SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The leader of a gun owners’ group said Wednesday that he expects to fall short of forcing a statewide vote to overturn recent California laws that will require people to turn in high-capacity magazines and mandate background checks for ammunition sales.
Barry Bahrami of Carlsbad said that VetoGunmageddon.org plans to turn in whatever signatures it has to county election officials by Thursday’s deadline. “I don’t think we will have enough but we are going to let those voices be heard anyway,” he said in an email.
A signature counter on the group’s website shows the laws’ opponents are many thousands of signatures short of the more than 365,000 signatures they needed on each of nine separate petitions to qualify for the November 2018 ballot. However, the website notes the count is incomplete.
If ballot initiative qualifies, it would temporarily halt the laws that also aim to restrict the sale of rapid-reloading firearms until the statewide vote.
However, similar ammunition and high-capacity magazine restrictions are also contained in Proposition 63 on this November’s ballot.
Craig DeLuz, a lobbyist for Firearms Policy Coalition, which is not affiliated with VetoGunmageddon.org, previously said his organization is considering challenging the laws in court instead of at the ballot box.
Among the new laws that opponents sought to challenge are measures requiring that ammunition retailers be licensed, that ammunition buyers undergo background checks and that ammunition transactions be recorded.
The laws also mandate background checks to lend guns to non-family members, outlaw rapid-reloading devices developed in response to the state’s ban on assault weapons, and require people who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds to give them up.
“The Legislature heard the demands of our constituents to take sweeping action to stem the scourge of gun violence and we did exactly that,” Senate President Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, said in a statement. “I’m not surprised there wasn’t much public support to roll back these sensible laws.”
Bahrami is also seeking to challenge another law with a later deadline, this one aiming to track homemade weapons by requiring people who own or assemble them to apply for a serial number and attach it to the gun.