After Parkland, gun-control advocates see turning point for new laws

Since the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre in February, gun-control advocates have said there is something different about the debate this year, an energy on the issue that is driving gun safety to the top of minds of suburban moms and younger, traditionally less engaged voters. How, or if, that affects the November midterm elections is to be determined. But there is an early manifestation of this newfound political energy: Gun-control advocates had their best year in state legislatures in recent history. 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: in the number of laws, the variety of the laws passed and the bipartisan support a number of them had. Republican governors in 15 states signed bills gun-control advocates supported. It is hard to overstate what a shift this is from last year, where gun-control groups were focused on trying to stop states from allowing guns in universities in churches. But after Americans lived through three of the deadliest mass shootings in its history, it was the pro-gun rights side that was on the defense in state legislatures in a way it has not been before. “The politics have shifted dramatically,” said Robin Lloyd, the government affairs director at Giffords. One of gun-control advocates’ biggest wins of the year came in Vermont, the wild West of gun laws (there basically are not […]

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