SACRAMENTO (AP) — State officials have certified petitions that opponents of stricter gun regulations can now circulate in California to overturn recent laws that expanded background checks to buy guns and ammunition and attempted to curb the sale of rapid-reloading firearms.
The effort could be a longshot, however, as more than 365,000 signatures are needed on each of six separate petitions by Sept. 29 to qualify for the November 2018 ballot.
Barry Bahrami of Carlsbad submitted the petitions. He did not return phone or email messages Tuesday.
Craig DeLuz, a lobbyist for the Firearms Policy Coalition, said he knows of no financial backers that intend to help the campaign generate millions of dollars needed to collect signatures.
DeLuz said officials with the National Rifle Association, the California Rifle and Pistol Association and other groups have told him they are not seriously considering signing on to the campaign. Phone messages left with press and operations staff at the NRA and CRPA were not immediately returned Tuesday.
The Firearms Policy Coalition also has decided not to contribute money, he said.
“We’re all membership organizations that have limited resources and, in a state like California, we have to utilize those resources judiciously,” DeLuz said, adding that his group is considering challenging the laws in court.
Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown signed six bills earlier this month requiring ammunition retailers to be licensed, to conduct background checks on buyers and to record ammunition transactions.
The laws also mandate background checks to lend guns to non-family members, outlaw rapid-reloading devices developed in response to the state’s ban on assault weapons, and require people who own magazines that hold more than 10 rounds to give them up.
Brown has signed one gun-control bill since Bahrami filed for permission from the state attorney general’s office to circulate the petitions. AB857 aims to track homemade weapons by requiring people who own or assemble them to apply for a serial number and affix it to the gun.
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