President Obama has been back at the gun-control push this week, the Senate is still mulling over their gun-control package that would include expanded background checks, and on Thursday morning, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a set of state laws banning high-capacity magazines. As the WSJ points out, however, since the Newtown massacre, there’s been a lot of action on the state level for expanding gun-rights as well:
Arkansas eliminated prohibitions on carrying firearms in churches and on college campuses. South Dakota authorized school boards to arm teachers. Tennessee passed a law allowing workers to bring guns to work and store them in their vehicles, even if their employer objects. Kentucky shortened the process for obtaining licenses to carry a concealed gun.
Those laws, along with the long odds for major federal gun-control legislation, show how the march toward expanded gun rights in recent years has hardly slowed since Mr. Obama pledged to use the “full force” of his office to tighten limits after 20 children and six adult staffers were killed at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
This year, five states have passed seven laws that strengthen gun restrictions, while 10 states have passed 17 laws that weaken them, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks and promotes gun-control laws. …
Among the bills awaiting governors’ signatures are a North Dakota measure that would eliminate prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons in churches and a Montana bill that would allow residents to carry a concealed gun without a permit. …
Obama and the Democrats are fond of insisting that the vast majority of voters are behind them and only the power of the NRA is stopping them from passing their desired measures, but the number of bills going through state legislatures that expand gun rights would seem to suggest otherwise. As Krauthammer pointed out last night:
The president is out there; it’s rather puzzling. He’s tilting at windmills and he will lose. The windmill is going to win on this one. He is not going to get anything of importance. He might eke out a weak compromise on background checks. But you have to ask yourself why is he doing this? You hear Pfeiffer implying that we’re going to blame the Republicans if this doesn’t pass, as if that will be political success for them. Yes, the national polls show a shift, at least a temporary shift, after Newtown.
But that’s not where elections are won or lost. They are won in the states and the districts. And the fact that there are so many senate democrats that are scared to vote on this, that don’t want to see it come on the floor.