Lt. Gov Pushes Ballot Initiative Requiring Background Checks for Ammo Purchases

Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

On October 14, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced he will begin pushing a ballot initiative to require background checks for ammunition purchasers and to implement a statewide ban on the possession of any ammunition magazines larger than the ones Elliot Rodger used in his 2014 Santa Barbara attack.

Rodger only used ten-round magazines during his attack.

According to The Sacramento Bee, the ballot proposition would also make it illegal for anyone other than a Federal Firearm License (FFL) holder to sell ammunition, thus guaranteeing that ammunition background checks would be done on every sale and enable the state government to know where every round was going. The initiative is also designed to put in place a system for confiscating guns from those “prohibited from owning them” and would force citizens to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement.

In announcing the gun control measures, Newsom said, “In the last 72 hours – 68 people have been killed and 129 people have been injured due to gun violence in America.” He did not mention that two-thirds of all firearm deaths are suicides, rather than actually being due to “gun violence.” So it follows that he did not point to the seminal study in the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, which shows that even a complete ban of guns will not significantly reduce that suicide rate.

The study–Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide?–shows that European nations with strict gun controls found that people determined to kill themselves simply used other methods to do so.

The point is: with two-thirds of all gun deaths being suicide, what difference will a magazine capacity of 10 rounds versus 15 rounds make? None at all. But it will limit the number of rounds fathers and mothers have to protect their families in the event of increasingly common home invasions.

In addition to gun control, Newsom is expected to push an initiative for the legalization of recreational marijuana. He is an outspoken proponent for the use of the drug.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


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