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View Full Version : Idea for a CA Ballot Initiative


RAD-CDPII
10-09-2007, 10:41 PM
I posted this on a similar site, got a number of positive and negative responses. Unfortunately, it did not fit their agenda and they only left it up for a couple of days. This site seems to be open to off topics, let me know your thoughts.

Here in CA we have this wonderful thing called Ballot Initiatives where common everyday folks can get issues put on the ballot during General Elections so that the people of the state can vote on them. How about a Ballot Initiative that requires CA to be a Shall Issue State? I know that CA is a majority Blue state, but even many of them have weapons, and there is a possibility that it would pass. Waiting for the Legislature to do anything about it won’t happen, and if they do, they’re more likely to go the way of NY.

Items to be included in the Initiative:
• CA will be a shall issue state
• All rules to be at the state level, not at the discretion of individual Co. Sheriffs
• Period of time that the license will be good for, 3-5 years
• Number of weapons allowed on a license, I would think a minimum of three
• No “Good Cause” required, just the normal background check

It would have to be well enough written that the state could not muck with it should it ever gat passed.

Issues:
• Someone to write the Initiative, probably basing it on NV or some other state.
• Someone to write the petition for signatures
• Filing the Initiative with the State
• Funding, this is the hard one
• Getting enough signatures
• A WEB Site to host for info, downloads for the petition and contributions
• Publicity, based on funding
• Someone in the Legislature to Sponsor the Bill

I know that I have probably not though through everything and that it would not be easy. Looking for your thoughts and comments on this one, doable, DOA, possible, other issues, etc. Everyone in CA should have an equal opportunity to obtain a CA CCW.

If anyone has any ideas, contacts, previous experience in this area, etc., I would be more than happy to coordinate efforts.

bwiese
10-09-2007, 10:45 PM
Call us when you have $50+ Million.

That's what it takes to have a successful ballot drive, starting from paid professional signature gatherers on up.

Ballot drives have fallen out of 'citizen democracy' and into 'legislative bypasses'
for big-money matters like insurance, Indian gaming, tobacco and union stuff.

And real damage is done to an issue if/when it fails - because legislators won't touch an issue then.

Filed in the no-chance bin.

We will have a much better chance in the courts downstream Parker/Heller and with Guillory/Gates-forced resolutions at departmental level.

Patriot
10-09-2007, 10:46 PM
Don't those require a buttload of funding and expensive, glitzy PR campaigns?

Not to mention the certainty of free media time for the Antis to unilaterally rebutt any pro-RTKBA claims.

Hyperbole and partisanship > common sense, statistics, and reason for many voters

= Not happening :(

just4fun63
10-09-2007, 10:53 PM
We tried with the RKBA; dismal failure. Like Bill said figure at least 50m +. Heck we couldn't get people at gun shows to sign the RKBA petitions.

CCWFacts
10-09-2007, 11:05 PM
I'm with the nay-sayers on this one. Hopeless and harmful to even try it unless you happen to have tens of millions you're ready to spend on it. And if you did, you could get more bang for your buck by spending that wisely in state leg. elections, sheriffs' elections, city council races, and CCW lawsuits.

Re: people at gun shows not signing the RKBA petition: It was so cleverly and well-written that gun rights purists thought it was a trap. "Strict scrutiny for gun laws? We have too much scrutiny on guns as it is!" they said.

just4fun63
10-09-2007, 11:19 PM
Re: people at gun shows not signing the RKBA petition: It was so cleverly and well-written that gun rights purists thought it was a trap. "Strict scrutiny for gun laws? We have too much scrutiny on guns as it is!" they said.

Trying to explain judicial "strict scrutiny" to some folks was a challenge to say the least

bulgron
10-09-2007, 11:29 PM
I used to think a ballot initiative was the way to go. But now I just want to see a post-Heller case declaring discretionary firearm laws (Good Cause statements, the sheriff "may" issue, etc) unconstitutional.

A ballot initiative can be overturned somewhere down the road through simple legislative action. But a good legal precedent, well, that'll really stick in the gun grabber's craw.

BillCA
10-10-2007, 12:28 AM
I used to think a ballot initiative was the way to go. But now I just want to see a post-Heller case declaring discretionary firearm laws (Good Cause statements, the sheriff "may" issue, etc) unconstitutional.

Think again. I think you will find that concealed weapons permits falls under the heading of a compelling government interest. That is, the government will argue that regulating who may legally carry a concealed firearm allows LEOs to separate the good guys from the bad guys (i.e. those with background checks vs. those who may be felons).

In a correct post-Heller environment, I would expect one-a-month laws to be struck down as well as the AWB (will take longer) and the magazine ban.

bulgron
10-10-2007, 7:41 AM
Think again. I think you will find that concealed weapons permits falls under the heading of a compelling government interest. That is, the government will argue that regulating who may legally carry a concealed firearm allows LEOs to separate the good guys from the bad guys (i.e. those with background checks vs. those who may be felons).



I don't think we can say one way or another whether CCW permits fall under compelling government interest. First, to my knowledge, the constitutionality of a discretionary CCW system has never been challenged. Yes, there is a long history of CC laws in this country, but those laws have never undergone rigorous constitutional review.

But beyond that, what I'd want to argue against is the discretionary part of firearm laws that provide LEO the power to grant or deny your rights upon his whim. (Certainly there are other examples of discretion in firearm laws beyond just CCW permits) How is it a right if LEO must approve? At what point did it become valid to say that constitutional protections apply only if LEO says it does?

My argument only gains more weight and becomes more compelling, btw, as Team Billy Jack proceeds with their lawsuits and it becomes easier and easier to show how a discretionary system is prone to abuse, and therefore not only possible but even likely to block citizens from exercising their constitutional rights.

Look, the clear intent of the 2A is to allow citizens to keep and bear arms in a peaceable manner. Clearly some regulation of this right is permitted, but at the point that I can pass a background check and show that I know how to safely handle a firearm, what possible argument can be made that it is okay for me to own a gun but not walk down the street with it?

What's more, some 40 US states now have non-discretionary CCW, OC and ownership laws which no discernible negative impact upon society. With this proof available to us, what "compelling government interest" can possible exist to allow for discretionary firearm laws?

Of course, all of this assumes a favorable outcome to Heller. But assuming that, I certainly hope some team of lawyers somewhere in the country will attack discretionary firearm laws in court. Otherwise, they're going to continue to vex us until the end of the republic.

BillCA
10-10-2007, 9:15 AM
Bulgron,

You're probably correct in saying that discretionary permits may not pass constitutional muster. I was speaking of shall-issue CCW permits being retained, post-Heller. Likewise, I see open-carry permits for loaded firearms being retained, at least in the short term.

I expect that a post-Heller world will see some changes to the NICS system too. Certainly the CA 240-hour waiting period, one-a-month limit, AW ban, and requirements for a purchase or ownership permit will be up for grabs.

bwiese
10-10-2007, 9:24 AM
Parker/Heller may just be the first step, other cases need to follow.

As for CCW, there's enough velocity from past decisions that if we just wear down departments eventually fairly rational issuance can occur.

dfletcher
10-10-2007, 5:49 PM
I don't know if any others out there have a similar philosophy, but I am fundamentally opposed to legislation by referendum and have never voted in favor of one in 31 years of voting, despite supporting some of the issues they represent. I think it is fundamentally wrong to govern by simple majority rule. A pro - gun referendum could create a bit of a problem for me.

magsnubby
10-10-2007, 7:22 PM
Call us when you have $50+ Million.

Probably need to add a few more million to that figure.

We tried with the RKBA; dismal failure.

I was involved in that. Dismal failure is an understatement.

Heck we couldn't get people at gun shows to sign the RKBA petitions.

That's the part that really amazed me. People either ignored us completely or just said "I don't sign those things" "I don't want my name on any list" "It won't do any good anyway".

bulgron
10-10-2007, 7:33 PM
Parker/Heller may just be the first step, other cases need to follow.

I think that goes without saying at this point. Heller is clearly a very narrow case, focusing mostly on whether the 2A protects an individual right to keep arms. Of course, bearing arms should follow naturally if Heller is found for our side, but how much you want to bet we'll have to argue in court over what bearing means?

14A incorporation is also not likely to come immediately from Heller, but instead may require a follow-on case. However, in California our constitution has Article 3, Section 1 (http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.const/.article_3) which I personally theorize means that we don't need 14A incorporation in order to enjoy US constitutional protections.

So it seems like a case that throws out discretionary firearm laws will be either the son of Heller, or possibly the grandson of Heller, depending on how the case is approached.

Either way, I think it needs to happen sooner or later. Imagine, for example, a successful challenge against CA's AW ban. Without legal protection from discretionary firearm laws, I could see CA's AW ban being replaced by a de-facto ban based on everyone's inability to show good cause for owning a firearm with evil features.

As for CCW, there's enough velocity from past decisions that if we just wear down departments eventually fairly rational issuance can occur.

What does "rational issuance" mean? Anything other than "must issue so long as the citizen has no criminal history, and has shown a minimal ability to safely handle the tool" is unacceptable in my opinion. I don't want to have to ever explain to anyone why I want a CCW; I simply don't think I should have to do that if I indeed have a right to bear (carry) arms. Heck, I don't think I should even have to get letters of recommendation -- my public record should speak for itself without my having to go ask my hoplophobic friends and neighbors if they'd mind giving me a character recommendation so that I can carry a gun wherever I go.

bwiese
10-10-2007, 7:38 PM
What does "rational issuance" mean? Anything other than "must issue so long as the citizen has no criminal history, and has shown a minimal ability to safely handle the tool" is unacceptable in my opinion. I don't want to have to ever explain to anyone why I want a CCW

Absolutely understood. Sometimes victories come in dribs and drabs though and be "close enough for jazz".

If a well-phrased request shows 'need', and a dept can say they're 'screening' the requests, that gives them some political cover until laws changed.

Recipe: turn up max pain on PDs/SDs until it's easier to just give out CCWs as the near-rule rather than the near-exception.

CCWFacts
10-11-2007, 12:56 AM
Absolutely understood. Sometimes victories come in dribs and drabs though and be "close enough for jazz".

If a well-phrased request shows 'need', and a dept can say they're 'screening' the requests, that gives them some political cover until laws changed.

Recipe: turn up max pain on PDs/SDs until it's easier to just give out CCWs as the near-rule rather than the near-exception.

I'm with BW. If I have to spend some time analyzing my personal risk factors and write up a GC statement, and that gets me a permit, fine. Is that as nice as FL-style? No, but I'll take half-way-to-victory, and then go from there.

Suing PDs and SDs: Yes. Ultimately they are not in the business of fighting stupid lawsuits all the time. If enough of us do it they'll give up. In dribs and drabs. Sheriffs Hennessey and Bacca last.