Good article and an enlightening look at California and the law of unintended consequences.
California residents can drive to Medford, Oregon, Reno, Nevada, Las Vegas, Kingman, Arizona or Yuma, Arizona and buy all the ammunition they like with no problem. No ID required and no way for California authorities to check if the cartridges were purchased in the state.
Well-heeled Californians with a second residence in Arizona, Nevada or Oregon will even be able to order ammo online for delivery to those addresses.
Gun owners can pool their resources and send one person on a “shopping trip” to a neighboring state. Since there is no buying or selling between the group members, I am pretty sure it’s technically not illegal and even if it is, it will be very hard to prove.
So in a misguided attempt to regulate ammunition sales, the California Assembly has most likely created a new and thriving underground economy.
Between now and January, savvy gun owners will load up on cases, bullets, powder and primers. Look for a run on reloading presses and dies, which aren’t regulated under California law.
A nice RCBS Rock Chucker turret rig and a set of tungsten carbide dies will run about $516 or about the average cost of a new 9mm pistol.
Revolver owners will be in pretty good shape as they can easily retain fired cases and it’s not difficult to cast your own bullets using molds that also are unregulated. (Maybe California will regulate tire weights next?)
A case can usually be reloaded up to ten times so 500 cases can mean up to 5,000 rounds of finished ammunition.
Based on my own experience, it’s pretty easy to load 500 rounds in an hour if you have a group of stations and a couple of friends.
Best of all, the reloader saves a lot of money. Even using brand-new components, a round of 9mm ammo runs about 41¢, which is about half the price of factory defensive cartridges. After paying for the cases with the first reload, subsequent loads run about 21¢ per cartridge. Add about 5¢ to each cartridge to amortize the cost of the reloading rig over 10,000 rounds.
No doubt, supporters of the new California law will complain about those who skirt or completely circumvent their latest foolishness but that’s the price one pays for ignorance.