When the Virginia legislature passed a bill allowing people to carry guns in bars if they have a permit, police chiefs opposed it but Gov. Bob McDonnell signed it; it will take effect next week. Stateline.org says it represents a fruitful year for gun-rights advocates in state legislatures. Tennessee passed a law similar to Virginia's, over the veto of Gov. Phil Bredesen. Georgia lawmakers lifted a prohibition against drinking alcohol while carrying a gun in public, and made it legal for people to carry guns in some areas of airports. Indiana allowed employees to take guns to work if they're kept out of sight in a locked vehicle on a company parking lot.
Next week, gun-rights advocates may have even more to cheer about. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court is likely to decide that Chicago’s ban on handguns violates its residents Second Amendment rights to bear arms. That could open more state gun-control laws to legal challenges. Stanford law Prof. Robert Weisberg says, “There’s no question that there will be a huge increase in lawsuits against lots of state and local laws.” Still, Brian Malte of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence points to states like California, Illinois and much of the Northeast, where he says gun advocates have largely failed to make inroads.