SAN FRANCISCO -- Voters in the Santa Clara County city of Sunnyvale were overwhelmingly backing a host of gun safety measures Tuesday that would put the relatively safe city at the forefront of a nationwide conversation on firearms regulation.
Sunnyvale's measure was passing with two-thirds of the vote.
It would require residents to report lost or stolen weapons within 48 hours of the discovery and to keep weapons safely stored. It would also make it illegal to possess ammunition magazines of 10 or more rounds, and require those purchasing ammunition to provide documentation that would be kept on file by store owners for two years.
The measure was promoted by Sunnyvale Mayor Anthony Spitaleri, who said his frustration with congressional and state leaders had pushed him to act. Sunnyvale has a low crime rate, but so did Newtown, Conn., and Columbine, Colo., where gun massacres occurred, he noted.
"People just finally think something has to be done, and it has to be at the local level," he said earlier Tuesday. "We just can’t rely anymore on our state or federal officials.... We should not accept it as a norm where every day we pick up the paper and someone’s been shot with a gun."
Opponents noted that Sunnyvale's crime rate was "almost zero," that criminals would not abide by the laws and that they were sure to be challenged in court.
"The question you have to ask yourself is this: Do you as a Sunnyvale resident want this city to spend its limited time and money fighting a decades-long court battle over ordinances that really won’t do very much to improve this city’s safety and well-being?" they asked. "Or would you rather that money and time went to something else, like hiring more cops or creating more after-school programs designed to keep kids busy and off the street?"
[For the record, 11:03 a.m. PST Nov. 6: An earlier version of this post quoted Sunnyvale Mayor Anthony Spitaleri as saying: "We just can’t rely anymore on our state or local officials." He actually said: "We just can’t rely anymore on our state or federal officials."]