When Governor Jerry Browned signed numerous gun control bills this summer, gun owners in the Golden State decided to challenge the legislation. Barry Bahrami, a San Diego-based businessman, started the movement, known as Veto Gunmageddon, to overturn the legislation via a referendum on the November 2016 ballot.
On Tuesday, Bahrami announced the sad news that his group would not be able to collect the 365,000 signatures needed by September 29th to qualify for the ballot. His statement was made on his personal Facebook page, to which he addressed his fellow Patriots.
It is with disappointment that I must now report to you it appears we will not obtain the minimum signatures required to get these referenda on the ballot. We had six short weeks to get so many signatures and we all know what an improbable job it was. We still need to finish this job and get the signatures we collected filed so that the state can do their work and count all of them for an official record. Many citizens stepped up and signed our petitions so their voice can be heard. We need to follow through on our commitment and make sure their voice is heard by filing the petitions to be counted. I am proud that I at least tried to get the referenda through and I hope you feel the same way. I am honored and privileged to have worked with each and every one of you in this effort.
This game we just played was THEIR game. And by “their”, I mean the politicians in Sacramento. They know how insanely short the window is to collect so many signatures on a referendum. And the way they were passed and then of course signed just before the Independence Day holiday were clearly intended to give them a further advantage and secure what amounts to an illegal gun grab from law abiding citizens. I find it absurd because only law abiding citizens will respect these laws, which of course will result in only criminals retaining these soon to be illegal firearms and their magazines. Don’t get me started about the black market ammo dealers coming to a neighborhood near you!
As many have made crystal clear over these past few weeks, the only reason Sacramento can pass these ridiculous laws is because California is one of a few states that does not have the right to bear arms in its constitution. Even if we had succeeded in this game playing defense, the politicians would likely have passed the same bills all over again and required us to do it all over again. For what? Just to retain our existing and limited rights? They would be happy if we were kept busy playing defense, a task that results in no net gains.
Frankly, I am tired of playing defense and I know you are too. Let’s let the existing players continue playing defense while we now go on offense. It is time to take back our rights that have been eroded away little by little over so many years through the imposition of downright dumb and dangerous gun laws written by politicians who clearly had no real knowledge on the subject to begin with.
We have started the process to file a new initiative to amend the California Constitution to respect the right to bear arms. It seems to me fighting defense is really just playing Sacramento’s game – literally by their rules which are setup to make us likely to fail. The right constitutional amendment will respect the rights of law abiding citizens while at the same time keep our community safe by preventing violent felons and the mentally ill from possessing dangerous weapons. One single amendment and the years of relentless and unreasonable, downright stupid, laws come to an end while at the same time removing their ability to impose new dangerous laws on us. This is the one and only true fix.
Soon, a 30 day period for public review and comment will begin. The proposed amendment may be amended up to five days after the public comment period ends. When circulation actually begins, we will need to secure 585,407 valid signatures over SIX MONTHS to get it on the 2018 ballot. We are working to make the petition short enough to enable a typical home PC to print it. Similar to the Grey Davis recall, voters should be able to download, print, sign and mail. However, that does not mean we should not be out there actively collecting signatures. Make no mistake – it will be critically important that we do both.
In the meantime, it is imperative – absolutely CRITICAL – that we now turn our attention to defeating Prop 63. We need to make a statement that we are coming and ensure that it not only fails, but fails miserably. That means getting the word out that “Safety for All” is really “Safety for All Criminals”. I frankly will never understand why politicians expect criminals will obey the laws they impose. When guns are the subject of those laws, the result is a very dangerous situation.
Thank you for supporting our referenda effort. I met a lot of good people over the past few weeks. I hope you will continue with us as we move on to defeating Prop 63 and securing gun rights in California. We will be looking to learn from our efforts and what does not kill us makes us stronger. We have lots more experience, so let us put it to use!
The group utilized gun stores and gun ranges to help spread the message of Veto Gunmageddon and collect signatures. Despite that strategy, there were still a majority of gun owners who were unaware of the legislation being signed into law.
Although the group didn’t obtain enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, Bahrami wants to finish the process so the record accurately reflects the number of citizens who opposed the state legislature’s anti-gun legislation.
We still need to finish this job and get the signatures we collected filed so that the state can do their work and count all of them for an official record. Many citizens stepped up and signed our petitions so their voice can be heard. We need to follow through on our commitment and make sure their voice is heard by filing the petitions to be counted. I am proud that I at least tried to get the referenda through and I hope you feel the same way.
As of Tuesday, the group had 112,241 signatures on hand, about a third of the required 365,000 needed to qualify for the ballot.
Although this is a small setback, this referenda drive has set the groundwork for future movements and has awoken apathetic gun owners.
“The referenda drive brought many gun owners together,” he said. “It was just a start.”