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San Diego Gun Owners Mobilize Against Proposition 63

San Diego Gun Owners Mobilize Against Proposition 63
San Diego Gun Owners Mobilize Against Proposition 63
San Diego Gun Owners Mobilize Against Proposition 63 GUEST: Michael Schwartz, executive director, San Diego County Gun Owners PAC

Today this San Diego County gun owners organization held an event to express their displeasure with newly signed California gun control measures and proposed gun regulations contained in Proposition 63. One of the supporters is Ron Marcus director of public outreach for the San Diego chapter of the Brady campaign to prevent gun violence is praising the measure. We want to try to find some commonsense regulation that can stem the tide of gun violence. The fact that we are having the conversation and this has progressed to a national level can only be a good thing. Joining me now is one of the organizers of today's event against the proposition Michael Schwartz is Executive Director of San Diego County gun owners. Can you explain why you decided to go ahead with your rally today? Right after news that gun violence claimed the life of a San Diego police officer? Obviously our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the police officer who passed and the officer who is still in critical condition. We grieve for the entire San Diego Police Department family and the entire San Diego community. Something that we should of our would've postponed, it would've done nothing to stop the tragedy but will waste precious resources on targeting law-abiding Californians instead of focusing on criminals who threaten lawsuit -- law enforcement. It was said you were going to demonstrate how gunowners can circumvent a Golam Rabbi altering weapons. In light of what has happened, what is the point of that? The first thing, even a gun owner who is opposed to the loss, they want to know how can they remain legal and we will fight the laws through the proper process. We are not circumventing, we are educating people on the law. They are not making assault weapons illegal, their expanding the definition of what an assault weapon is according to California to include commonly owned firearms. They are describing aesthetic features. We are showing is that these are the aesthetic features that California's now calling an assault weapon. The only way to comply is to register it as an assault weapon. If you don't want to comply with that we registering of your rifle, these are the aesthetic features your rifle cannot have in order to not be considered what California calls an assault weapon. The other states don't call it an assault rifle, their commonly owned, they are not exotic they are semi automatic rifles. We are saying these are these -- aesthetic features. If you don't have them on your raffle -- rifle they won't be considered an assault rifle. One sign state, requires background checks to purchase ammunition. Do you agree or disagree? It's expensive and impossible to implement criminals will go to Arizona or Nevada for ammunition. It's such a big bear of a law, they aren't sure how to implement it and what the costs are going to be. If I buy a $20 box of ammunition will I pay for he dollars for a background check or will it be required every 30 days. They rammed this through without doing any thinking or planning. It's going to take years to implement if they are even able to. No. We don't agree. Are you concerned by taking a hard-line against gun regulations during this time, a time when the nation has suffered so much gun violence. It will ultimately be counterproductive to your cause? I don't believe are taking a hard-line, we are stopping people that have taken a hard line against us. Gunowners for decades have been the ones who have compromised. It's getting to the point where it doesn't make any sense anymore. Laws aren't designed to turn law-abiding people into criminals. Laws are designed to preserve and protect your rights and punish criminals. It's getting to the point where the laws that are being passed, this will only affect people that are law-abiding. People that have magazines and they obtain them legally and they're going to be a criminal without even knowing it. That's not going to help anything. Turning law-abiding citizens into criminals doesn't stop crime, that's not the purpose of the law. We show that were reasonable and we are fighting against extremism. I've been speaking with Michael Schwartz executive director of San Diego County gun owners.

San Diego County Gun Owners PAC is starting to organize local opposition to Proposition 63, a collection of gun regulations that would make gun theft a felony and require gun owners to quickly report lost or stolen guns to police, among other provisions.

Spearheaded by Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Proposition 63 would also require background checks to buy ammunition and ban owning magazines with 11 or more bullets. But those provisions were already part of a series of bills signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month. Brown vetoed bills on reporting gun theft and making such theft a felony.

Michael Schwartz, executive director of San Diego County Gun Owners PAC, said the speedy reporting requirement for gun theft unfairly puts responsibility on victims. He is also sharing ways gun owners can modify their weapons to avoid the state's new ban on guns with so-called bullet buttons, which make it easier for shooters to quickly reload ammo magazines. Gun owners who had those weapons before 2017 would be exempt from the ban, but would have to register them with the state as assault weapons.


"Our members want to know, whether or not I agree with this law, what do I need to do in order to comply with this law?" Schwartz said. "These laws are affecting the law abiding."

Schwartz joins KPBS Midday Edition on Friday with more on what owners are doing to avoid registering their guns as assault weapons.