Think California has enough gun control? Some leaders don’t think so.
In a statement earlier today, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democratic candidate for governor in 2018, says he plans to champion a drastic measure to further the state’s control over guns and gun owners. Apparently, if they’re unable to take your guns away in California, they’ll just make it harder for you to buy ammo.
Newsom is aiming to place a measure onto ballots in 2016 which would make five specific changes to CA law including requiring owners of large-capacity magazines (11 rounds or more) to be turned in to police for destruction, sold to a licensed firearms dealer or move them out of the state. It would also require licensing of ammunition sellers and point-of-sale background checks for all ammunition purchases. Additionally, anybody convicted of a felony, violent misdemeanor, or with a restraining order against them, or has been declared dangerously mentally ill would be banned from buying ammunition in the state.
“California can set the tone for the rest of the nation with these common-sense public-safety provisions,” he said. “We will lead the nation.”
“If you’re going to do something, go big,” Newsom said in an interview this afternoon.
While Newsom will still need to gather signatures from 365,880 registered voters to get the measure onto ballots in November 2016, the Lt. Governor seems to think by politicizing the recent UCC shooting, he’ll get his wish.
“There’s no doubt this is emotional on all sides — for parents like myself, it’s understandably emotional,” he acknowledged, noting that more children now die from gun violence each year than police officers killed in the line of duty. “It’s insane.”
Among the many responses Newsom’s statement was a blunt statement from the NRA. “His ballot initiative proposal does nothing but prohibit access to the most effective methods for self-defense, with no measurable positive effect on stopping crime or improving public safety,” said NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter. “They can’t repeal the Second Amendment, so they’re trying to chip away our rights until there is nothing left.”
Even liberals are speaking out against Newsom’s proposal, which was sponsored by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “It’s a cynical shot by Gavin to push himself into the limelight in preparation for his run for governor,” said Eric Meyers, president of the California Chapter of the Liberal Gun Club.
“With gun homicides and other violent crimes already on the decline, a Democrat who is truly serious about further reducing gun violence should propose job programs, health care access and better schools for inner cities,” he said.
“That’s how you start to actually make an impact where the violent crime rates are highest,” Meyers said. “There are some really substantial things that can be done, but what he’s doing is really nothing more than window dressing.”
Gun rights groups are already working to combat Newsom’s measure, mobilizing grassroots efforts and the Firearms Policy Coalition has set up the website stopnewsom.com.
“If Gavin Newsom wants to declare war on law-abiding gun owners and Second Amendment rights, we’re certainly going to bring the fight to him,” said coalition president Brandon Combs of Roseville, CA. “This is going to come down to votes. Gun owners need to start actively working on this now and be ready to show up in 2016.”