The dove opener is the biggest hunting day in California, but a lot of hunters had to sit this year out, because of new ammunition laws that just took effect.
California voters approved Proposition 63 in 2016, but the full effect of the law did not take effect until July 2019. The law requires citizens of California to pass a background check every time they buy ammunition.
The law was implemented in hopes that it would help prevent mass shootings, but all it seems to have done so far is keep hunters out of the field by burdening them with more undue requirements.
ABC 7 News did a story about a gun shop in Dublin, California in which they highlight just how hard it is for hunters to get a simple box of shotgun shells.
“You have to fill out the same paperwork as if you were purchasing a gun,” said Bill Morgan, owner of Guns, Fishing, and Other Stuff.
He went on to explain that, it used to be you could grab a box of shells on your way to the field. But if you have not registered a gun in the last five years you can no longer do that.
“It’s 19 dollars, takes ten days, then you can come pick up the ammo,” he said. “But, you have to make the purchase within 30 days. If you don’t, you have to go through the whole process again. Which means a lot of hunters missed opening day.
However, if you did register a gun in the last five years it is a lot easier. It takes an extra 10-15 minutes to run the background check if you have the proper paperwork.
In the long run, it may end up being just a minor inconvenience, once people get used to the changes, but we all know it won’t end there. Laws like this will do nothing to prevent other mass shootings, and more and more regulations and red tape will keep being added.
These undue regulations are dangerous to the future of hunting. They are just one more hurdle that people have to overcome to participate. Hunting already has a recruitment problem, and more obstacles do not help.