Ballot referendums to repeal Calf. gun control laws gaining steam

The VetoGunmageddon effort has pallets of petitions ready to hit the streets Aug. 12 (Photo:

The pro-gun repeal initiative effort has pallets of petitions ready to hit the streets Aug. 12 (Photo:

The organizer behind a grassroots effort to repeal a host of new gun control measures signed into law by California Gov. Jerry Brown says they will begin circulating petitions next week.

As previously reported, San Diego businessman Barry Bahrami filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s office on July 15 to repeal a half-dozen new laws signed by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month. The laws are set to take effect in 2017, but Bahrami and his fellow Second Amendment activists are planning to short circuit that from happening with the power of the ballot.

Last week Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office issued titles and summaries to the six proposals, clearing the path for petitions to circulate, and Bahrami says everything is ramping up for that to happen.

“We have more than 1,600 volunteers and 300 locations all over California who have signed up to participate in this effort. Petitions are now printing and we anticipate starting a massive petition drive around August 12th,” Bahrami told

The task before them: gather at least 365,000 signatures from registered voters on each of the petitions and turn them into the Secretary of State’s office by Sept. 29 to qualify for the November general election, a window of just over six weeks.

A site has been setup to get the word out to the state’s estimated 13 million gun owners, provide information about the issue, a searchable map where petitions will be available and collect donations to cover costs.

“Our opponents have millions of dollars available to them,” said Bahrami. “We are all volunteer and nobody is being paid anything. But we have costs.”

Bahrami explained that printing the petitions alone cost $47,000. So far, they have raised about $33,000, all from small donations, and the businessman’s own pocket.

“Not a lot in the grand scheme of things in this theatre but for a 100 percent grass root movement, it’s ridiculously cost prohibitive,” he said, pointing out that none of the big gun rights organizations have offered financial support for the effort.

“Frankly, I prefer it this way because if we can do this without a single large donation from any one individual or special interest then the people will own this one and what a statement that will make,” he told

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Prop. 63, to require background checks to buy ammunition and prohibit many standard detachable magazines, raised almost $4 million from big name celebrity donors and the state Democratic Party and picked up another $400,000 from Napster co-founder Sean Parker last month.

Bahrami is not discouraged.

“I am anticipating record turnout,” he says. “We are printing for one million signatures.”

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