[JURIST] Gun control ballot measures were approved by voters Tuesday in California, Nevada and Washington while failing in Maine. California’s Proposition 63 [materials] would require individuals to obtain a permit before purchasing ammunition. It would also eliminate several exemptions to the state’s large-capacity magazine ban and increase penalties for possessing them. This proposition passed [official results] with 62.7 percent of the vote.
Question 1 [text, PDF] on the Nevada ballot would require that an unlicensed person wishing to transfer or sell a firearm conduct the transfer through a licensed gun dealer who runs background checks, with some exceptions including transfers between immediate family members and of antique firearms. Those found in violation could face up to one year in prison, a $2000 fine, or both. This proposition passed [Politico results] narrowly, with 50.4 percent of the vote.
Washington’s Initiative 1491 [text, PDF] would authorize courts to issue “extreme risk protection orders” that would prevent an individual from possessing firearms, if the person is considered a significant danger to themselves or others. These orders would last one year, with the possibility of renewal for an additional year. This ballot measure passed [official results], with 71.24 percent of the vote.
Question 3 [text, PDF] on the Maine ballot would require background checks before a gun transfer or sale between persons who are not licensed firearm dealers, with some exceptions. Maine currently has no state law regarding background checks for gun sales, instead following the federal law requiring background checks by licensed dealers. This proposition failed to pass [Politico results], with 51.9 percent of voters voting against the measure.
Gun control and the Second Amendment continue to be controversial topics across the US. In September the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit restored [JURIST report] gun ownership rights of two individuals convicted of minor crimes. In June the US Supreme Court ruled [JURIST report] that a state law conviction on reckless domestic assault is sufficient to bar possession of a firearm under federal law. Earlier in June Hawaii Governor David Ige signed a bill [JURIST report] requiring gun owners to be listed on an FBI database, notifying police if a Hawaii citizen is arrested in another state and providing a continuous criminal record check on those individuals seeking to possess a firearm. Also in June the US Supreme Court denied certiorari [JURIST report] in two separate cases challenging bans on assault-style weapons. The court denied the appeals without comment, letting stand lower court rulings that had upheld the bans [JURIST report] as constitutional.