Capitol Alert

Gavin Newsom gun control initiative qualifies for November ballot

Gavin Newsom: "After San Bernardino... people are fed up with the NRA"

"After San Bernardino... People are fed up with the NRA," Gavin Newsom said during a meeting with The Sacramento Bee editorial board in February 2016.
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"After San Bernardino... People are fed up with the NRA," Gavin Newsom said during a meeting with The Sacramento Bee editorial board in February 2016.

California voters will weigh in this November on a measure intended to curtail gun violence by requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and banning the possession of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds.

The Secretary of State’s Office announced Thursday that proponents, including Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify their initiative for the ballot.

“Enough massacres, death, tears, and hate – it’s time to take action and save lives,” Newsom said in a statement. “The Safety for All initiative gives California voters the opportunity to keep guns and ammo out of the hands of violent, dangerous, hateful people.”

The proposal would also license ammunition sellers, mandate the reporting of lost or stolen guns, establish a process for recovering firearms from people prohibited from owning them because of their criminal records, and compel state authorities to notify the federal government when someone is added to that prohibited persons database.

Law enforcement and gun rights groups are leading an opposition campaign to the measure, arguing that it would only further restrict law-abiding citizens from purchasing guns and ammunition while criminals obtain them on the black market. An early advertisement featuring a transgender woman already caused a scuffle with Newsom.

“Gavin Newsom’s political maneuver will be defeated because it does nothing to stop the next ISIS-inspired attack,” Chuck Michel, co-chair for the Coalition for Civil Liberties, said in a statement. “We need politicians who aren’t manipulators but who thoughtfully look for ways to truly make us safer.”

Supporters could still pull the initiative before June 30, when officials will certify the November ballot. The state Senate rushed through a broad package of gun regulations last month, several of them similar to provisions in Newsom’s measure, in an effort to pass the bills by the ballot deadline and convince Newsom to pull his proposal from consideration, a strategy the lieutenant governor has thus far plainly rejected.

Alexei Koseff: 916-321-5236, @akoseff

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