States Move Ahead of Feds on Gun Policy, With a Patchwork of Results


As momentum for new gun legislation wanes in Washington, D.C., state legislators are fashioning their own response to the Newtown massacre, resulting in a patchwork that tightens restrictions in some places and eases them in others, reports the Los Angeles Times. The measures show how much more nimble states can be than the federal government. California, New York. and Connecticut are among those that have moved to stiffen already tough gun laws. Many more, including Ohio, Michigan, and Arkansas, have acted to protect the rights of gun owners and make it easier to possess a firearm. The result is a significant disparity between states – some side by side – as President Obama pushes for new federal gun controls. Speaking in Colorado yesterday, Obama called that state “a model for what’s possible.” Adam Winkler, a UCLA law professor who has written about the politics surrounding guns, said it was not surprising that states had acted while the U.S. Senate was just preparing to take up the issue on the floor. Many states, even large ones such as California and Texas, are politically “more homogenous than the federal government,” Winkler said. That eases the way toward consensus.

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