California Sheriffs Against New Gun Control Measure

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California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom.Justin Sullivan

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is attempting to impose new restrictions on firearms in California, a state whose books are already rife with strict gun laws. Newsom's gun-control measure is intended to appear on the fall ballot to expand its 1999 assault weapons ban to include "high-capacity" magazines that were grandfathered in by the law.

If the measure passes, owners would need to sell the magazines to a licensed dealer, transfer them out of state, or turn them in to law enforcement, according to this story from the Sacramento Bee.

The California State Sheriffs' Association announced Monday that it is opposing Newsom's measure, which would need 366,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. The sheriffs say the restrictions would affect law-abiding citizens who want to buy ammunition for recreational use, retain guns and magazines that are currently legal, or pass down historical or family heirlooms, according to a letter from the organization.

"Effectively, this measure will create a new class of criminals out of those that already comply with common sense practices that now exist," said President Martin Ryan, Amador County sheriff and PAC Chair Gregory J. Ahern, Alameda County sheriff in the story. "The focus of efforts to reduce gun violence in this state should be on those responsible for that violence, not those that have no intent to do harm."

The sheriffs noted that they remain supportive of domestic violence restraining orders, existing background checks, and waiting periods to purchase firearms, the story says.