A ballot initiative on background checks for ammunition purchases and a ban on possessing high-capacity magazines may be coming to California as soon as next year. State Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday he wants to head the charge for a ballot measure to strengthen gun control laws in the state, according to MarketWatch.
“California can set the tone for the rest of the nation with these common-sense public-safety provisions,” Newsom, a Democratic candidate for the 2018 governor race, said according to MarketWatch. “We will lead the nation.”
If the proposed measure were to pass, anyone with a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds will have to get rid of it, according to the Sacramento Bee. If passed, the measure would also require ammunition dealers to be licensed like those who sell firearms. Anyone who loses a gun or has one stolen would have to report it to the police. A system to take back firearms from people not allowed to own them would also be put in place if the proposed measure passed.
California has some of the strictest gun laws in the country, according to the Sacramento Bee. The late 1990’s saw restrictions introduced on assault weapons and the importation and sale of high-capacity magazines, but some other attempts at introducing gun legislation since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, have floundered in the legislature or have been struck down by California Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown has signed legislation this year banning concealed carrying of handguns on campuses, however.
Since 1970, there have been more gun deaths in the United States than deaths in all U.S. wars dating back to the Revolution, according to a report from the New York Times. The National Rifle Association criticized Newsom’s proposed measure as an attack on the American public’s right to bear arms.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) October 16, 2015
"I'll say this to the NRA...you can intimidate politicians, we've seen that. Hell, you've been effective. But you can't intimidate the public," said Newsom according to Reuters. "That's why we're bringing this directly to the public."