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Bid To Referend New California Gun Laws Is A Long Shot

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Members of the Assembly Clerk's Office deliver some of the bills lawmakers passed to Gov. Jerry Brown's office on Thursday, June 30th, 2016.

Ben Adler / Capital Public Radio

Grassroots gun rights advocates in California aren’t just furious about the gun control bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in recent weeks. They’re taking action.

The Second Amendment supporters hope to use California’s referendum process to delay seven new laws until voters can be asked to overturn them in November 2018.

But the effort they started Friday faces long odds, and even people who support them doubt they will succeed.

“It’s going to be a challenge. Our prayers are with them. Unfortunately, it is not impossible but likely improbable,” says Craig DeLuz with the Firearms Policy Coalition. “Organizers of this effort basically have about six weeks in order to gather about a half a million signatures per referenda. So we’re talking about a grand total of about 3.5 million signatures.”

In other words, there’s a reason why it costs millions of dollars to gather California voter signatures to place a measure on the ballot – and grassroots efforts can’t do it without help.

If any group could shatter this precedent, DeLuz points out, it’s advocates of the Second Amendment. But so far, there’s no evidence influential gun rights groups like the National Rifle Association are getting involved or donating money. Instead, some groups say, they're referring inquires to the grassroots group's website.

 Election 2016

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio