Contact: Lara Cullinane Smith

The Liberal Gun Club, a national organization of left-leaning and progressive firearms owners and enthusiasts has come down firmly on side of saying Vote No on Prop 63, stating:

Proposition 63 is an abuse of the California initiative process on many levels. Worse, it does nothing to keep Californians safer while costing tens of millions of dollars a year. Prop. 63 is so complex that most lawyers cannot decipher it. It contains countless practical problems that the Legislature will be legally restricted from fixing, while mostly addressing issues that the Legislature and Governor have already taken care of in better, less expensive ways.

The Liberal Gun Club opposes Prop 63’s requirement that people purchasing ammunition would be required to pay $50 and be subject to a background check that would take 30 days and must be run through a new system that California must create. Current California law already has a provision for a system that utilizes existing databases to conduct instant background checks on ammunition purchasers, costing the state little and the purchaser $1. A law similar to these provisions of Prop 63 has already been tried and abandoned in New York when its implementation became too costly and burdensome. Yet this provision couldn’t be scrapped or modified except through another ballot initiative. Moreover, this excessive fee could target lower income shooters, who are often shoot less often already due to ammunition cost, disproportionately.

The Liberal Gun Club recognizes that many of Prop 63’s provisions are superficially attractive but not practical. For example, the requirement to report a lost or stolen firearm sounds reasonable, but it has been vetoed twice by Governor Brown, recognizing that it would do nothing to reduce crime as law abiding people already make these reports, and a new law won’t have any effect on criminals doing so. It is a costly solution in search of a problem.

Additionally, the Liberal Gun Club objects that many of Prop. 63’s provisions are unfunded. They would thus divert resources away from social programs designed to prevent violence and which are actually effective in reducing crime, making us less safe. The fact that the initiative seeks to move control of budgets and processes away from the legislative and judicial branches is an impermissible and worrisome violation of the separation of powers, especially, like here, where the initiative is proposed and championed by an elected member of the state’s executive branch.

The majority of Proposition 63 is unneeded. The national murder rate is at a near 50-year low. The number of guns in the country is at an all-time high. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens. They are your friends, family and neighbors, and many are Democrats. Prop 63, which staunch pro-gun control allies such as State Senators Kevin DeLeon and Jerry Hill asked be withdrawn, allows Newsom to look more liberal and assemble a war chest of donations before actually starting his campaign while doing nothing to address the true causes of violence. Notably, two-thirds of the deaths attributed to guns are suicides, and nothing in this initiative will prevent those deaths.