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Sunnyvale Voters Approve Gun Control By Wide Margin

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AR-15 rifle with a "bullet button." (CBS)

AR-15 rifle with a “bullet button.” (CBS)

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SUNNYVALE (CBS SF) — Ballot measures to adopt gun safety laws and increase hotel taxes appear to have passed in Sunnyvale tonight while voters in parts of San Jose, Campbell and Saratoga favored renewing a parcel tax to pay for high school instruction.

Measure C, which asked Sunnyvale voters to approve four city ordinances related to gun safety and the controls on ammunition sales, passed with more than 66 percent of the vote, far more than the simple majority it needed to become law, according to unofficial election results.

The measure would require gun owners to inform police within 48 hours if their guns are lost or stolen and to store their guns in a locked container or with trigger locks when not in use to avoid accidental shootings.

Measure C also would ban the sale of ammunition magazines with 10 bullets or more within the city and make gun sellers log and track all sales of ammunition, including requiring buyers to provide a form of identification.

Sunnyvale Mayor Anthony Spitaleri, who helped coordinate the campaign to get Measure C on the ballot, said the aim was to promote the safe use and storage of guns as well as prevent a mass shooting like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where 26 people died last December.

“We’re really pleased,” Spitaleri said about the passage of the measure. “Our community has sent a clear message that they want a community that is safe.”

Officials from three other cities have contacted him asking how they could have the same laws adopted in their cities, according to Spitaleri.

The four ordinances passed by voters in the measure go into effect on Jan. 1, and will not infringe on gun ownership, Spitaleri said.

“Not one of these laws takes away the rights of gun owners,” Spitaleri said.

Sunnyvale Citizens for a Better Community, the group that opposed Measure C, warned that if passed the measure could lead to civil suits filed against the city.

The remaining measures in Santa Clara County included three others out of Sunnyvale.

Measure A, to amend Sunnyvale’s city charter to hold the city’s municipal elections in even-number years instead of odd-numbered years, starting in 2016, passed with 70 percent of the vote, though it needed only a majority of voters to win.

Measure B, which asked voters to increase the daily tax charged to people who stay at hotels or motels in Sunnyvale for 30 days or less, from 9.5 percent to 10.5 percent, with the funds used to back basic services such as public safety and street maintenance, passed with nearly 68 percent of the vote.

Measure D, out of Palo Alto, went down to defeat, with 56 percent voting against the measure.

The measure called for rezoning an area along Maybell Avenue in Palo Alto from low density residential and multiple family residential to “planned community overlay,” allowing 12 single family units and 60 affordable units for seniors.

Measure E, covering four high schools in parts of west San Jose, Campbell and Saratoga, asked voters to renew an existing parcel tax of $85 per year on property owners within the boundaries of the Campbell Union High School District to pay for a variety of academic, art and vocation classes and to retain and recruit teachers.

That measure, which required two-thirds of voters to vote yes in order to pass, received far more than that with just under 77 percent.

Measure G, asking if the Sunnyvale School District should issue $96 million in bonds, overseen by a citizen’s committee, to pay for upgrading and modernizing school facilities and technology, passed with 67 percent of the vote, above the required 55 percent for passage.

Measure H, a proposed $164 yearly parcel for seven years for the Loma Prieta Joint Union School District in Los Gatos to pay for teacher salaries and core academic classes, which needed two-thirds of the vote to win, passed with almost 77 percent of voters in favor.

In the three races for Sunnyvale City Council Tuesday night, Gustav Larsson won Seat 1 with 53.7 percent of the vote over opponent Andy Frazer;

Glenn Hendricks prevailed in the race for Seat 2 with 57.8 percent over Steve Hoffman and Gustavo Magana; and Seat 3 incumbent James “Jim” Griffith beat Tappan “Tap” Merrick with 66 percent of the unofficial tally.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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