The following is an excerpt from Joseph Ax | November 8, 2016 | reuters.com |
Gun control-related ballot measures in four states are expected to pass on Tuesday, opinion polls show, after gun safety advocates poured a massive amount of money into backing the initiatives.
In Maine and Nevada, residents will vote on whether to mandate universal background checks for firearm sales, including private handgun transactions.
If those two measures pass, half of all Americans would live in states that have such expanded checks. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., have already approved similar laws. (Graphic: Gun issues on the ballot here)
Voters in Washington state, meanwhile, will consider allowing judges to bar people from possessing guns if they pose a danger to themselves or to others, such as accused domestic abusers. In California, a referendum would ban large-capacity ammunition magazines and require certain people to pass a background check to buy ammunition.
The U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, and gun rights advocates fiercely contest any attempt to restrict that freedom.
The votes in Republican-leaning Maine and Nevada represent a key test of the gun control movement's decision to turn to a state-by-state strategy after efforts to pass nationwide legislation failed in Congress.
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