Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood and Taft Police Chief Ed Whiting held a press conference at the Liberty Bell Thursday morning to express concern about "The Safety for All Act".
The initiative, led by Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, focuses on gun control. Some of the elements of the initiative center on background checks when purchasing ammunition, seizure of firearms from convicted felons and outlawing large capacity magazines over 11 rounds.
Sheriff Youngblood says this initiative would hurt residents and law enforcement.
"You can't legislate people. We have to have fair laws and laws that hold people accountable," Sheriff Youngblood says.
Chief Whiting agrees.
"If you want to make some laws, how about doing something about mental health issues. Here's a thought, let's put more people in jail that commit crimes. But nobody wants to do that right now."
Newsom's initiative campaign issued this statement in response to today's press conference:
There will always be certain people who blindly follow the NRA and automatically oppose all common-sense reforms to reduce gun violence - but most Californians - including many in law enforcement - support Newsom's initiative to keep guns and ammo from dangerous people.
In fact, a key provision in the initiative to ensure people who steal guns cannot own them was drafted at the specific request of law enforcement professionals.
While the initiative has not qualified for the November ballot, Sheriff Youngblood said he wants residents to go out and vote against it.
"Every citizen in this state, in this country, has a 2nd amendment right to possess firearms and you can't erode that a little piece at a time...This is wrong. They're taking your rights away. Don't stand for it."