Calif. Gun-Control Measure Heads to Voters

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) — California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Friday that he has turned in more than 600,000 signatures for a sweeping gun-control initiative, easily clearing the required 365,880 to qualify for the November ballot.
     Newsom said voters will have a chance to save lives by approving the “Safety for All” initiative this fall, a gun-control reform package requiring background checks for ammunition purchases and bans on magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
     Newsom was joined by newly elected San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy for the announcement and tweeted after press conference “It’s on!” Once state officials have verified 365,880 of the signatures, the stringent gun-control measure will be put to voters on the general election ballot.
     The initiative has been opposed by the California State Sheriffs’ Association, and last week state Senate President Pro Tem Kevin De Leon, D-Los Angeles, questioned the need for the initiative with several similar gun-control bills already moving through the Legislature.
     Newsom’s initiative could become moot by November as lawmakers advanced a host of gun-control bills last week through an Assembly committee. The proposals are expected to clear both statehouses but could reach a roadblock as Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed similar gun-control measures in the past.
     Critics have accused Newsom of rebranding the bills that were vetoed by Brown and attempting to sharpen his image with California voters. Newsom has already announced his candidacy for the 2018 California governor race.
     Newsom has said that while he expects the usual strong opposition from the National Rifle Association and other groups, California voters continue to support stronger gun-control laws.
     A January Field Poll found that California voters overwhelmingly support background checks for ammunition purchases, and that 56 percent agree with expanding the state’s assault weapons ban to include firearms with detachable ammunition magazines.

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