Heads up for FFLs who sell to California FFLs
California has enacted a new silly statute: before shipping to a CA dealer, you must obtain a verification and approval from the State Bureau of Firearms. Effective date July 1.
I say silly, because the object is to verify that the recipient has an FFL. But, under Federal, before a licensee ships to another FFL, he has to get and keep a copy of the other FFL's license. And if there is any doubt, he can verify the FFL via ATFE's website.
Hat tip to reader Jim Kindred.
The FFLs I know have a simple solution, a solution that some have already been following:
"Don't sell guns to California, or to anyone in California."
Ronnie Barrett, you are a stud.
Posted by: Letalis Maximus, Esq. at June 12, 2008 11:05 AM
With this one I am taking a different direction, I am going to continue shipping to CA and pester the crap out of the DOJ every time I do. I am all for increasing their work load.
Posted by: Jim Kindred at June 12, 2008 11:07 AM
I think dealers should make an effort to sell as many guns as possible in California. The more laws they make, the more guns we buy. Demand is high out here.
Posted by: Travis at June 12, 2008 11:32 AM
sell to private individuals. don't sell to the state.
Posted by: jon at June 12, 2008 11:39 AM
I will find a job elsewhere, eventually.
Posted by: EJ Smith at June 12, 2008 11:53 AM
Any idea as to whether this could be challenged under the dormant commerce clause?
Posted by: Sebastian at June 12, 2008 12:06 PM
From what I've read on other sites, this issue was brought about by in-state dealers. They were/are getting tired of their prices being undercut by the out-of-state and interweb dealers, Gunbroker, et al.
Posted by: RKM at June 12, 2008 01:50 PM
Also, from my CA source:
"This requirement does not apply to private party sales processed through a California dealer where the out of state seller is an individual and not a federal firearms licensee."
Posted by: RKM at June 12, 2008 01:55 PM
Could provide a link to those sites. I would like to read about that. Thanks
I don't see how this is going to help them, all out of state dealers have to do is contact DOJ for verification of the receiving FFL. Of course if they had just looked they would know this can and is done using ATF's website. All the FFL dealers I know including me do not want to get caught shipping a firearm to a false or expired FFL.
Posted by: Jim K at June 12, 2008 01:59 PM
I have not dug into the history of the law but have seen these.
“And this didn't originate with the state, this came from the retailers here that are trying to cut into internet sales and transfers (like GunBroker).”
“Thank the retail industry for this cluster foxtrot. What a flipping mess. I wonder how the wholesalers are going to handle this.”
“Wholesalers are exempt.”
Posted by: RKM at June 12, 2008 02:49 PM
The issue I don't like is state registration of federal licensees. Is it a federal license or not?
If the federal licensee doesn't register with the state, they can be charged with a state crime for a legal federal transaction. What happens if the state decides that all those federal licensees are now persona non grata and should be harrassed out of business?
Why should anyone have to register with the state to legally receive an interstate shipment?
Is California now saying that firearms are like 'hazardous waste'?
If you need to be licensed by the state to receive firearms from out of state, why not oranges or magazines?
Posted by: Jim D. at June 12, 2008 02:56 PM
The requirements here are silly, and yes they were brought about by major retailers unhappy with the shift of a lot of buying to non stocking dealers (we have no kitchen table guys left - ATF and CA DOJ have been draconian on that front.)
However, the process to register and get the letter online is really easy. Registering is easier than buying a plane ticket. Once registered, if you have the CA destination FFL in hand, getting the letter to include in the package is as easy as filling out the CA FFL info and clicking submit.
Don't punish California gun owners working to stop the spread of this crap because it is convenient. You're not hurting the state. You're hurting the gun community in California in its ability to recruit and spread the love for shooting, black rifle disease, etc. More shooters in California mean more people flooding the phones and mailboxes of California legislatures, and more fiscal support for the coming wave of litigation in California post Heller.
If you have any questions about the new requirement here are the two links you should check out:
CA DOJ: http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/cflcoverview.php
Calguns (we keep DOJ honest): http://www.calguns.net/
(Also Chairman of The Calguns Foundation)
Posted by: Gene Hoffman at June 12, 2008 03:24 PM
Much of this reminds me of the National Alliance of Stocking Dealers from the 90's. Those buggers went after anyone they deamed not large enough in business to be unworthy of a FFL. Working with the Clinton administration they suceeded in reducing the number of FFL's by 50%. Self serving bastards were all that they turned out to be just like this bunch in CA. I am a stocking dealer and I would just as soon burn my store down as join this group.
From 1995 - http://www.gunowners.org/op9509.htm
From the Brady Campaign, the National Alliance of Stocking Dealers came in on thier side -http://www.bradycampaign.org/facts/faqs/?page=second
More - http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9903E7DE173AF935A35755C0A962958260
Posted by: Jim K at June 12, 2008 03:54 PM
I don't get it. This law seems completely ignorable and unenforceable.
For a non-California FFL, California law is irrelevant. Ship all the guns you want to California, the state has no authority over you. For a receiving FFL in California the story may be different, but not for the sender.
Posted by: Sammy at June 12, 2008 03:58 PM
Am I missing something, can California regulate interstate trade?
Posted by: Mike Gordon at June 12, 2008 08:06 PM
They did with assault weapons. No SKS's, no AR's can be imported into the state.
My mother grew up in Fresno on an orchard and told me a story about at time when Florida had banned the import of California oranges into the state on 'quality' issues. That effectively stopped the rest of the nation from accepting California oranges as similar quality. The State of California took them to the Supreme Court and got the covenant broken.
I've looked but I can't find the case. Somewhere around the 1920's, I suspect. Wouldn't it be fun to have the SCOTUS rule on The State of California v. The State of California? Department of Agriculture vs. the Department of Justice. It might be a fair fight.
Posted by: Jim D. at June 12, 2008 09:01 PM
> sell to private individuals. don't sell to the state.
GCA 68 or somesuch applies here. An individual can't legally sell to the resident of another state without complying with the restrictions of both states (plus the state where the transaction takes place). Under CA law, individuals can't sell to individuals, only to FFLs.
> why not oranges
Shipping plants and plant products (and probably meat) into CA is regulated. There are even border control stations where they check. I think that there are also controls on the USPS and private shipping companies.
IIRC, you can't bring stuffed alligators into CA either. (There may be a permit.)
Posted by: Andy Freeman at June 13, 2008 09:25 AM
>They did with assault weapons. No SKS's, no AR's can be imported into the state.
You are mistaken. Plenty of SKSs are imported into California. Some, like the Yugos, need to be modified slightly to conform with CA AW laws. Further, about 30,000 + AR type recievers have been imported into CA due to the efforts of Gene Hoffman (and others) and Calguns.net. Check out the thread, "Lets see your .223 California Legal Self Loading Rifle!" for some examples.
We're slowly winning the war.
Posted by: jdberger at June 13, 2008 01:47 PM
Seems that it would be unenforcable outside of California. My store ships guns to California dealers all the time, mostly as a result of a Gunbroker sale. This will not effect us unless the dealer's FFL is not current or bogus since we check all 'ship-to' FFL's we get with the ATF online database. If some California-types show up without the feds, or local PD with the proper paperwork our lawyer will eat them up...if they try to force an unlawfull extradition (read kidnapping) they might get hurt. Our store employees are all armed and know (and abide by) all Florida state laws, Federal laws, and regulatory agency rules governing the sale and shipping of firearms in these United States and Territories.
Posted by: SoFlo at June 13, 2008 06:04 PM
I don't understand how this law is supposed to help "stocking dealers" in California. They buy from distributors who will have to register and get an approval for every shipment. OTOH, if you buy a gun from an individual on an auction site, they have no need to get an approval letter since the new law applies only to FFLs.
Posted by: natman at June 13, 2008 11:33 PM
The stocking dealers do not want guns purchased through auctions or firearms purchased from out of state online dealers being shipping into CA as competition to their local sales.
Posted by: Jim at June 14, 2008 11:41 AM