Gavin Newsom knows what's up. "In the last 72 hours," he posted to Facebook yesterday, "68 people have been killed and 129 people have been injured due to gun violence in America." CBS and the Associated Press report that the Lieutenant Governor (and eager 2018 CA gubernatorial candidate) is in the process of proposing a 2016 gun control ballot initiative. Newsom hopes that California voters, sickened by the unbroken cycle of mass shootings in a country that deserves better, will stand with him to strengthen state gun laws.
Expected to be included in the language of the initiative are background checks on all ammunition purchases. Further, current gun owners with capacity assault-style magazines would be required by law to turn those in — a provision which will probably have Republicans losing their minds.
Last, gun owners would finally be required to report lost or stolen weapons. Perhaps such a law could have saved lives as recently as the Golden Gate Park murder during the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the subsequent killing near Fairfax, crimes committed with a gun stolen from an unlocked car whose theft went unreported for a troublingly long period.
State officials would also be asked to set up a clear process to force felons who are not allowed to have guns — but who have them anyway — turn in their weapons.
In California, statewide polls show voters in support of further restrictions on firearm access.
ABC7 writes that Newsom is expected to announce the ballot initiative today in San Francisco's Financial District near the site of the 101 California Street shooting, which killed nine people including the shooter in 1993. In a fashion unheard of today, that tragedy led to legislative reform — which, unfortunately, sunset in 2004 and none has taken its place.