With some of the strictest gun laws already in the books, in November Californians will vote sweeping new firearms restrictions—including background checks for buying ammunition, the first law of its kind nationwide.
Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom calls this a “historic opportunity to recapture our leadership nationwide on this issue,” adding that 600,000 petition signatures already in hand are more than enough to make the ballot. In addition to ammunition checks (already in place for guns) the measure would ban large-capacity rifle magazines, make possessing a stolen gun a felony and require the state to share background check information with the FBI among other provisions. Another controversial part of the initiative would take away rifles with magazines holding more than 10 cartridges from people who already legally possess them.
California’s last gun-control vote was the 1982 initiative to limit new handgun purchases, which was soundly defeated after opposition from the National Rifle Association.