Proposition 63: Firearms. Ammunition Sales.
Should the state of California strengthen background checks and Justice Department oversight; tighten restrictions and monitoring for gun and ammunition sales; require the reporting of lost or stolen firearms; and ban large capacity magazines?
Under federal and state law, certain individuals are not allowed to have firearms: (1) those convicted of felonies and some misdemeanors; (2) those found by a court to be a danger to themselves or others due to mental illness, and (3) those with a restraining order against them. A national background check system exists to ensure that a buyer is not a prohibited person, and the California Department of Justice (DOJ) cross-checks it in order to identify illegally possessed guns and confiscate them.
Under state law, there are limits on the type of firearms that can be bought, a waiting period before a buyer can get a firearm from a dealer, and requirements for reporting firearm sales. Starting in 2018, a one-year DOJ license will be needed to sell ammunition, and most ammunition sales will have to be through a licensed dealer. Starting in 2019, dealers will have to confirm with the DOJ that those seeking to buy ammunition are not prohibited persons, and dealers will generally have to collect and report detailed information on each ammunition sale to the DOJ, to be kept for two years. Additionally, the ownership of large-capacity magazines will be limited.
Prop. 63 includes various regulations related to the sale of ammunition, some of which would replace existing law. Individuals would have to obtain, and pay for, a four-year permit from the DOJ to buy ammunition, dealers would have to check that buyers have such permits, and the permits would be revoked from persons who become prohibited.
Persons convicted of stealing a firearm would be prohibited from possessing firearms. A new court process would be set up to ensure that those prohibited individuals don’t continue to have firearms, and new reporting requirements would be established. The maximum penalty for possession of large capacity magazines would be increased.
There would likely be increased state and local costs in the tens of millions of dollars annually due to increased workloads caused by the new court process. Potential state costs related to the regulation of ammunition sales would likely not be more than millions of dollars annually, and could be offset by various regulatory fees. Potential increased state and local correction costs likely would not exceed the low millions of dollars annually.