The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld California’s ammunition background check law on Monday, allowing it to go back into effect during the state’s appeal process.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta expressed approval of the decision, stating, “California’s life-saving ammunition laws will remain in effect as we continue to defend them in court.”
The law, which requires background checks for ammunition purchases, has faced legal opposition. Late last month, it was overturned by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez. However, the new stay allows the state to continue regulating ammunition sales.
Background Check for Ammunition
Many states, including California, make people pass a background check before they can buy a gun. California goes a step further by requiring a background check, which costs either $1 or $19 depending on eligibility, every time people buy bullets. A few other states also require background checks for buying ammunition, but most let people buy a license that is good for a few years.
California’s law is meant to help police find people who have guns illegally — like convicted felons, people with mental illnesses, and those with some domestic violence convictions. Sometimes they order kits online and assemble guns in their home. The guns don’t have serial numbers and are difficult for law enforcement to track, but the people who own them show up in background checks when they try to buy bullets.
Opponents Argue Law Violates 2nd Amendment
The opponents of California’s background check law for ammunition say that it violates the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution because if people can’t buy bullets, they can’t use their guns for self-defense. They criticize the state’s automated background check system, which rejected about 11% of applicants, or 58,087 requests, in the first half of 2023.