California Large Capacity Magazines
With limited exceptions, California law prohibits any person from manufacturing, importing into the state, keeping for sale, offering or exposing for sale, giving, or lending any large capacity magazine. Cal. Penal Code § 12020(a)(2), (b). A “large capacity magazine” is defined as any ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten rounds, but does not include any .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device, any feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten rounds or any tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm. Section 12020(c)(25). California does not ban the possession of large-capacity magazines.
Upon a showing of good cause, the California Department of Justice may issue permits for the possession, transportation, or sale of large capacity ammunition magazines between a licensed California firearms dealer and an out-of-state customer. Section 12079(a). This requirement applies for only the out-of-state importation and exportation of large capacity ammunition magazines, including the transportation of such magazines as necessary to complete a transfer to or from an out of state source. See Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, § 978.40.
Large capacity magazines may be manufactured for any federal, state, or local government or law enforcement agency, or for use by agency employees in the discharge of their official duties, whether on or off duty. Section 12020(b)(30). Large capacity magazines may also be purchased or loaned for the sole use as a motion picture, television or video prop. Section 12020(b)(31), (32)(A). Such magazines may also be resold to law enforcement agencies, government agencies, or the military, pursuant to applicable federal regulations. Section 12020(b)(32)(C).
For additional large capacity ammunition magazine regulations, see Cal. Code Regs. tit. 11, §§ 978.40-978.44.
San Francisco Bullet Ban
Police Code Article 9 Prohibited Ammunition
Section 618 (a) Definition. For purposes of this Section, “Prohibited Ammunition” shall mean:
(1) Ammunition sold under the brand name “Winchester Black Talon,” or that has physical properties resulting in ballistics performance identical to ammunition presently or formerly sold under the brand name Winchester Black Talon; or,
(2) Ammunition designated by its manufacturer for purchase by law enforcement or military agencies only, unless other ammunition is available to the general public that has physical properties resulting in ballistics performance identical to such ammunition.
(b) Possession Prohibited; Exceptions. No person, firm, corporation or other entity may possess Prohibited Ammunition within the City and County of San Francisco, except that this subsection shall not apply to the otherwise lawful possession of Prohibited Ammunition by the following:
(1) Peace officers in possession of Prohibited Ammunition issued to them by their employing agency;
(2) Federal law enforcement officers or other federal employees in possession of Prohibited Ammunition issued to them by their employing agency;
(3) Members of the armed forces of The United States in possession of Prohibited Ammunition issued to them by the military agency to which they belong;
(4) Patrol special police officers, animal control officers or zookeepers, harbor police officers, sheriff’s security officers, or police security officers in possession of Prohibited Ammunition issued to them by their employing agencies; or,
(5) Businesses licensed as firearms dealers under this Article in possession of Prohibited Ammunition for sale to law enforcement and military agencies. Agencies employing persons listed in subsection (b)(4) are considered law enforcement agencies for purposes of this Section.
(c) Sale or Transfer. No business licensed as a firearm dealer under this Article may sell, lease or otherwise transfer Prohibited Ammunition except to law enforcement and military agencies.
(d) Police Database. The San Francisco Police Department shall prepare or cause to be prepared a public database of brands and product lines of ammunition meeting the definition of “Prohibited Ammunition” in subsection (a). Failure of the Police Department to create or maintain such a database, or the omission from the database of a particular brand or product line of ammunition otherwise qualifying as “Prohibited Ammunition,” under subsection (a), shall not be a defense to or otherwise excuse a violation of this Section.
(e) Penalty. Violation of any of the provisions of this Section is a misdemeanor and upon conviction, the violator may be punished by a fine not to exceed $1,000.00 or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed six months, or by both.
Note: The San Francisco PD stated to the NRA that this ban only covered “Black Talon” ammunition and no other hollow point ammunition. Black Talon has been out of production for years. Use Caution. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court ruled on 3/25/14 that SF could require firearms to be secured in the home at all times. Either on your person on locked up. The decision also stated more than once that SF only banned the “Selling” of HP ammo in SF and not the possession. The case was not about HP ammo but about securing your firearm in your home. With this ruling, no one is sure if it overturned SF ban on possession of HP Ammo. You can read the decision Here.
Police Code Article 9 Sec. 619
(b) Definition. “Large capacity magazine” means any detachable ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, but shall not be construed to include any of the following:
(1) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than 10 rounds:
(2) A .22 caliber tube ammunition feeding device; or
(3) A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.
(c) Prohibition on Possession of Large Capacity Magazines.
(1) No person, corporation, or other entity in the City may possess a large capacity
magazine, whether assembled or disassembled.
(2) Any person who, prior to the effective date of this chapter, was legally in possession of a
large capacity magazine shall have 90 days from such effective date to do any of the following without being subject to prosecution:
(A) Remove the large capacity magazine from the city;
(B) Surrender the large capacity magazine to the Police Department for destruction; or
(C) Sell or transfer the large capacity magazine lawfully in accordance with Penal Code 12020.
City of Sunnyvale (Magazine Ban)
9.44.050. Possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines prohibited.
(a) No person may possess a large-capacity magazine in the City of Sunnyvale whether assembled or disassembled. For purposes of this section, “large-capacity magazine” means any detachable ammunition feeding device with the capacity to accept more than ten (10) rounds, but shall not be construed to include any of the following:
(1) A feeding device that has been permanently altered so that it cannot accommodate more than ten (10) rounds; or
(2) A .22 caliber tubular ammunition feeding device; or
(3) A tubular magazine that is contained in a lever-action firearm.
Note: Both the San Francisco and Sunnyvale have had lawsuits filed against these bans. Other cities in California may have such bans. Use Caution.