Gun-Control Groups Are Growing in Numbers While Hitting a Federal Wall

Gun-Control Groups Are Growing in Numbers While Hitting a Federal Wall

Yet the leaders say they have little to show for their recent efforts in Washington. “We’ve had very few concrete wins,” said Robin Lloyd, managing director of Giffords, a group advocating for gun safety that sprang from the 2011 shooting in Arizona that targeted then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Gun-control activists say they haven’t succeeded because of the nearly unified opposition of Republican lawmakers, who say more restrictions aren’t the way to reduce violence and may violate the Second Amendment. Their side also remains vastly outspent on lobbying by gun-rights groups, despite funding from the likes of billionaire Michael Bloomberg. And Democratic politicians acknowledge that pro-gun voters place a higher priority on the issue than voters who favor gun control. The political spending of gun-rights groups like the NRA far exceeds that of gun-control groups. The NRA’s headquarters in Fairfax, Va. Gun-rights groups and Republicans counter that their opponents are ineffective because the Second Amendment is a bedrock American principle. They criticize groups seeking legislation in the wake of shootings as politicizing the issue. Activists have logged victories in state capitals, such as in Florida raising the age for rifle purchases to 21 from 18 and imposing a three-day waiting period in the aftermath of a 19-year-old’s shooting spree at a Parkland, Fla., high school. But they say the state-by-state patchwork of varied gun laws is far from ideal. Americans purchased guns in record numbers in 2020, with dealers estimating 40% of sales going to first-time buyers. Shootings also are on […]

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