Ammunition Purchase Authorization Program

Effective July 1, 2019, persons seeking to purchase or transfer ammunition will have to undergo an eligibility check, and be approved by the Department, prior to the sale or transfer, except as otherwise specified. Departmental approval shall occur electronically through a licensed ammunition vendor. Pursuant to Penal Code sections 30352 and 30370, the Department will determine that a person is eligible to purchase or transfer ammunition if they meet one of the following requirements:

  • The person has a current Certificate of Eligibility issued by the Department

  • The person’s information matches an entry in the Automated Firearms System (name, date of birth, current address, and driver license or other government identification) and does not fall within a class of persons who are prohibited from owning or possessing ammunition. The Department shall make this determination by cross-referencing the Prohibited Armed Persons file (also known as the Armed and Prohibited Persons System).

  • The person is not prohibited from purchasing or possessing ammunition. The Department determines eligibility based on a comprehensive review of its records (similar to a firearm eligibility check).

    Please note: this eligibility check requires a manual review of records by a Department analyst. As such, the Department may take longer to respond with a determination as to eligibility. Response times may take several days. Persons will have the ability to check the status of their eligibility check through the Ammunition Eligibility Check Status and Information page (available July 1, 2019).

  • The person was approved by the Department to receive a firearm from the ammunition vendor, pursuant to Penal Code section 28220, if that vendor is a licensed firearm dealer, and the ammunition is delivered to the person in the same transaction as the firearm. In this scenario, the dealer will use the approved firearm eligibility check as the approval to purchase ammunition, and will submit the ammunition purchase to the Department during the delivery of the firearm.

Establishing a Record in the Automated Firearms System

The Automated Firearms System is a repository of firearm records maintained by the Department, as established by Penal Code section 11106. The Automated Firearms System is populated by way of firearm purchases or transfers at a California licensed firearm dealer, registration of assault weapons (during specified registration periods), an individual’s report of firearm ownership to the Department, Carry Concealed Weapons Permit records, or records entered by law enforcement agencies.

To establish an Automated Firearms System record, you may take one of the following actions:

  • Record ownership of a firearm you possess, but were not previously required to report, by submitting a Firearm Ownership Report to the Department.

    If your last firearm purchase of a long gun was prior to January 1, 2014, there is a possibility you may not have a record in the Automated Firearms System despite having purchased or transferred your firearm through a firearms dealer. The Department was statutorily prohibited from retaining information regarding sales of rifles or shotguns prior to January 1, 2014. As a result, records of rifles and shotguns in the Automated Firearms System prior to January 1, 2014, are limited to assault weapon registrations (Pen. Code, § 30500, et seq.), voluntary reports of ownership, and other records entered by the Department and California law enforcement agencies.

    You may submit the Firearm Ownership Report through the California Firearms Application Reporting System (CFARS). For more information regarding this process please visit the Firearms Reporting and Law Enforcement Release Application page.

  • Record ownership through a purchase or transfer of a firearm from a licensed firearm dealer in California.

Updating a Record in the Automated Firearm System

Effective July 1, 2019, persons with an outdated Automated Firearms System record will have the ability to update personal information (name, date of birth, Identification number/type, and current address) on their Automated Firearm System record via the CFARS. Please refer to the Department’s Automated Firearms System Personal Information Update page for more information regarding this process.

Ammunition Purchases or Transfers Regulations
Ammunition Purchases Frequently Asked Questions