Buy your dove ammo now

Don’t wait until the last minute to purchase your dove ammo. Sporting goods stores, retailers and gun shops currently have a pretty good stock of steel dove ammo on hand at some reasonable prices, but don’t get caught up in the newly enacted, July 1, 2019, CA Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations than can find you put on a wait list for up to 2 weeks, IF, you don’t have a current DROS number on file.

This Western Outdoor News hunting editor was caught up the red tape this past week, which caused a major delay in picking up my dove ammo for this coming season. The following is how things developed.

Plans were to have new steel dove ammo shipped to a local gun shop from out of state, in as much as ammo and firearms can no longer be shipped directly to the purchaser from companies located in other state after passage of Assembly Bill 711 that was adopted and signed into law back in 2013.

The gun shop was duly licensed with a current federal firearms license and I had used the shop for other ammo and gun purchases over the years, which made it perfectly legal for the manufacturer to ship the ammo into California.

The shipment was received at the gun shop after the new July 1, 2019 regulations went into effect, which meant that a purchaser had to be on an approved DOJ list before the ammo could be delivered to the purchaser. Seems that I hadn’t purchased a rifle or shotgun since 2012, but did occasionally purchase shotgun shell ammo, when no paperwork was required. I felt confident that buying a Benelli M2 and later a Beretta Black Eagle shotgun, registering them through Turner’s Outdoorsman and waiting the 10 days required for my background check, that my name and pertinent information would be on file with the DOJ. WRONG seems that the DOJ only saved recent files and that firearm purchases made more than 5 years ago, were likely not saved and no longer accessible within the DOJ system.


The gun shop manager brought out the ammo and proceeded to file paperwork with the DOJ on-line system after asking for my drivers license and dob. No problem I thought, I have a clean record and had not violated any firearms or ammunition regulations. The first application was the Standard Ammunition Eligibility Check which can be done quickly on line. Guess what… within minutes it came back with the notation…STATUS: DENY/REJECT!

The manager said I couldn’t take the ammo and that a second transaction would have to be taken that would cost $19, and then I would have to wait until the approval came through, which in some cases could take as long as 2 weeks. With my tail between my legs, I headed back to the office, disappointed, you bet and mad…why me, I am no felon!!!

While still upset, I sent off a quick e-mail to Mike Etienne, Vice President of Purchasing and Marketing for Turner’s Outdoorsman, a good friend and shooting buddy to ask what I could do.

“You will just have to wait now for the DOJ to issue you your DROS number, or you could go into one of our retail stores, purchase some shotgun shell ammo and a Stripped Polymer AR-15 Lower and that should get you issued your DROS number quickly,” said Etienne.

I had already started the application process with the DOJ, so I opted to wait it out and see what happened, as opening day of dove season was still over a month off. It took over a week, which included a weekend, to finally get a call from the gun shop that my DROS number had been issued and that I could come by to pick up the ammo at any time. There would still be some paperwork to sign as the recipient of the ammo. Seems that under new ammo purchase regulations that a licensed dealer needs to fill out separate forms for each type of ammo purchased: as to manufacturer, gauge and how much ammo was purchased.

A further check into the DROS System, the following information was available: BASIC AMMUNITION ELIGIBILITY CHECK: you may use this eligibility check if the individual does not have a current entry in the Automated Firearms System or if they do not have a current Certificate of Eligibility. (who does?) The Department (DOJ) will determine the individual’s eligibility on a comprehensive review of its records (similar to a firearm eligibility check).

In addition, WON found out the following: When transferring ammunition between private parties the following needs to be addressed: When transferring ammunition from one non-vender to another non-vender, YOU must obtain an approved eligibility check for the purchaser and then select a Private Party Ammunition Transfer to submit the sale of ammunition. (Editor’s Note: Does this really make sense?)

So, based on what’s now required when purchasing ammunition, and I am sure more details when purchasing a rifle, shotgun or pistol, go out and buy your dove ammo now. Don’t wait until the last day or so before the season begins on Sunday, Sept. 1, or you might be left out in the heat, due to either a lack of a DROS number or no steel dove loads left on a dealer’s shelf.

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