BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, along with other local law enforcement leaders, voiced his concerns over a pending gun control ballot initiative Thursday morning.
The sheriff disagrees with the ideas behind the Safety for All initiative sponsored by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.
The initiative is awaiting qualification for the November ballot.
If passed, the state would regulate the sales of ammunition.
Under the measure, all buyers of ammunition would have to undergo a background check, there will also be a ban on the possession of magazines that hold 10 or more rounds of ammo.
"We're having a gang war in this county with gang members in retaliation, which has nothing to do with gun control, that's human behavior," said Youngblood.
Youngblood said the state needs to focus more on tougher sentencing when it comes to criminals, and not so much on restricting second amendment rights.
He said if this becomes law it won't stop the crimes or bring down the number of deaths we're currently seeing in Kern County, but instead make it difficult for law abiding citizens to defend themselves.
"The ones who aren't going to be armed, are the people who have the right to protect themselves from these predators," said Youngblood.
Ed Whiting, City of Taft Police Chief, also shares the same views as Youngblood, saying the key to lowering crime rates it to keep criminals locked up.
"Dumping inmates is not working and I think it's causing crime rate to go higher and I think we all see that," said Whiting. "Prop 47 is one of the most horrible proposition laws I've seen in the almost 40 years I've been in law enforcement."
Youngblood said, regardless of any gun control measures, criminals will find a way to get their hands on weapons.
"There's been laws against heroin use and methamphetamine use for how many years? Have we stopped it? No, because those people aren't following the law," he said.
Officials say if the act is passed, the California Department of Justice will have to grow by 200 more jobs.
"That's 200 more tables and chairs, computers, and phones. You have to rent, lease or buy office space for those people to track record and report on all those ammo sales," said Whiting.
$25 million dollars will also come out of the state's general fund, according to Whiting.
"That could be used for water storage, we're in a drought right now," said Whiting. "Who thinks this is a good idea?"
Both men encourage everyone who is pro-gun rights to learn about all proposed gun control legislation and vote.
"Make sure you stay informed understand what the consequences are, what the costs are," said Whiting. "If you don't feel comfortable, don't vote for it."