California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday revealed a ballot measure that would help his state strengthen gun control laws by banning the possession of large-capacity magazines and requiring background checks for ammunition purchases.
Newsom wants the measure to be ready for a vote by the November 2016 election.
Speaking in downtown San Francisco at the sight of a 1993 shooting that killed eight people, Newsom said the measure was likely to 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. That’s why we’re bringing this directly to the public.”
If the measure passes it would require gun owners to report any lost or stolen guns registered to their name. It would also improve data sharing between state and federal background check databases.
Newsom and his gun controlling backers need to collect 366,000 signatures from registered votes. The process is expected to cost more than $2 million.
Even if the measure makes it to the voting stage, Newsom and his team will need to raise millions of dollars to fight off a plague of attack ads meant to confuse and anger voters.
In typical fashion, NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said Newsom’s initiative was an attempt to slowly erode the rights of gun owners and would do nothing to improve public safety.
“California illustrates the true gun control agenda, which is the ultimate confiscation and banning of firearms,” Hunter said.