Capitol Alert

Effort to overturn California gun bills at ballot box fails

An effort to qualify November 2018 ballot measures to overturn six major gun control laws approved earlier this year has failed, the California secretary of state’s office said this week.

Opponents of the legislation signed in early July had 90 days to collect 365,880 valid voter signatures to qualify referendums on the bills for the 2018 ballot. Organizers turned in an average of roughly 166,000 signatures to qualify referendums on the six measures, less than half of the number required, according to a state tally.

A campaign committee to support the referendum effort, Veto Gunmageddon, has not raised or spent any money, according to state filings.

Barry Bahrami, a Carlsbad resident who filed the referendum request, said in an email Wednesday that there will be a push to pass a California version of the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms.

“The legislature did not give us enough time for the referendum. So now it’s time for #2AforCA to put an end to the gun grab once and for all,” Bahrami posted on Twitter.

The six laws, which take effect Jan. 1, prohibit the sale of semi-automatic rifles with magazines that can quickly be detached by pressing a button, and possession of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The laws also require background checks for ammunition sales and limit gun loans to between family members.

Another gun law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown also is a referendum target.

Arthur Aguilar – who listed the same address as Bahrami in his state filing – seeks to overturn Assembly Bill 857, which will require anyone who makes their own guns to get a serial number from the state Department of Justice beginning in July 2018. Aguilar has until next Thursday to turn in 365,880 valid voter signatures.

Editor’s note: This post was updated at 4:25 p.m. Oct. 12 to include updated signature totals and comment from Bahrami.