For two years now we've been warning about the anti-gun crowd's planned "West Coast Wall" of gun control, and that, like all horrible ideas, it won't stop with Washington, Oregon, and California.
Aided by their shameless politicization of the Las Vegas and Parkland shootings, "gun-control advocates have had their best year in state legislatures in recent history," the Washington Post notes.
Since the Florida shooting, the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence counts 55 new gun-control laws passing in 26 states. That is far more success than they normally see, any way you measure it... either in the number of laws, or the variety of the laws passed and the bipartisan support a number of them had. Republican governors in 15 states signed bills that gun-control advocates supported.
The WaPo article breaks out four types of legislation passed at the state level: banning bump stocks, preventing domestic-violence abusers from getting a gun, Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO), and funding for urban gun violence prevention programs. Gun control groups have been focusing their energy on GVROs for a few years now as part of an overall strategy they discussed with The Hill (our emphasis added):
They compare their strategy to the fight to legalize same-sex marriage, which started in a few states before snowballing across the country.
"Our goal is in fact a state-by-state strategy, given how intractable Congress is. It’s not unlike what you saw with the marriage equality arc,” Folmar said. “They started to build momentum state by state, and as more and more people lived in marriage equality states, momentum built.”
This year’s [Washington State] measure to limit access to firearms for people under protective orders, Initiative 1491, is modeled on legislation that has passed in states like California, Connecticut and Indiana. If it is successful, it too will be exported to other states. Stephanie Ervin, who is running the pro-1491 campaign, said she expected a similar measure to appear on the ballot in Oregon.
FPC closely monitored the gun control lobby's spending during that cycle, noting in which states and for which politicians and initiatives dollars were spent. Then we did the same analysis for prior years and a pattern emerged, which we wrote about in early 2017. Looking at the GVRO issue, what's happened this year fits the pattern we found.
Gun-control advocates witnessed the most bipartisan enthusiasm for their cause when it came to restricting potentially dangerous people's access to guns. There were a spate of new laws allowing family members or law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily take away someone's access if they think that person is imminently dangerous. Before 2018, only three states had such extreme risk protection orders available. Now, there are 11, including Illinois, Vermont and Florida.
Note that WaPo doesn't use the terminology "restraining order," substituting "protection order." That's a very deliberate language shift based on polling.
Sadly, the gun grabbers are being assisted by people and groups who claim to support the Second Amendment but loudly proclaim support for GVROs, such as Marco Rubio, National Review's David French, and the NRA.
Their biggest weapon, they admit, is exploiting the deaths of high school students to instill fear in both parents and politicians. "Without a doubt the horror of what happened in Parkland has made a difference,” Lloyd, with the Giffords Center, said, “because there is this fear in communities across the country: Are we going to be next?”
We've seen the pattern and document the totalitarian march from statehouse to statehouse. We must stay informed, engaged, and, most of all, fight back.