It’s not a zombie apocalypse but for energized California gun rights activists it might as well be, and they have launched an ambitious petition drive to challenge new gun laws by putting them up to a public vote.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed several pieces of gun control legislation recently. But these activists want to head him off at the pass.
California is not the only state where gun owners are facing onerous new regulations and ballot measures they claim are eroding their Second Amendment rights. But the Golden State is where firearms enthusiasts are mounting a counter-offensive.
Calling themselves “Veto Gunmageddon,” this effort is being waged by volunteers. They are hoping to gather enough signatures to put the contested issues on the ballot. They need to gather at least 366,000 signatures by Sept. 29 to get them on the ballot, in an effort to stop enforcement of the new gun laws, including background checks on ammunition sales, and expanding a ban on so-called “assault rifles.”
If this is a sign of revolt by California gun owners against heavy handed government, they have company. One sure sign of that is the spike in concealed carry permits and licenses across the country. Among the reasons cited for this increase are concerns about gun control threats from President Barack Obama, along with high profile mass shootings. Even some law enforcement officials have advised citizens to arm themselves.
There might also be growing concern about civil unrest. What happened over the weekend in Milwaukee, Wisconsin is alarming.
According to a recent story in the Washington Examiner, since December 2011, the number of concealed handgun licenses and permits has soared from “at least 8 million” to more than 14.5 million. The Examiner estimated that between 1999 and 2007, the number of permits issued annually went up an average of 240,000 each year. However, over the following four years, that spiked to about 850,000 annually, and in 2012-2013, they skyrocketed to more than 1.5 million a year and in 2014-2015, the jump was 1.69 million and 1.73 million, respectively.
For example, in Washington State, considered “Blue” politically because of liberal Seattle and King County, the number of concealed pistol licenses has gone from 392,784 on Jan. 2, 2013 to 554,320 at the end of July this year. That’s a leap of 161,536 additional CPLs, according to data from the state Department of Licensing.
Is it possible people are looking at the kinds of gun control measures being implemented and advocated in California has created citizen concerns across the country?
If California activists can successfully fight back against “Gunmageddon,” can the on-going push for stricter gun control laws be discouraged or even derailed elsewhere?