Tags: Gun Control | Gun Rights | gun control | handguns | nra | congress

Gun Control Advocates Gearing Up for Tough Time

By    |   Friday, 02 January 2015 02:28 PM

Gun control groups are getting ready for the Republican-controlled Congress, which they think will move to expand gun rights while killing strict firearms laws.

Notices are going out from anti-gun groups like the Americans for Responsible Solutions PAC, founded and led by former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, soliciting cash and ideas for standing their ground against Republican lawmakers, reports The Washington Times.

The PAC's email included a link to a survey with more than a dozen questions about ways to make the group's efforts more effective, including ballot initiatives or pushes for state and federal laws.

Another group, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, plans to fight to hold its agenda in Congress, with executive director Josh Horwitz saying he is looking ahead to the next congressional election cycle and a new Congress in 2017.

"We'll probably be playing a little more defense, but I think we're optimistic that we'll be able to tamp down any type of [National Rifle Association] meddling and then be in a better position in 2016 to continue our work," he told The Times. "We're not going to be going away, I can tell you that much."

Horwitz noted that many of the Democrats who lost were from red states and supported gun rights. Now, even though the party is in the congressional minority, the Democrats who are left are more united in opposing gun-rights legislation and will "be able to hopefully stop most of the NRA's agenda."

Andrew Arulanandam, spokesman for the NRA, said his group is not taking anything for granted and will continue its fight.

"If there is one thing we've learned, it is the gun ban and gun control advocates are extremely well-funded, they are really adept at exploiting tragedy, and nothing, including logic, stops them from pushing their political agenda," he said.

Some groups poured millions into getting gun-control advocates elected, but lost.

Americans for Responsible Solutions fought for Rep. Ron Barber's re-election. The former congressional aide had succeeded Giffords as representative after she was shot during a rally in 2011. Barber was also injured in the incident, and lost his race to GOP challenger Martha McSally in November.

But other groups said they are shifting away from a potentially unfriendly Congress and focusing on state legislative fights instead.

Gun-control advocates also say the confirmation of Surgeon General Vivek Murthy will boost their cause.

The NRA opposed Murthy because he is an advocate for gun-control laws. However, Murthy pledged during his confirmation hearings that he would not use the office as "a bully pulpit for gun control."

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Gun control groups are getting ready for the Republican-controlled Congress, which they think will move to expand gun rights while killing strict firearms laws.
gun control, handguns, nra, congress
Friday, 02 January 2015 02:28 PM
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