California Waterfowl needs your help quickly to fight a proposed state emergency regulation that would make it impossible for tens of thousands of law-abiding Californians to purchase guns and ammunition!
In this article, we’re going to explain the problem, and at the end, we’re going to give you two options for speaking up. Your voice is crucial in fighting this proposal, and the state must receive your comments by Friday June 21, so if you’re short on time, please skip to the end.
Here’s what’s up:
Existing law: Starting July 1, Californians will be required to get a background check to buy ammunition under a state law passed by voters in 2016. Buyers have to show their driver’s license, and it will cost $1 for people who are already in the state Department of Justice system – those who have purchased handguns since Jan. 1, 1990, or long guns since Jan. 1, 2014 – and for them, the background check is supposed to be “instant.” It will cost $19 for people not in the DOJ system, and that background check may not be instant.
Much of the implementation of this system has been up in the air because DOJ has been slow to promulgate regulations. You can learn more about that here.
Proposal: This week, DOJ proposed emergency regulations that would require both ammunition and gun buyers to show either REAL ID (the new federally approved driver’s license), a passport, a green card or a certified birth certificate. You can read the complete details here.
The problem: There are many:
- Many Californians do not yet have the REAL ID, and because it’s not required for air travel until Oct. 1, 2020, they have not rushed to get this new license. While some have gotten it easily, many have had to wait a month or two for a DMV appointment to get this ID, so it’s unlikely every gun owner could get this ID in time for the July 1 start date of ammo background checks.
- Many Californians do not have passports. It costs $145 to get a passport ($110 to renew), and it takes weeks to get it.
- Many Californians do not have certified copies of their birth certificates. Unless you live in or near the county where you were born, you have to get it by mail, which may not be quick.
- Californians who don’t hear about these rules would have no idea that they needed to carry these documents just to buy ammo. Most people store passports and birth certificates at home, not in their wallets.
- There is no justification for enacting this requirement this close to the implementation date of ammunition background checks, not when it would effectively treat tens of thousands of law-abiding Californians like criminals by preventing them from purchasing guns and ammunition.
- The timing is horrible, because non-lead ammunition is required for all hunting starting July 1, so many hunters need to replace their old lead ammo.
The solution: California Waterfowl and the California Rifle and Pistol Association are fighting this proposal. One thing that would help a great deal is for the DOJ to hear from lots of unhappy citizens.
There are two ways you can do this, and both will be better if you multiply your impact by sharing this with your friends:
The easiest and fastest way: Click here to go to CWA’s action alert and send a message to the state Attorney General expressing your concern about this proposal.
The more involved, but potentially more effective way: The formal commenting process for emergency regulations process requires people to send comments in writing simultaneously to both DOJ and the state Office of Administrative Law at these email addresses: Emergencyregs@doj.ca.gov and firstname.lastname@example.org. (You can also mail it, but there’s so little time left it’s best to email.)
These comments must:
- Contain a notation that the comment is for consideration by California’s Office of Administrative Law (“OAL”).
- Identify the topic of the emergency regulations: Title 11, Division 5 Chapter 4. Documentation Requirements for Firearms and Ammunition Eligibility Checks.
It’s important to be respectful. You do not need to make an attorney’s case against the regulations – organizations like CWA and CRPA will do that; expressing your practical concern is sufficient. The key is for DOJ to receive a large volume of comments.
Note: The system CWA uses to generate emails to lawmakers and regulators would not allow us to send a letter to the Office of Administrative Law, which is why we have to give you two ways of doing this instead of just using our system. We apologize, but it’s not something we could fix instantly.
What’s next: California Waterfowl and its partners will fight this proposal and keep you abreast of the outcome.