By Victor Carno
Proposition 63: Gun and Ammo Purchase Regulations
California Prop. 63 proposes background checks for ammunition purchases and will enact a ban on all large-capacity ammunition magazines in the state. There are four main components to grasp in this lengthy proposition, which include guidelines to buying and selling ammunitions, ammunitions theft, removal of all magazines over ten rounds and the court removal of firearms.
In regards to buying and selling ammunition, the initiative is designed to require background checks and Department of Justice authorization in order to purchase any ammunition by way of charging customers up to 50 dollars for a permit. Dealers would also need to apply for a one-year license in order to sell ammunition. In addition, starting in July 2018, legislation prohibits California residents from purchasing out-of-state ammunition without first having the ammunition brought to a licensed dealer. This initiative is seeking to expedite the process by moving the starting date to January 2018.
The Newsom Ballot Measure Committee, which has contributed the most money on either side of the debate, says these background checks and purchase tracking is what is needed to keep our citizens safe.
“More than 32,000 Americans lose their lives to gun violence each year,” the group wrote. “There have been 150 school shootings since Sandy Hook. Yet the NRA has obstructed even the most basic efforts to curb gun violence. But in California, we can defeat the NRA in 2016 by going straight to voters through an historic ballot initiative.”
What seems to be stirring the most controversy about this proposition is the banning of all large-capacity magazines. In 2000, California put a ban on all magazines over ten rounds, with exception made for those who had purchased their magazines before this legislation was enacted. Prop. 63, however, would eliminate this exception and ban all large-capacity magazines from any year.
“These are legally purchased and have been in possession of law-abiding citizens for more than 16 years,” said Sean Anthis, a San Clemente gun owner and Marine Corps veteran. “Under this law, (a person) would have to surrender magazines for a World War II-era rifle … to the state of California. This law only affects law-abiding citizens as criminals will continue to illegally possess and obtain ‘large capacity’ magazines with complete disregard for the law.”
The last two prongs of this initiative outlines theft of ammunitions and the court removal of firearms. Dealers would have to report a missing gun or ammunitions within two days, whereas individuals would have five days to do so. Also, the theft of a gun would now be considered a felony and punishable by up to three years of prison time. Those who are prohibited by law from having a firearm will now be informed by courts that they must sell, store or turn in their gun. Probation officers will be required to report on what a prohibited individual does with their firearm.
For Prop. 63
California Democratic Party, U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Oakland, and several law enforcement officials.
Against Prop. 63
California Republican Party, National Rifle Association, California Police Chiefs Association.
Major Contributors for Prop. 63 (as of Oct. 16)
Newsom Ballot Measure Committee: $4,082,017.13
California Democratic Party: $1,137,028
Major Contributors against Prop. 63 (as of Oct. 16)
Coalition for Civil Liberties (California Rifle & Pistol Association): $480,973.67
Stop Prop 63 (Firearms Policy Coalition): $260,304.73
National Rifle Association: $95,000