While President Obama has been largely silent on the gun issue, states are engaged in a new and largely successful push for expanded gun rights, passing measures that have been rejected in the past, the New York Times reports. The Virginia General Assembly approved a bill last week that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are considering nearly a half dozen pro-gun measures, including one that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Montana and Tennessee lawmakers passed measures last year – the first of their kind – to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold, and used in state. Gun control advocates say Obama has failed to deliver on campaign promises to close a loophole that allows unlicensed dealers at gun shows to sell firearms without background checks; to revive the assault weapons ban; and to push states to release data about guns used in crimes. He signed bills allowing guns to be carried in national parks and in luggage on Amtrak. “We expected a very different picture at this stage,” said Paul Helmke of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, which gives the administration a failing grade in all seven of the group's major indicators.