Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Voters in California, Maine, Nevada and Washington to decide on stricter gun-control measures

Heavy spending by gun-control advocates has put gun-control measures on the Nov. 8 ballots of California, Maine, Nevada and Washington, Ryan Foley reports for The Associated Press: Supporters have outspent opponents in all four states, and "There are no statewide initiatives seeking to expand gun rights anywhere in the U.S."

"In Maine and Nevada, a group founded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has spent millions advocating for background checks on nearly all gun sales and transfers," Foley writes. The "initiatives would require anyone buying or receiving a gun to pass a background check at a federally licensed dealer, with limited exceptions for hunting and transfers of guns between family members. Anyone who has a felony or disqualifying domestic abuse conviction would be denied, as required by federal law."

Advocates in Washington "who successfully campaigned for a background check law in 2014 are now seeking passage of a measure that would allow judges to issue orders temporarily seizing guns from people who are deemed a threat," Foley writes. "For instance, concerned families could seek the removal of guns from relatives threatening to harm themselves or others."

California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom "is leading the campaign for a first-of-its-kind law that would require anyone buying ammunition to pass a background check and obtain a state permit," Foley reports.

The National Rifle Association, which has financed opposition in Maine and Nevada, has spent far less than gun-control advocates, Foley writes. "NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the states were carefully selected because they were 'electorally advantageous' for gun-control supporters." Opponents say the measures "will not stop criminals and go too far by banning the routine sale and transfer of guns between law-abiding citizens, who would have to drive to a firearms dealer and pay for a background check that can cost $30."

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