Californians: make sure you are aware of the new AB962 ammo ban

I should have blogged about this last year to ensure the Californian readers are aware of it, but I completely forgot about it in the holiday season madness. I was reminded about the California AB962 “ammo ban” when reading the latest newsletter from online ammo retailer (The Firearm Blog’s sponsor).

Note: The below text is copy & pasted from the newsletter which is a few days old (so you have less than 27 days) …

As everyone probably knows by now, the legislature of the People’s Republic of California passed a restrictive bill in October of 2009 called AB 962. AB 962 attacks the heart of 2nd Amendment rights by cutting off or severely restricting the circulation of ammunition to the freedom loving people of California. Unfortunately, the Governator signed it into law!

What does this mean to you? If you live in California, it means that in 27 days:

You will not be permitted to directly receive shipments of certain ammunition by common carrier (UPS/FedEx). This means no more internet orders!

If you want to purchase certain ammunition, you will have to provide a thumbprint and description of the ammunition purchased as well as present a photo ID.

The restricted ammunition (including popular calibers like 9mm, 45 ACP, 40 S&W, 380 Auto, 38 Special, 357 Mag, etc) will most likely be very hard to find or more expensive.

If you don’t live in California, be thankful….. for now. But forward this email to everyone you know in California.

Summary: Stock up while you can find it and afford it and store as much as you can in ammo cans.

The owners of LuckyGunner have been good to me and to the blog, so if you are in California and need to stock up ammunition, please check out their prices. It will be the last time you will be able to buy from them, or at least until AB 962 is overturned.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Patrick M

    Only 6 months after getting really into shooting this happens! California is really starting to run out of reasons for me to continue being a citizen here. I go to school in Arizona and now I am contemplating just becoming an AZ citizen instead.

  • Patrick M

    I meant resident not citizen πŸ™‚

  • Dakota

    California’s laws get made by a bunch of pansies, so much for the Liberal West Coast where taking/demonizing freedoms is more popular then building upon the freedoms our forefathers created for us in the Constitution.

  • Lance

    So, this was the newsletter verbatim? This is one of the reasons I love Lucky Gunner, all of their press releases sound like something your buddy would say.

  • Erik

    Yea, what they don’t mention is that IF AB962 even stays in effect (doubtful given the myriad of interstate commerce laws they’re breaking), it doesn’t apply to mail order ammunition orders as long as the mail order ammunition is shipped adult signature required.

  • dave14

    Those are tighter restrictions on purchasing bullets (ID, thumb print), than there are for illegal aliens being in the state (voting/working/welfare?). What a progressive state. I’m looking forward to the next budget crisis.

  • jaekelopterus

    California’s restrictive anti-gun laws are all pro-industry, raising the price of ammo and restricting all but the most expensive, feature-rich handguns. They’re not the work of “liberals,” as it’s so easy to blame them on, but industry insiders and bought-and-paid-for politicians. Like most things political, this is not a left-and-right issue and I wish intelligent people would stop framing it that way. This bill was written by lobbyists and signed into law by a supposed conservative governor. Don’t buy into the hype, both of our political parties are equally culpable for allowing our system to be bought by monied interests.

  • HK_WSU

    I am not too familiar with the law, but is there a restriction on bringing in ammo purchased from outside the state? If not I’d expect to see a bump in the sales to neighboring states like Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.


    Reiterating what Erik said, it doesn’t actually ban mail order of ammunition, components, or any of that. I will add that while our politicians are obnoxious, we can thank our lucky stars they are generally incompetent and thus incapable of writing a law that actually does what they think it does.

  • Andrew in CA

    C&R + COE gets you around AB 962. We’ll see how many dealers honor it, but so far J&G Sales says they will be shipping to C&R + COE Californians.

    In the meantime I’m all setup for reloading. Or maybe I’ll just take a trip to AZ and stimulate your economy, bring back some C&R’s while I’m at it.

  • GeoffH

    jaekelopterus wrote:
    This bill was written by lobbyists and signed into law by a supposed conservative governor. Don’t buy into the hype, both of our political parties are equally culpable for allowing our system to be bought by monied interests.

    I’m not saying you are wrong, but do you have some evidence to back up your claim? The reason I ask is if this is the case, why does California have a law that limits the magazine to 10 rounds? And why are there other restrictions on what guns you can buy in CA? If gun lobbyists are in bed with the politicians here in CA you would expect them to be less restrictive, not more restrictive. Sorry, your argument doesn’t pass the common sense test, but if you have evidence, please post it.

  • KP

    This ban only prohibits pistol ammo, and even then, prohibits pistol ammo from being delivered to someone WITHOUT AN ID.

    I can hear everyone getting ready to throw CA in the flame pit, and I’m not saying our politicians don’t deserve it, but the non-liberal residents sure don’t. Steve, please make it a point to make this clarification because a lot of people are going to further and unnecessarily restrict sales to CA because of AB962.

  • John C

    I just noticed on my last Cheaper Than Dirt catalogue that they are no longer shipping ammo to Callifornia – This appears to be the reason. And the gun bans are working so well there, what with the rapidly increasing murder and crime rates… Oh and it will also further hurt the economy in California which is already in the toilet

  • As a german gunowner, i’m sad that americans don’t stand up against this kind of legislation.
    Every time you loose one of your rights/possibilities, our leftwing communazis have another reason to say “look, even the american gun-loving rednecks are not allowed to order ammo online, why should ours be?”

    American legislation is allways a big inspiration to our politicians – please, in the name of the rest of the world, tell them to shut the f*ck up and listen to the people.

    Even the British people are allowed to order ammo online, and they may not even carry a damn screwdriver in public. (This is strictly enforced!)

  • SoulTown

    All the more reason to stay in Washington (state). I love west coast, but Cali is just becoming unappealing for so many different reasons. (Including their asinine gun laws) Actually, screw that. Washington doesn’t allow SBRs. I gotta move to Oregon.

  • Erick & PEBKAC, that argument assumes that UPS and Fed Ex will cooperate and continue to deliver. A poor assumption.

  • Cymond

    I hope somebody in the ammo business remembers the result of the 1994 AWB’s ban on specific guns by name – production of nearly identical guns with new names. Think Tec-9 vs AB-10

    I propose a new wildcat cartridge called 9mm Joe. It is dimensionally identical to the more common 9×19 but is intellectually distinct … somehow. Hey, if the big companies (AAC, Winchester) can make commercial copies of wildcat and proprietary cartridges, can’t we make proprietary or wildcat copies of commercial loads?

  • Dakota

    @jaekelopterus- I never pointed the blame at Liberals, I just find it hilariously hypocritical of one of the most progressive states (supposedly) to not be accepting of many of our constitutional rights. If the right is acceptable in their eyes, it then must be extremely regulated. California used to be apart of the gun slinging Wild West, now they’re as sad as a declawed cat.

  • Mattias in CA

    This legislation and the pseudo-logic behind it makes me both incredibly frustrated and somewhat ashamed to call myself a born-and-raised California resident. I have a good 1000 rounds stashed away now for my 9mm (@Cymond; that 9mm joe sounds like a fantastic idea to me) and have started my reloading setup, but i fear that may not last as long as i’d want it to.

    What I really fear is that it will be far, far more difficult to overturn this measure than it would have been to put more effort in to stop it in the first place.

  • Erik


    They will continue to deliver. What in the world would give you the idea that they wouldn’t?

  • Rob

    “Ammo ban” my ass. If people researched and thought before flapping their mouths and fingers the world might actually be a better place. AB962 is a load of crap, but I have no fears about my ability to get ammo or the price I will have to pay. Some online seller sprouting shit in hopes of drumming up business certainly won’t be getting mine.

  • Ivan

    I have an idea. Lets box up bunch of Californian politicians in the van, bring they into LA ghetto and leave alone. May be this overview of true of life clean up their brains…

  • KP

    Also, let it be known that Californians are not resting on our laurels to let this bill go unopposed. There are efforts right now to repeal it. There are actually a lot of efforts in the works right now and without these select Californians, the US would have quite a few MORE gun legislations around. We’re not giving up without a fight.

  • Alex Bakke


    “This bill would, subject to exceptions, commencing February 1, 2011, require handgun ammunition vendors to obtain a thumbprint and other information from ammunition purchasers, as specified. A violation of these provisions would be a misdemeanor.”

    So, from my understanding it basically requires you to send in a passport and a thumbprint so the retailers have a permanent record of who they’re selling to.

    Whilst I may be a young adult in the UK, I’m generally in favour of freedom of gun ownership, and so forth. But in my mind, this doesn’t damage the freedom of gun owners/retailers at all.

    All it does, is add a definite way of tracing back bulk orders, cutting down on crime. I may have misunderstood, however.

    “The bill would provide, subject to exceptions, that commencing February 1, 2011, the delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition may only occur in a face-to-face transaction, with the deliverer or transferor being provided bona fide evidence of identity of the purchaser or other transferee. A violation of these provisions would be a misdemeanor.”

    This links in from the previous clause – presumably UPS, FedEx or whoever would have a copy of your photo ID on the delivery truck, and the person who accepts the order of whatever ammunition you’ve purchased *Must* be you – Hence the photo ID.

    It can be argued that it’s still an infringement on your rights – The ammo store would have a record of who you are, and your thumbprint.

    However, I believe it’s vital that it’s understood that this is not an ‘Ammo ban’ of any sorts. It’s merely aiming to ensure that ammunition does not get delivered into the wrong hands / Deter criminal suppliers from obtaining it without risking being tracked down.


    NOW. If I were to play the cynic, I’d put forth the notion that LuckyGunner are deliberately misleading the public into buying more of their supplies. My father, who was in the US a couple of months ago, has seen it happen a couple of times in small-time gunstores.

    For example: “Oh Sir, that lever-action’s a fine rifle. You’ll need to buy it soon though, because Obama is banning lever actions next week.”

    Or: “The liberals have managed to ban some bolt action rifles, and this one could be under that bill so buy it within the week”.

    Both very true anecdotes that he experienced.


    Steve, your blog’s one of the best I’ve seen for firearms, but I implore you to read (The website documenting the exact bill, and what it entails) before posting someone else’s report – It’s great you have such trust in a sponsor, but sometimes they (Unwittingly or not) do not tell the truth.

  • Alex Bakke

    (This is a followup to my previous, longer post.)

    I think I’ve nailed down the bit that seems to be causing the confusion.

    “The bill would provide, subject to exceptions, that commencing February 1, 2011, the delivery or transfer of ownership of handgun ammunition may only occur in a face-to-face transaction”

    Luckygunner is reporting that this means you’re not allowed to purchase Ammunition online, and must instead do it ‘face to face’.

    However the phrase “Delivery or Transfer” is key here. The bill is simply referring to the delivery of the ammunition, and not the sale itself.

    Not only does this make sense, grammatically, but this makes sense commercially.

    Why would anyone want to cut off a business from a huge portion of their trade? That’s economically unwise. As long as ID is presented *On delivery*, then there should be no reason why *monetary* (Not property) transactions can take place.


    I hope this clears stuff up, and I hope that Luckygunner will be pleased to hear that they can sell stuff in California πŸ™‚


  • Ryland

    Wow this is a stupid law because people like us will go to nevada and buy ammo so there just gonna lose money haha stupid government

  • Nanban Jim

    Alex, part of the problem is hypocrisy. You don’t need to prove your identity at all to vote in California, but you do to purchase ammunition? Further, there are already laws to track bulk orders of explosive material, ammunition included. What is the utility then of requiring small purchases to be tracked? Finally, the government of California (one state in the US, a nation with more or less twice the, area, states, and population than the EU) has not been hesitant to restrict and constrain most of their economic activity in the past 5 decades, especially that commercial activity which pertains to firearms.

    With due deference to cultural differences, you may find it helpful to remove your presumptions about what is an appropriate level of governmental oversight in commerce and privacy when trying to relate to US firearms politics.

  • Just as an update, the law has been overturned as of 1/18

  • Should I mention that I did buy several boxes of JHP from Lucky Gunner before the ban went into effect though?

  • Alex Bakke

    Nanban Jim, certainly I understand that asking for ID for a small purchase of ammo is unnecessary. I was just hoping to highlight to Californian readers that they would be able to purchase ammunition online.

  • David/Sharpie

    Wow, even in Canada I can purchase ammp online and have it shipped UPS.