Pro-gun-rights activists in California are crediting their constituents with helping defeat a state Assembly bill that would have banned new ownership and importation of .50-caliber rifles.

A.B. 2222 would have outlawed the sale and ownership of the firearms in the state, as well as certain types of ammunition.

The Assembly’s Public Safety Committee, in a vote Tuesday, defeated the legislation 4-2 with one abstention. The committee was originally scheduled to vote on the measure April 2, but a spokesman told WND the vote had been delayed.

The bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-Hollywood.

In a statement, Citizens of America, a California-based pro-gun-rights group that opposed the bill, said it did not normally ask recipients of its electronic updates to contact lawmakers about gun-related issues. But when it came to A.B. 2222, “we didn’t think [the opposition campaign] was being done effectively, and therefore [we] jumped in.”

The group said it “focused on this state bill because of California’s enormous political influence.” The group said that “laws passed and accepted by the people of California often form the basis of national laws. …”

That was especially true of gun-control laws, COA said, pointing out that after California adopted so-called “assault weapons” bans, federal lawmakers adopted it in a 1994 crime bill.

The bill, if it had passed, would have labeled .50-caliber rifles – called “sniper rifles” by political opponents – as public nuisances subject to stiff regulation.

“Existing law requires, except as specified, for the destruction, as a nuisance, of a machine gun possessed in violation of law,” said a summary of the measure. “This bill would similarly require, except as specified, for the destruction, as a nuisance, of a .50-caliber sniper weapon possessed in violation of [the] law.”

COA recommended that gun-rights supporters contact committee members thanking them for killing the measure.

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