Gavin Newsom's Wrong-Headed Gun Scheme

posted on March 17, 2016
Justin Sullivan

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, in his quest to bolster his gun-ban credentials as he runs for governor in 2018, is pushing a handful of restrictions that would further devastate the rights of law-abiding Golden State gun owners who have already seen their freedoms infringed again and again.

Newsom’s proposal would, among other things: 

  • Ban possession of and confiscate hundreds of thousands of lawfully possessed magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds;
  • Require licensing of all ammunition vendors and drastically limit the places where ammunition could be sold;
  • Require ammunition buyers to undergo a background check before they could purchase any ammunition; and
  • Turn law-abiding citizens into criminals should they fail to report lost or stolen firearms to police within a limited amount of time after they “should have known” a firearm was missing.

Newsom’s restrictions come in the form of a proposed ballot amendment, and he and his cohorts will need at least 365,880 signatures from registered California voters to qualify the initiative for this November’s ballot. Using paid signature gatherers, those signatures will cost several million dollars to collect. But billionaire statists like Michael Bloomberg, gun-control groups and other “progressive” organizations like The Joyce Foundation are collectively throwing hundreds of millions of dollars into a national campaign to demonize gun owners across the country, so it’s obvious they will spend what’s necessary to expand the fight in California.

California already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country. Yet violent crime, particularly among street gangs and drug dealers, is still out of control. Every year, more useless gun laws get introduced. But there will never be enough gun restrictions for those whose true goal (now that the Supreme Court has told them they can’t ban possession of firearms entirely) is to—either directly or indirectly—ban possession of as many types of guns, from as many types of people and from as many places as possible.

To bolster his plan, Newsom has chosen to attack the very people who have lately become a constant target for gun-banners. The politician who has never met a restrictive gun-control law he didn’t like is back to trashing the 5 million law-abiding members of the National Rifle Association.

During a meeting with The Sacramento Bee editorial board last month, Newsom said, “After San Bernardino … people are fed up with the NRA.”

Actually, Newsom couldn’t be more wrong. What Californians are actually fed up with, apparently, are exploitive politicians bent on further curtailing their ability to defend themselves and their loved ones.

Just look at the reaction of state residents since last December’s homegrown terror attack in San Bernardino.

The ISIS-inspired terrorist shootings at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino has led to so many people applying for permits to carry concealed firearms that it has created a ridiculous—and dangerous—backlog.To bolster his plan, Newsom has chosen to attack the very people who have lately become a constant target for gun-banners.

According to, San Bernardino County has reported a nine-fold increase in concealed weapons applications the month following the shooting, and Riverside County’s permitting process is so backlogged that it now takes a year and a half to even meet with an official to submit an application.

Further, the California public has spoken with their pocketbooks—purchasing a record number of firearms in 2015. After the San Bernardino attacks, Californians drove gun sales even higher—with some dealers reporting seeing their business triple and cautioning the spike was drying up supply. 

Does that sound like they are “fed up with the NRA”? 

Interestingly, those fighting Newsom’s proposed ballot initiatives received a boost this week when many state sheriffs spoke out against the scheme.

The Sacramento Bee reports that in a letter to Newsom’s campaign, the California State Sheriffs’ Association said the measure will only affect law-abiding gun owners, including sport shooters, owners of currently legal guns and magazines, and anyone passing down historical or family heirlooms, while doing nothing to keep guns and ammo from criminals. 

“Effectively, this measure will create a new class of criminals out of those that already comply with common-sense practices that now exist,” wrote Martin Ryan, Amador County sheriff and Gregory J. Ahern, Alameda County sheriff. “The focus of efforts to reduce gun violence in this state should be on those responsible for that violence, not those that have no intent to do harm.” 

Of course, the sheriffs are absolutely correct. Despite what Newsom and other anti-gun politicians believe, punishing law-abiding gun owners for crimes committed by violent criminals is never the answer to any problem. 

Hopefully California sheriffs speaking out against Newsom’s punitive proposals will help turn the tide and keep the anti-gun package off November’s ballot.


Gov. Gavin Newsom
Gov. Gavin Newsom

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