What documents do i need to buy ammunition in California?

Buy Ammunition In California

When you buy ammunition in California, You are need to produce proof of your identity (30352(c); a picture identification card issued by the state should be adequate). For further information about the specifics of what is allowed, please refer to the section entitled “Buying a Gun.”

If your driver’s licence states that “federal limitations apply” but is not a REAL ID, you will most likely be required to undergo a more in-depth and time-consuming basic background check as well as display extra documents.

buy ammunition in California

This blog assists those who need buy ammunition in California, a process that got much more difficult on July 1, 2019, when a new rule mandating background checks on purchasers of ammunition went into force.

The information that can be found on this page was compiled by California Waterfowl, a non-profit organisation that is dedicated to hunting and conservation.

The information was based on the law, information from the California Department of Justice, analysis by experts, and the experiences that legions of ammunition buyers have shared with us.


Authorizations to Purchase Arms and Ammunition

The Department of Justice compares the name, date of birth, current address, and driver’s licence or other government identification number of the ammunition purchaser to the information that is kept in the AFS in order to determine whether or not the purchaser or transferee is eligible to buy ammunition in California or possess ammunition. This is done in order to determine whether or not the purchaser or transferee is eligible to purchase or possess ammunition.


The following is an explanation of how it ought to operate: In order to buy ammunition in California, you must first demonstrate that you are legally permitted to own firearms and ammunition. The “instant” background check is predicated on the fact that the California Department of Justice has a record of the ammunition buyer having completed a background check in order to purchase a firearm.

Law detail

The procedure is completed without incident for approximately five out of every six residents of the state of California as follows: they present their California driver’s licence or military ID, pay one dollar for a background check, wait a few minutes, pay for their ammunition, and then leave the store with their ammunition in hand. Those who have never been subjected to a background check in order to buy ammunition in California may pay $19 for a one-time background check that is not immediate and then return to the shop a few days later to purchase their ammo.


However, one in six people are unable to pass the background check.

the reason for the failure of the vast majority of these people is due to record-keeping issues (more on that below). As of the time of this writing, this legislation has prevented 102,147 individuals from purchasing ammunition.

Of those 102,147, only 758 were considered “prohibited persons.” The remaining ones were just turned down by a system that does not function properly.


Shooting ranges are the only locations where background checks are not needed by law. However, in order for ranges to be exempt from conducting background checks

the ammunition that customers buy must be used entirely at the range on the day it was purchased, and none of it may be taken home.

It’s possible that some ranges may decide to need background checks anyhow, just to be safe.

Do you want to avoid complying with this legislation by purchasing your ammunition in another state?

You may buy ammunition in California outside location, but in order to bring it into the state, you will first need to have it sent to a licenced ammunition dealer in California.

The vendor will then do a background check on you before returning the ammunition to you. The legislation places no restrictions on the amount of money that the provider may charge for providing this service.


Are you a non-resident?

According to this legislation, it is physically impossible for non-residents to buy ammunition in California. On the other hand.

non-residents are not subject to import limitations, thus they are free to bring in as much ammo as they want. Here’s an interesting fact.

When travelling, you can’t carry very much with you; check with your airline to find out what their restrictions are. Ammo may be shared among hunters while they are out in the field during hunts that include flying.

Two popular misunderstandings regarding the legislation are that it places a limit on the number of rounds that may be purchased (this is not the case).

that the only gauge or calibre of ammo that can be purchased is that of the guns that have been registered with the state (not true). There is no restriction on the number of rounds or the gauge or calibre.

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