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Feature Article: High Capacity Magazines

Clarification on high capacity magazines in California

Western Outdoor NewsPublished: Dec 07, 2017

SACRAMENTO — In response to queries from readers about confusion regarding current California law pertaining to ammunition clips that can hold more than 10 rounds, we offer the following, provided by Bill Gaines of Gaines & Associates, Government Relations firm:

“The below is from the attorneys at CRPA,” Bill Gaines said. “ Attached is the entire detail they recently put out. Below is the portion relating to large capacity magazines. Hopfully, this will provide what you need:”


a. What Changed? Proposition 63 and Senate Bill 1446 amended California’s restrictions regarding magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds to include a restriction on “possession” of such magazines beginning July 1, 2017.

b. Effect on Retailers and Distributors

Since 2000, retailers and distributors in California have generally been prohibited from manufacturing, selling, transferring, or importing magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. As a result, the prohibitions against “possession” of such magazines generally does not affect retailers or distributors. The requirement for permits for the importation of “large-capacity magazines” from out-of-state sources remains unchanged.

c. Additional Information

On May 17, 2017, NRA and CRPA filed a lawsuit in San Diego Federal District Court challenging California’s restrictions on the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds. That lawsuit, titled Duncan v. Becerra, successfully sought and obtained an injunction against the restriction against “possession” of such magazines. As a result, California law remains unchanged with regards to magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds at this time. It is currently unknown how long this injunction will last and how Duncan v. Becerra will ultimately be resolved.

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