July 1 (UPI) -- Purchases of ammunition surged statewide ahead of a new California law that took effect Monday, which requires almost all buyers to go through background checks.
California is the first of the United States to mandate such checks for ammunition. Buyers must now show identification and undergo a check that will delay the purchase.
The law aims to block felons from buying bullets. They're already barred from owning firearms.
Buyers in the state led a surge in ammo purchases in the days and weeks before Monday.
"We're probably up by 400 percent from where we were last year for this past month, and this month, in total [ammo] sales," Daniel Kash, president of Los Angeles-area gun shop LAX Ammunition, said. "Everybody that has a gun... knows about the law that's upcoming. ... People are stocking up right now."
Ammo customers will have to pay $1 each time they buy bullets and as much as $20 for an initial screening if their information isn't already with the Department of Justice. The law makes gun owners and vendors responsible for making sure customers aren't on the department's blacklist.
Also, the law mandates all ammo sales must be done in person. Those who buy online will have to physically pick up the order.