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Initiative Aims to Strengthen Gun Control in California

Mass shootings are in the news too often these days. Some cities, like Cleveland, Ohio, have experienced a rash of unsolved drive-by shootings. Recent reports have stated that you are more likely to be shot by a toddler than struck by lightning. Amid all of these reports, many states are trying to tighten up their gun laws. California is no exception.

Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom proposed a ballot initiative last week that would strengthen the restrictions on gun ownership and the purchase of ammunition across the state. Should voters support and pass the legislation, it could soon be signed into law. The initiative has been sponsored by The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

The initiative lays forth five new restrictions to ammunition and gun ownership:

  1. Any magazine that has a capacity for 11 or more rounds must be given to law enforcement to be destroyed, taken out of state, or sold to a licensed firearm dealer. What this means is that people will only be able to purchase and own magazines that hold 10 rounds or fewer.
  2. Any person in California that loses or has a firearm stolen from them must report that loss to their local law enforcement agency. Should people choose to not report the loss, they could face criminal sanctions.
  3. Once a person is added to a database of people that are not permitted to purchase or own a firearm, the state’s Department of Justice must provide that information to the federal instant background check system. This will prevent a person who is prohibited from purchasing or owning a firearm in the state from buying a weapon elsewhere.
  4. There will be a new process developed for anyone prohibited from owning firearms to give up their guns. This will most likely involve law enforcement in some measure.
  5. Any person selling ammunition will be required to hold a license to do so. Anyone purchasing ammunition will be subject to a background check before the sale is final.

The National Rifle Association has staunchly opposed this initiative, releasing a statement that says, in part: His ballot initiative proposal does nothing but prohibit access to the most effective methods of self-defense, with no measurable positive effect on stopping crime or improving public safety.

Lt. Gov. Newsom’s office has not commented on the opinions of those opposed to the initiative.

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Stephen Levine, is a Board Certified Specialist in Criminal Defense — an honor achieved by only the top criminal law attorneys in California. Mr. Levine has over 40 years of experience in criminal defense and family law serving Southern California, and is a highly regarded Super Lawyer as well as AV Rated attorney.