Gun Control Initiatives Approved in Three States

On Tuesday, voters in California, Nevada, and Washington State approved measurers to tighten existing gun control laws, while voters in Maine narrowly rejected a measure that would have required background checks on private gun sales.

California’s Proposition 63 outlaws ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds, requires purchasers of ammunition to go through the same background checks as gun buyers, makes it illegal to not report lost or stolen guns, and makes the theft of any firearm a felony. The initiative also creates a court process requiring convicted felons to relinquish their firearms or face penalties and requires probation officers to report to the court on how parolees sold or otherwise disposed of their firearms.

By a slim margin, voters in Nevada approved Question 1, which closes a loophole on background checks for private and online gun sales, as well as sales made at gun shows. Gun buyers will now have to go through a background check performed by a licensed dealer regardless of how the transaction is made.

In Washington, voters widely approved Initiative 1491, which allows authorities to temporarily seize firearms from people believed to be a safety threat. The measure creates ‘Extreme Risk Protection Orders’, which provide family members, law enforcement officers, roommates, and significant others the ability to petition a judge to restrict firearm access of people who are deemed to be a threat to themselves or others. The restrictions last for one year and can be challenged through a hearing process.