Election 2016—Mixed Results for Gun Rights

California now requires background checks to by ammunition.
California now requires background check to buy ammunition.

Tuesday’s election brought with it challenges in four states to the rights of law-abiding gun owners as well as a potential threat nationally to the 2nd Amendment.

By now, everyone is probably aware that Donald J. Trump won the Presidential election over his opponent, Hillary Clinton. That is a significant plus for gun rights in that Trump is an avowed supporter of the 2nd Amendment and gun ownership and has stated his intentions to nominate like-minded individuals to the Supreme Court to ensure decisions like Heller are not overturned.

Whereas, Hillary has openly stated her belief that the “Supremes got it (Heller) wrong” and that she favors nominating justices that will support her agenda of more strict gun controls.

Another favorable outcome occurred in Maine. On the ballot there was an initiative that would have required universal background checks for all gun sales, including private sales. It was narrowly defeated 52%-48%, a 27,200 vote margin.

However, anti-gunners, especially Everytown for Gun Safety (billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun advocacy group) scored victories in three other states Tuesday.

Californians passed Proposition 63 by a nearly two-to-one margin. This ballot initiative makes it illegal to possess magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. Previous law prohibited the sale of such “high-capacity” magazines but allowed people to keep such “banned” magazines if they were owned prior to the law going into effect. Now, though, the voter-approved initiative requires people who own these type magazines to surrender them to law enforcement for destruction or face potential charges by the prosecuting attorney.

Not satisfied with restricting the number of rounds your gun can hold, the initiative takes the unprecedented step of requiring a background check just to buy ammunition. And all such ammo sales are to be reported to the Department of Justice.

Furthermore, Prop. 63 now makes it easier for the State to seize guns immediately from individuals that are convicted of a felony, or have a protective order issued against them for domestic violence, or for mental health issues.

And now in California, the law requires people to report lost or stolen guns to local law enforcement officials.

Nevada voters barely passed, by a 50.4% to 49.6% margin, another initiative backed by Everytown that requires universal background checks.

And in the State of Washington, a ballot initiative was approved by the voters by 73%-27% that allows judges to bar people from possessing guns if they exhibit behavior indicating they may pose a danger to themselves or to others, such as accused domestic abusers.

Having proven that ballot initiatives can be successful at the state level, gun-control advocates are hoping the California measure can be introduced in other states in the future.

We can only hope that a new Supreme Court will uphold the U.S. Constitution and the 2nd Amendment should challenges to these new laws come before it.

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