by Marshall Lewin - Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Whether or not you live in California, Maine or Nevada, the anti-gun referendums on Tuesday’s ballots in those states ultimately endanger your rights everywhere.
As California’s Fresno Bee, which called itself “a longtime advocate for sensible gun control” in an editorial opposing California’s anti-gun Proposition 63, said: “We shouldn’t encourage publicity-seeking politicians such as [California Lt. Gov. Gavin] Newsom, who have their eyes on higher elected office, from using the initiative process for personal gain.”
As the Bee’s editorial board also might have added, we shouldn’t allow rich, powerful, out-of-state anti-gun ideologues, such as former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to effectively buy anti-gun legislation through the ballot initiative process—which circumvents state legislatures and the legislative process—by bankrolling deceptive advertising campaigns that hoodwink low-information voters.
Because that’s exactly what Bloomberg and other anti-gun billionaires are doing, from Maine to Nevada. And every victory they can notch on their wallets—from Washington state’s Initiative 594, which was passed two years ago with more than $4 million of Bloomberg’s money, to the initiatives in California, Maine and Nevada this year—only emboldens them to move into your home state.As Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt said, “Question 1 sounds good because we all support background checks, but Question 1 is a sloppy legal disaster.”
This year, these anti-gunners are pushing Proposition 63 in California, Question 3 in Maine, and Question 1 in Nevada. Here’s a look at each, in turn.
California Proposition 63 would, in the words of the Fresno Bee, “pile on more gun control” in a state that already has some of the harshest anti-gun laws in the nation.
Among other things, it will expand California’s so-called “assault weapons” ban, outlaw possession of magazines with capacities over 10 rounds, and require background checks—and levy fees—for ammunition sales in the state. And although Prop. 63 duplicates some provisions that are already California law, it imposes harsher penalties for infractions.
The California Police Chiefs Association opposes Prop. 63 for a variety of reasons. As the chairman of its firearms committee, Rudy Escalante, summarized it in the Sacramento Bee, “Proposition 63 offers unnecessary changes that complicate current law and should be rejected by voters.”
Nevada Question 1 and Maine Question 3 both talk about so-called “universal” background checks, but both initiatives would put honest, good people on the wrong side of the law by criminalizing perfectly innocent activities, like lending someone your firearm.
“[Question 3] should be called the Gun Registry Bill ... because so-called universal background checks cannot be enforced without requiring complete gun registration.” — Maine Gov. Paul LePageAs Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt said, “Question 1 sounds good because we all support background checks, but Question 1 is a sloppy legal disaster.”
If adopted, Question 1 would subject even first-time offenders to a $2,000 fine and up to a year in jail. So it’s no surprise that Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval and 16 out of 17 state sheriffs urge citizens to vote “NO” on Question 1.
As Washoe County Sheriff Chuck Allen wrote in USA Today, “Law enforcement would be required to investigate law-abiding Nevadans for commonplace practices. The initiative would increase red tape, making it harder for law-abiding Nevadans to defend themselves.” As Allen wrote, the backing for Question 1 is “largely bought and paid for by billionaire gun-control advocate Michael Bloomberg.”
Indeed, Bloomberg has spent nearly $10 million to push Nevada Question 1.
In Maine, Bloomberg has spent at least $3.7 million to push Question 3.
Yet again, the vast majority of law enforcement opposes Question 3, including 12 of Maine’s 16 sheriffs, who joined together to sign a letter opposing Question 3.
Why do they oppose it? Maybe because Question 3 would criminalize many commonplace, perfectly innocent activities—such as lending or borrowing a firearm for hunting season unless the loan, and the return, of the firearm were done through licensed Maine firearm dealers, with background checks, fees and all the hassles involved—which makes the law, in the words of Maine Gov. Paul LePage, “not enforceable.”
So: If these ballot initiatives are opposed by everyone from state governors and admittedly anti-gun newspapers to attorneys general and rank-and-file law enforcement officers—and in two states, the vast majority of county sheriffs—then why are Bloomberg, his lavishly wealthy anti-gun billionaire backers and the gun-ban lobby pushing them so vigorously?
Maybe the answer lies in the fact that, as even Obama’s Justice Department admitted, the effectiveness of "universal" background checks “depends on … requiring gun registration”—and gun registration has long been the “holy grail” of gun control, since it would give anti-gun governments everything they need to ban and confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens.
As Maine Gov. LePage wrote, Question 3 “should be called the Gun Registry Bill. That’s because so-called universal background checks cannot be enforced without requiring complete gun registration.”
And as the recently released Wikileaks emails make clear, Hillary Clinton plans to impose “universal” background checks under the cover of banning private firearm transfers—by executive order, if need be—in her first days in office, should she win the White House.
So vote accordingly on Election Day.
For more information on California Proposition 63, click here.
For more information on Maine Question 3, click here.
For more information on Nevada Question 1, click here.
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