Californians would be required to undergo a background check to buy ammunition if voters in the Golden State approve a sweeping gun-control ballot initiative this November.
The so-called Safety for All Act also would require gun owners to notify police when their weapon is lost or stolen, and would ban magazines larger than 10 rounds.
Around 365,880 signatures were needed to get the initiative on the Nov. 1 ballot, and supporters gathered 600,000. Democratic Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, formerly the mayor of San Francisco, is leading the effort. He believes the proposal will pass.
Opponents say it would
“I feel resolved to move forward. The voters I think are ahead of a lot of elected officials of all political stripes,” Newsom said, according to the Sacramento Bee. “We have a chance to do something that’s permanent, that can’t be watered down, and send a very potent and powerful message to the National Rifle Association that we think will resonate across the country.”
Significantly, all sellers of ammo would have to be licensed vendors if the initiative passes. Also under the proposal, owners of magazines larger than 10 rounds would not be grandfathered. Owners would have to turn the magazines over to the police, transfer them out of state, or sell them to a licensed dealer.
The California State Sheriffs’ Association opposes the proposal.
“California currently has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, yet gun violence caused by criminals, gang members, and those prohibited from purchasing guns such as the mentally ill continues,” a March letter from the association read. “… Unfortunately, this measure would do little to prevent the criminal element from acquiring guns and ammunition via the black market or through theft. Instead, it would place additional restrictions on law abiding citizens who wish to purchase ammunition for sporting or hunting use, retain guns and magazines that are currently legal for them to possess, and pass historical or family heirloom guns down to their next generation.”
The sheriffs’ association further argued that the measure “will create a new class of criminals out of those that already comply with common sense practices that now exist.”
“The focus of efforts to reduce gun violence in this state should be on those responsible for that violence, not those that have no intent to do harm,” the letter concluded.
Former Republican State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has been a vocal opponent.
“I am not going to call it anti-gun legislation,” Donnelly said. “What it is anti-freedom legislation because, essentially, people have figured out that the government can’t and won’t protect us.”
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