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Monday, January 5, 2015

Gun Ban Lobby Looks to States to Make Progress

The New York Times had this article last Friday on how the gun ban lobby is looking to states to try and get what they can't get at the federal level:
After a victory in November on a Washington State ballot measure that will require broader background checks on gun buyers, groups that promote gun regulations have turned away from Washington and the political races that have been largely futile. Instead, they are turning their attention — and their growing wallets — to other states that allow ballot measures.  
An initiative seeking stricter background checks for certain buyers has qualified for the 2016 ballot in Nevada, where such a law was passed last year by the Legislature and then vetoed by the governor. Advocates of gun safety — the term many now use instead of “gun control” — are seeking lines on ballots in Arizona, Maine and Oregon as well.
The story also mentioned Terry McAuliffe's effort to push gun control during the 2015 General Assembly:
Last month, Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, which has been the source of many illegally obtained guns in other states, proposed the restoration of the state’s limit on handgun sales to one a month to slow the “iron highway,” a nickname for gunrunning up Interstate 95 to states to the north. He would also seek mandatory background checks on gun sales at firearm shows, and end issuing gun permits to anyone restrained under domestic violence orders of protection.

“I own three guns,” said Mr. McAuliffe, a Democrat. “I love to take my three boys hunting. This is not gun restriction, this is anticrime. I couch it in economic terms.”
The thing is, nothing McAuliffe has proposed, which include so-called "universal" background checks and gun rationing, will do nothing to reduce crime.  In fact, since the repeal of Virginia's one gun-a-month law in 2012, Virginia's crime rate has continued it's downward spiral.  Between 2006 and 2012, firearm sales increased 101% while crime dropped 28%. 

Thankfully, even Senate Majority Leader Tommy Norment, who voted against repealing Virginia's gun rationing law gave McAuliffe's proposals a thumbs down:
The prospects for his gun proposals did not look great out of the gate. The governor “knows refighting the one-gun-a-month battle will not be productive,” Thomas K. Norment Jr., the Republican majority leader of the Virginia legislature, said in a statement.
It's not just Congress that the gun ban lobby is hoping to go around, in those states that allow referendum, they will look to even get around state legislatures.  Virginia is not one of the 17 states that allow ballot referendum.

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