Excerpted From The Los Angeles Times: Three days before the deadline, the head of a referendum drive aimed at overturning six new gun control laws announced Tuesday it will fall far short of collecting enough signatures to qualify the measures for the ballot.
San Diego-area businessman Barry Bahrami, who organized the drive, said apathy among California gun owners and difficult requirements for qualifying referenda are partly to blame for the shortfall.
“It is with disappointment that I must now report to you it appears we will not obtain the minimum signatures required to get these referenda on the ballot,” Bahrami wrote on his Facebook page in a note addressed to “Patriots.”
He said those involved in the campaign now will turn their attention to working towards drafting a possible initiative for the 2018 ballot to protect gun owners rights
His group, “Veto Gunmageddon,” needs to turn in 365,000 signatures on each of the six referenda by Thursday, but his campaign has less than one third of the signatures needed, according to initial tallies posted by the group on Facebook.
The most signatures in hand, 115,141, are for the referendum to overturn SB 880, which bans the sale of semi-automatic rifles with detachable magazines.
“We did not get the signatures because of the way the bills were passed and signed,” Bahrami said in an email Tuesday. “Most gun owners still do not know a gunmageddon happened.”
Although gun shops and shooting ranges agreed to have petitions on hand to sign, Bahrami said there was not enough interest even by gun owners.
“Apathy among California gun owners was clearly a factor, too,” he said.
Despite the setback, Bahrami said he hopes the gun community has begun organizing better.
“The referenda drive brought many gun owners together,” he said. “It was just a start.” Keep reading