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Citing new California gun control laws and internet sales that cut into the company’s profits, a Redding-based ammunition manufacturer has closed its doors.
Mike Schroeder, who owned The Cartridge Family, said while he officially closed his business last week, he had stopped taking new orders a month ago.
He said new California gun laws, including Proposition 63, created uncertainty in ammunition sales. The Cartridge Family, which opened in Redding in 2014, remanufactured and sold ammunition in more than 40 different calibers.
“We are unsure about what these new laws are going to bring,” Schroeder said. Internet sales of ammunition at rock bottom prices also cut into his business, he said.
Starting Jan. 1, 2018, Prop. 63 requires people purchasing ammunition to undergo a background check and obtain a permit to buy ammo. Ammunition dealers are also required to obtain a license to sell ammo.
Starting in July 2019, Prop. 63 prohibits residents from buying ammunition out of state and bringing it into California.
Schroeder said most of his sales were to smaller stores that sold ammunition as well as other goods. Those businesses will suffer because of new requirements on them, he said.
Sales of ammunition plummeted after Donald Trump was elected president, Schroeder said. Ammo sales spiked before the election, spurred by gun owners worried Hillary Clinton would be elected and further clamp down on gun ownership, he said.
But ammo sales returned to normal after Trump was elected, he said.
Lake Liquor and Sporting Goods was one of Schroeder’s customers. Nick Braun, who manages the store, said because of Prop. 63 he will likely have to stop selling ammo by 2019.
He won’t be able to afford the necessary training, computers and other equipment needed to do state-required background checks when customers purchase ammunition, he said.
Braun said ammo sales don’t comprise the majority of his sales, so taking bullets off the shelves won’t put the store out of business. He said ammunition is mainly offered as a convenience to his customers who like to stop by on their way out to target practice at the shooting ranges in Keswick.
In addition to the ammunition purchasing restrictions, Prop. 63 outlawed owning magazines that could carry more than 10 rounds. However, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction on implementing that part of the law, ruling the magazine section of the law was unconstitutional because it violated the Second Amendment.
Ambiguity over what firearms are legal under the new law also cut into Schroeder’s gunsmith business. He said he was unsure whether it was legal for him under the new law to work on AR-15 type assault rifles, so he quit working on them altogether.
Despite closing his doors this month, Schroeder said he plans to continue to lease the building and he could reopen at a later date.