Even After Florida, Pro-Gun State Laws Have Better Odds

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In the two weeks since the Florida school massacre, state lawmakers around the U.S. have introduced bills to ban bump stocks, ban assault weapons, and expand background checks, and also to arm teachers, lighten penalties for carrying without a permit, and waive handgun permit fees, Stateline reports. If history foretells, the gun-rights bills will have a better chance. In the years since Sandy Hook, when 26 were slain in 2012, states have enacted nearly 600 new gun laws, according to data compiled separately by the National Rifle Association and the Giffords Law Center to Reduce Gun Violence. Nearly two-thirds of those were backed by the NRA.

It is “indisputably true” that there have been far more new laws that loosen gun restrictions than tighten them, said Michael Hammond of Gun Owners of America. Most states that expanded access to firearms had Republican-controlled legislatures. “If you are in favor of the Second Amendment, grow up with guns, are comfortable with guns, don’t want to see kids turned into sitting ducks, you’re more likely to say the solution is more guns,” Hammond said. By the NRA’s count, governors since 2013 have signed 382 “pro-gun” bills. Governors in Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas and Texas, signed bills that would allow people with concealed carry licenses to bring guns onto college campuses, joining seven states with similar laws. New laws in at least five states — Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and West Virginia — allow gun owners to carry loaded firearms without a permit or training. So-called permitless carry laws now are in effect in more than 10 states. Also in the past five years, 210 “gun safety laws” were enacted in 45 states, says the Giffords Law Center, a nonprofit named after former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who survived an assassination attempt in 2011.

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