“In the last several years, we’ve had a lot of state legislatures take a position that we think is pretty bright, that firearms legislation belongs in the hands of state legislatures so that you have uniform firearms laws from one end of the state to the other,” said Dave Workman, a senior editor of TheGunMag.com and communications director at the Second Amendment Foundation.
“I think there have been more wins for firearms rights than for the gun-control crowd,” Workman said.
Following the massacre in Newtown, President Obama and congressional Democrats used national outrage to push a measure to tighten background checks at gun shows and in private sales.
But the measure couldn’t overcome a filibuster in the Senate, even with overwhelming public support, and even if it had, Republican control of the House would have stymied any gun-control bill that passed without the backing of the NRA.
In lieu of legislative action, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that the administration has implemented executive actions “that were part of the president’s plan to take action to reduce gun violence.”
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), a leading proponent of the background check legislation, said Monday’s shooting should lead to a renewed debate.
“Congress must stop shirking its responsibility and resume a thoughtful debate on gun violence in this country. We must do more to stop this endless loss of life,” she said in a statement Monday.
But gun-rights advocates are promising consequences at the ballot box if gun-control measures make it through state legislatures. This month, two Colorado state senators who had voted for new gun-control measures lost recall elections funded in part by the NRA.
If gun-control advocates could see any silver lining in their losses in Colorado, it’s that a new set of allies with deep pockets is beginning to engage. New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg (I) and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad both sent six-figure checks to help the two Democratic candidates.
“Clearly, there are significant new resources that are coming to this issue,” said Gross, of the Brady Campaign. He cited Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Bloomberg’s group, and Americans for Responsible Solutions, a gun-control organization spearheaded by shooting victim and former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.). “We’re all working towards the main goals and creating a synergy among our organizations, and that does start to shift the balance around TV political advertisements, which the NRA previously had cornered the market on.”