SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday unveiled a ballot initiative aimed at strengthening the state’s gun control laws by banning possession of large-capacity magazines and requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.
Newsom hopes to put the initiative before voters in the November 2016 election.
Speaking in downtown San Francisco at the site of a shooting that killed eight people in 1993, Newsom said elements of the measure, some of which were unable to pass via the legislative process, would be strongly supported by California voters.
“I’ll say this to the NRA, … you can intimidate politicians, we’ve seen that. Hell, you’ve been effective. But you can’t intimidate the public,” said Newsom, referring to the National Rifle Association, the influential gun rights lobby. “That’s why we’re bringing this directly to the public.”
The initiative would also require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns to law enforcement and improve data sharing between the state and the federal government’s criminal background check databases.
It would also set up a process to relinquish guns from convicted felons who are already prohibited from possessing them.
To be included on the 2016 ballot, Newsom and his backers would have to gather signatures from 366,000 registered voters who support putting the question on the ballot – a process that could cost $2 million or more – and then raise funds to fend off a likely onslaught of opposition from gun advocates.
|Chowchilla News Day
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