Proposition 63 passes: California expands on tough gun laws, ammo sales

- A gun...and ammunition-control initiative, the provisions of which include prohibiting the possession of large-capacity magazines, will become the law of the land in California thanks to voters' approval.

In addition to requiring the destruction or removal from the state of large-capacity ammunition magazines, Proposition 63 will also require most individuals to pass background checks and obtain Department of Justice
authorization to purchase ammunition.

The measure also:

  • requires most ammunition sales be made through licensed ammunition vendors and reported to Department of Justice;
  • requires lost or stolen firearms and ammunition be reported to law enforcement;
  • prohibits people convicted of stealing a firearm from possessing firearms;
  • establishes procedures for enforcing laws prohibiting firearm possession by felons and violent criminals:
  • requires the Department of Justice to provide information about prohibited people to the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

Passage of the initiative will result in increased state costs in the tens of millions of dollars annually related to regulating ammunition sales, likely offset by various regulatory fees authorized by the measure, according
to an analysis conducted by the Legislative Analyst's Office and Department of Finance.

There will also be an increase in court and law enforcement costs, not likely to exceed the tens of millions of dollars annually, related to removing firearms from prohibited people as part of court sentencing proceedings. These costs could be offset to some extent by fees authorized by the measure, the analysis found.

There will also be a potential increase in state and local correctional costs, not likely to exceed the low millions of dollars annually, related to new and increased penalties, according to the analysis.

"The Safety for All initiative will save lives by making it much harder for dangerous people to get guns and ammunition in California,'' said its author, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, a 2018 candidate for governor.

Michele Hanisee, president of the Association of Los Angeles Deputy District Attorneys, said the initiative "seems designed to raise Newsom's public profile, because in reality it will do nothing to prevent mass shootings
in this state nor will it have any positive effects on the safety of California residents.''

"Since ammunition will still be legal to possess, albeit more difficult to acquire, the measure does nothing to stop criminals who commit murder, which, of course, is already illegal,'' Hanisee said. "It will only affect the
law abiding citizens.

"It is bad public policy to enact laws which the vast majority of Californians will simply, consciously, ignore. And it is worse public policy to enact measures which will not accomplish the goals they claim.''

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