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Could California’s new gun control laws be blocked by voters?

Explaining California's new assault weapon ban

New California laws will broaden the definition of prohibited assault weapons, cracking down on a quick-reloading device referred to as the "bullet button."
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New California laws will broaden the definition of prohibited assault weapons, cracking down on a quick-reloading device referred to as the "bullet button."

Referendums were filed late Friday to overturn a sweeping package of gun control bills signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month, possibly stalling the laws until voters weigh in.

The six laws, which take effect Jan. 1, ban 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.

The referendums were filed by Barry Bahrami of Carlsbad, who could not be reached for comment.

Under deadlines set out in state law, Bahrami faces an uphill battle to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot. The referendums could spill over to the 2018 election, which would suspend the laws until the vote.

State law gives proponents of a referendum 90 days from the date the law is signed to gather 365,880 voter signatures. Brown signed the bills July 1, which means Bahrami would need to submit the signatures by Sept. 29.

County election officials then have 38 working days to count and sample the signatures before a referendum can qualify for the November ballot.

Taryn Luna: 916-326-5545, @TarynLuna

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