Tragedy could boost Newsom’s gun-control push

Gavin newsomThe slaughter of 14 people at a San Bernardino conference center Wednesday morning by two heavily armed Islamic extremists could provide a boost to Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s planned 2016 ballot initiative imposing stricter gun-control laws on California.

Wednesday afternoon, before much was known about the attacks or the motives of the shooters, Newsom had this to say to the Los Angeles Times: “What more evidence do you need that we need to step it up as it relates to gun safety in this state? It is just unacceptable what is going on in this country. And California needs to lead the way. … Today’s tragedy just reinforces the imperative to not wait around for Congress to do their job, but for this state to do its job. And giving the voters the opportunity to do that directly is something that I think is important because the NRA, even in a Democratic state, has intimidated politicians in Sacramento.”

Newsom and fellow gun-control advocates need 365,880 valid signatures to gain a spot on the November ballot. The San Jose Mercury-News has details on his proposal:

California already has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws, including a 10-day waiting period for all firearm purchases, an assault weapons ban, and a ban on making and selling magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.


The state enacted its assault weapons ban in 1989 and expanded it 10 years later. But those who already owned the banned guns and magazines were allowed to register and keep them.


Newsom’s measure would require owners to turn the outlawed magazines into police for destruction, sell them to a licensed firearms dealer or move them out of the state — just as San Francisco supervisors and Sunnyvale voters chose to require in 2013. New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and the District of Columbia also have such laws. …


Newsom’s measure also would require licensing of ammunition sellers and instantaneous point-of-sale background checks for all ammunition purchases to weed out those convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, those with restraining orders against them or those declared dangerously mentally ill.


No other state requires background checks for ammunition purchases.


The measure would also require firearm owners to notify law enforcement if their firearm has been lost or stolen. Eleven states and the city of Sacramento already require this, but Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed bills to do just that in 2012 and 2013.

Measure could be launching point of 2018 gubernatorial bid

gunsThe November 2016 ballot is likely to be packed with measures. The signature threshold is much lower than normal because it is dictated by turnout in the last general election, and the November 2014 vote saw anemic turnout. Newsom’s measure will be fighting for attention with marijuana legalization proposals and other high-profile issues. He is expected to use his push for the measure as essentially the starting point of his campaign to be elected governor in 2018.

The gun-control measure is likely to attract millions of dollars in critical ads from national groups that back firearms rights. One expert told the Mercury-News that some of the specifics in Newsom’s plan could galvanize opposition:

“The large-capacity magazine ban is going to stimulate a lot of opposition; that’s going to hit a lot of ordinary gun owners where it hurts” — including some who might be open-minded to other kinds of gun control, said Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor and author of 2011’s “Gunfight: The Battle over the Right to Bear Arms in America.”


“It plays into the hands of gun-rights proponents who are always warning that the government is going to come take your guns,” Winkler said.

For a good overview of California’s current gun-control laws, go here.


Write a comment
  1. desmond
    desmond 6 December, 2015, 06:05

    Of course the required exemptions for public safety and government officials will be included. More shootings of citizens by emboldened cops will follow. I guess it is better to get mowed down by a cop during a traffic stop than a radical with a hard on over a injustice in the 12th century. Is it ok for the radical to decapitate someone and leave the gun home? There is great comfort knowing the mass shooting wont be part of that. JOLLY CLUBCAR

    Reply this comment
  2. Samuel
    Samuel 6 December, 2015, 07:29

    The Gus these Extremists used were illegal, the magazines were illegal, the guns were illegally purchased. And they were in a gun free zone. How would more gun laws have helped? If our lawmakers really want to help society, focus the same amount of attention to the rampant drug addiction and drifter homeless problem. They are illegally camping and degrading our streams and waterways with their human waste and garbage on public property statewide. this problem has reached epidemic levels. Govenor Brown said it right. We don’t need anymore new laws regarding gun control, we need to enforce existing ones.

    Reply this comment
  3. Bruce
    Bruce 6 December, 2015, 13:28

    Isla Vista massacre showed that knives as well as automobiles are assault weapons when used by criminals who do not obey laws. That wacko murdered three by knife and then ran over numerous others, before he started shooting only to take his life when confronted by an armed citizen (police). Once confronted with equal fire power did the massacre end. Only idiots would go down the road of disarming law abiding citizens. Paris, where all law abiding citizens are unarmed by law and at a disadvantage when the terrorist (criminals) took out security before entering the building to begin the slaughter.

    Reply this comment
  4. Dyspeptic
    Dyspeptic 6 December, 2015, 14:46

    “giving the voters the opportunity to do that directly is something that I think is important because the NRA, even in a Democratic state, has intimidated politicians in Sacramento.”

    That statement is, to be blunt, pure bullshit. Newsome is a disgusting, sleazy, lying, morally degenerate, third rate demagogue. Just like every other politician in his demonic party.

    If the NRA had any influence in this state we wouldn’t have the most complex and draconian gun control laws in the nation. Every year we get more gun rights restrictions, and yet mass shootings still occur here. Only an insane person or a pandering, lowlife demagogue would conclude that more of what has already failed will somehow achieve success.

    Reply this comment
  5. Bill Gore
    Bill Gore 6 December, 2015, 19:59

    How about tighter islamic extremist control laws?
    1) ALL muslims must register with the state.
    2) ALL mosques MUST be licensed, with all sermons video recorded for extremist content by the state.
    3) An immediate moratorium on ALL muslim migration into the state.
    4) A BAN on muslim womens’ clothing that covers the face, esp. the ‘naquib’ ….

    Reply this comment
  6. Teddy
    Teddy 6 December, 2015, 22:26

    I own a gun– home protection– it’s more that adequate—-I have no idea why anyone would feel the need for an assault rifle—— ban em again!

    a small small step in the right direction——of course it won’t eliminate these constant firearms murders but it is a step towards helping—- I have never seen a cogent argumet for civilian ownership of these weapons—

    Doomer Graboids ™ and trolls discuss NOW–

    Reply this comment
  7. Desmond
    Desmond 7 December, 2015, 04:41

    What is your address?
    Praise Allah,

    Reply this comment
  8. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 7 December, 2015, 06:44

    Always epect these bottom dwelling muck suckers(Liberal Demacrats)to always axploit such incdences as the San Bernidino shootings to boost their calls for more gun control never mind the fact the incdent took place in a GUN FREE ZONE. Newsrom and Brown need to go

    Reply this comment
  9. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 7 December, 2015, 17:14

    Newsrom needs to have his teeth knocked down his throat

    Reply this comment
  10. desmond
    desmond 7 December, 2015, 18:54

    Gavin and Kamala put something down their throat to advance the career, and it was not teeth.
    Sorry 7 11, Big Gulp.

    Reply this comment
  11. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 8 December, 2015, 07:01

    I see Sawdust for brains Martin OmMalley wants Obama Der Furer to confiscate gun by excutive order I ahve a better idea why dont Omaelley go kiss a wolverine instead

    Reply this comment
  12. Spurwing Plover
    Spurwing Plover 8 December, 2015, 23:20

    Newsrom should return to Pleasure Island and continue to make a ass of himself like he is doing now

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Leave a Reply

Chris Reed

Chris Reed

Chris Reed is a regular contributor to Cal Watchdog. Reed is an editorial writer for U-T San Diego. Before joining the U-T in July 2005, he was the opinion-page columns editor and wrote the featured weekly Unspin column for The Orange County Register. Reed was on the national board of the Association of Opinion Page Editors from 2003-2005. From 2000 to 2005, Reed made more than 100 appearances as a featured news analyst on Los Angeles-area National Public Radio affiliate KPCC-FM. From 1990 to 1998, Reed was an editor, metro columnist and film critic at the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin in Ontario. Reed has a political science degree from the University of Hawaii (Hilo campus), where he edited the student newspaper, the Vulcan News, his senior year. He is on Twitter: @chrisreed99.

Related Articles

Schwarzenegger Carbon Footprint ↑

John Seiler: Here’s the latest on the Schwarzenegger split: It now definitely looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s estranged wife Maria Shriver

New PPIC election Poll

Katy Grimes: A new poll just released by the Public Policy Institute of California of  2,002 people surveyed reports, “Jerry

Bob Huff Embraces Nanny State

Steven Greenhut: Reading through the news, I came across the latest legislative nonsense — a bill that would ban the