FRESNO, California — Californians will notice a couple changes starting Monday, July 1. Most notably at the gas pump and in stores selling gun ammunition.
Gallon after gallon, drivers at gas stations all over Fresno getting as much as they can before gas prices go up nearly 6-cents. The increase is in the state’s gas tax, part of the Road Repair and Accountability Act (also known as S.B. 1) passed in 2017.
The funds raised through this — as the law’s name suggests — is meant to fix up the state’s roads and mass transit infrastructure.
California already had the highest gas prices in the nation, but Monday’s increase will make the state’s gas tax the highest in the nation, too.
It’s for those reasons Mark Christensen was at the pump filling up his tank Sunday. He’s against S.B. 1, saying he hasn’t seen the changes it’s supposed to bring.
“We already pay for [roads] with our taxes,” he said. “I feel whatever they’re adding to it is not going to go to roads.”
S.B. 1 funds have been used locally, most recently Caltrans District 10 is using some to repair culverts along Highway 140 in Mariposa County.
Still, driver Dora Mata said the increases from S.B. 1 have been difficult to deal with.
“It accumulates, six cents is six cents. Some people have the struggle and some people don’t, apparently [I’m the latter],” she said.
Gun stores across the area have seen huge ammunition sales ahead of July 1. Valley Rod & Gun normally has a full display case and shelf of ammo, but with background checks and stricter ID requirements for ammo purchases going into effect — stores are selling out.
The store’s general manager Steve Newman feels gun shop owners didn’t have enough notice to prepare, saying they all had less than 30 days to prepare for these new rules.
“We really weren’t able to test anything. So, we’re going to be going into this cold turkey tomorrow. I’m hoping we get everything right,” Newman said.
Another ammo-related change statewide: lead-based ammo will be banned for hunting starting Monday. Other new things include changes at the doctor’s office and a law about social media bots.
More on the new laws going into effect Monday can be found by clicking here.