SACRAMENTO (UPI) — California voters approved a ballot initiative calling for tougher gun control laws, while Nevada approved universal background checks and Maine rejected a similar initiative.
California’s Proposition 63 outlaws the possession of ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, requires background checks for those purchasing bullets, makes not reporting lost or stolen guns a crime, and offers a protocol for taking guns from those convicted of a felony.
“It was a repudiation of the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby. They lost badly. It’s a very important initiative because I think it’s the beginning of a national debate on relinquishment [by felons] and ammunition background checks that will, I think, will have a very significant impact on reducing gun violence in this country,” Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who proposed the initiative, told the Los Angeles Times.
The vote Tuesday came nearly a year after 14 people were shot to death in a terrorist incident in San Bernardino, Calif. Opponents of the initiative said it would create a burden on lawful gun owners.
Nevada’s Question 1 initiative called for expanded in-person background checks on private gun sales and transfers, including those done online and at gun shows, and passed by 50.45 percent to 49.55 percent.
Joe Duffy, manager of the “Yes on 1” campaign, referred to the initiative as a “common-sense measure that can save lives while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.”
A similar measure in Maine, calling for required background checks before private gun sales or transfers were completed, regulating sales common in classified advertising catalogs and online, failed. The national group Everytown for Gun Safety, funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, spent $6 million on the campaign to approve the measure.
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