo in CA

    California's ammunition laws dictate strict regulations for purchasing ammunition within the state. These laws are designed to ensure responsible ownership and usage of ammunition, aiming to enhance public safety and prevent unlawful activities.
    • how old do you have to be to buy ammo in california?

      In California, you must be at least 21 years old to purchase handgun ammunition, and at least 18 years old to buy rifle and shotgun ammunition.

    • how much ammo can you buy in california?

      There isn't a specific limit on the quantity of ammunition you can purchase at one time in California. That being said, it's essential to be aware of any local ordinances or restrictions in your area that might differ.

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    california ammo laws on transportation

    Transporting Ammo in California

    Navigating the rules around transporting ammunition within California is crucial for legal compliance. In this section, we'll address common questions such as driving with ammunition in your car and bringing ammunition into the state, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

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    california ammo laws on transportation

    Transporting Ammo in California

    Navigating the rules around transporting ammunition within California is crucial for legal compliance. In this section, we'll address common questions such as driving with ammunition in your car and bringing ammunition into the state, ensuring you have a clear understanding of your rights and responsibilities.

    • can i bring ammunition into california?

      In short, it's generally illegal for individuals to bring ammunition into California that is from another state unless the shipment goes through a licensed ammunition vendor. Specifically, this means:

      • Non-residents can not bring ammunition into California unless it is delivered to a licensed vendor.
      • Residents returning to the state cannot bring ammunition they purchased out-of-state unless it is first delivered to a licensed ammunition vendor for face-to-face transfer.

      Some exceptions exist, like for certain hunting events or shooting competitions. This is in line with Penal Code § 30314.

    • Is transporting ammunition in a vehicle allowed?

      In California, you can transport ammunition in a vehicle as long as you are in legal possession of it. However, it's crucial that the ammo is not loaded into any firearm. To avoid issues, keep it secure and away from unauthorized access, like in an open trunk. Leaving it exposed can result in a misdemeanor. It's also wise to check local regulations.

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