Voters in California, Washington, Maine and Nevada will be deciding on gun control measures heavily funded by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group this November. The Hill reports:
In Maine and Nevada, voters will decide whether to expand background check requirements to include private gun sales.
In Washington, the initiative would expand bans on gun ownership by changing language tied to domestic violence and “extreme risk protection orders.” This push comes just two years after Bloomberg’s Everytown donated one million to secure universal background checks in Washington state.
In California, the ballot initiative (Gavin Newsom’s Prop. 63) concerns the implementation of a type of ammunition background check that differs from the one Governor Jerry Brown (D) signed on July 1. In Maine and Nevada, the ballot initiatives would implement the same failed universal background checks that already exist in California and Washington state.
Since numerous gun control measures have failed at the federal level, advocates are using a state-by-state approach and are boldly spelling out their strategy.
Gun control advocates in several states say they are turning their attention outside the Beltway. They hope to build momentum first by expanding background checks, then later by tackling other specific gun controls that poll well with voters.
Kate Folmar, spokeswoman for Everytown, explained:
“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. They started to build momentum state by state, and as more and more people lived in marriage equality states, momentum built.”
The strategy is already in place and working. For example, Washington’s Initiative 1491 is modeled after legislation already in place in California, Indiana, and Connecticut. Stephanie Ervin, who is running the Initiative 1491 campaign, told The Hill she expected a similar proposal to be on the ballot in Oregon and that gun control issues “are at a real tipping point.”
Second Amendment advocates would agree with Ms. Ervin that these issues are at “a real tipping point.” Organizations such as Everytown for Gun Safety are so confident in their strategy to deprive people of their constitutional rights that they’re handing over the playbook. The question now is, what will their opponents do with that playbook?