Equality California Endorses Proposition 63, “Safety for All” Gun Safety Initiative

Equality California announced today that it has endorsed Proposition 63, the “Safety for All” ballot initiative backed by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. Following the shootings in June at an Orlando LGBT nightclub, a spike in homicides of LGBT people and an ongoing worldwide epidemic of murders of transgender women, Equality California has made enacting gun safety measures a key part of its program and advocacy work.

Orlando was a call to action and a reminder that ending gun violence must be a top priority for the LGBT community,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California. “But even before Orlando, gun safety was an LGBT issue, because LGBT people suffer disproportionately from gun violence. Proposition 63 will help close remaining loopholes in California’s gun safety laws and help ensure that no community has to suffer another Orlando, San Bernardino or Newtown.”

The announcement was made via Facebook Live and can be seen HERE.

Equality California joins Lt. Gov. Newsom and dozens of other key leaders and organizations in endorsing Proposition 63. These include initiative co-author The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the California Democratic Party, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly Toni Atkins, Speaker Emeritus of the Assembly John Pérez, District Attorney Jeff Rosen, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, District Attorney George Gascon, District Attorney Joyce Dudley, San Francisco Sheriff Vicki Hennessy, the cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco, Belvedere, Berkeley, Cupertino, East Palo Alto, Oakland, Tiburon and West Hollywood, SEIU, California Medical Association, California American College of Emergency Physicians, California American College of Physicians, California Federation of Teachers, California League of Women Voters, California Young Democrats, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, Courage Campaign, Emergency Response Doctors, Rabbis Against Gun Violence, Southern California Public Health Association, States United to Prevent Gun Violence, and Women Against Gun Violence.

“It is vital for our state to come together on this important issue, and I am so glad to have Equality California join the Proposition 63 campaign as an endorser and as a key leader in the LGBT community,” said Newsom. “More than 32,000 Americans are killed every year due to gun violence, and the LGBT community is disproportionately targeted. The result is the massacre we saw in Orlando. This is an epidemic that is preventable and with strong leaders and organizations coming together we can make our communities safe again.”
Proposition 63, representing the strongest set of gun laws that have been proposed in the state of California, will appear on the 2016 November California ballot with the following provisions:

Keeping Guns from Dangerous Criminals: Provides a clear firearms relinquishment process for those convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, and clarifies the law to ensure that theft of a gun – of any value – is a felony, which prohibits the thief from owning firearms.

Reporting Lost or Stolen Guns and Ammunition: Requires firearms dealers to report lost or stolen ammunition. Requires gun owners to notify law enforcement if their firearm has been lost or stolen. California would join the city of Sacramento and 11 other states that require lost or stolen firearm reporting.
Shares Data with Federal System on Prohibited People: Assures effective background checks by mandating that California share data with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System(NICS).

Treating Ammunition Sales Like Gun Sales: Requires licensing of ammunition vendors and requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks on employees by January 1, 2018. Requires point-of-sale background checks for ammunition purchases. If a person is convicted of a felony, a violent misdemeanor, has a restraining order or has been declared dangerously mentally ill, they will no longer be able to buy ammunition in California. California would be the first state to require background checks at point of sale.

Prohibiting Possession of Large-Capacity Military-Style Magazines: Outlaws possession of large-capacity magazines of 11 rounds or more and provides for their legal disposal. California would join New York, New Jersey, Hawaii and the District of Columbia in banning possession of these military-style clips.

The initiative also allows the legislature to amend provisions within the Safety for All Act: “This Act shall be broadly construed to accomplish its purposes. The provisions of this measure may be amended by a vote of 55 percent of the members of each house of the Legislature and signed by the Governor so long as such amendments are consistent with and further the intent of this Act.”

The full text of the initiative can be found at SafetyforAll.com.

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Equality California is the nation’s largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization dedicated to creating a fair and just society. Our mission is to achieve and maintain full and lasting equality, acceptance, and social justice for all people in our diverse LGBT communities, inside and outside of California. Our mission includes advancing the health and well-being of LGBT Californians through direct healthcare service advocacy and education. Through electoral, advocacy, education and mobilization programs, we strive to create a broad and diverse alliance of LGBT people, educators, government officials, communities of color and faith, labor, business, and social justice communities to achieve our goals. www.eqca.org