Why Walmarts in California couldn’t sell ammo for more than a day

Walmart stores in Sacramento County and across California will soon resume selling ammunition after having their ability to do so temporarily blocked because state officials didn’t issue a permit on time.

Beginning Jan. 1, all of California’s ammunition vendors are required to have a permit from the state under a spate of new gun laws approved in 2016. Walmart spokeswoman Delia Garcia said an administrative delay at the state forced Walmart to temporarily halt sales at the 131 Walmarts in California that sell ammunition.

The state Department of Justice is in charge of issuing the ammunition vendor licenses. Garcia said Walmart received its licenses midafternoon Tuesday and is “in the process of making them available to our stores so that they can resume normal sales as quickly as possible.”

The delays affected only retailers that sell ammunition but not firearms. Major ammunition retailers that also sell firearms, including Big 5 Sporting Goods and Bass Pro Shops, said they weren’t affected by the processing delay. Walmart doesn’t sell firearms at its California stores.

Ammunition regulations were approved Tuesday, and the Department of Justice has processed vendors’ applications and issued licenses, said Jennifer Molina, a spokeswoman for the department.

Ryan Sabalow: 916-321-1264, @ryansabalow

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