Tags: gop | gun laws | support | congress

Gun Laws Could Change Without GOP Support

Image: Gun Laws Could Change Without GOP Support
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By    |   Monday, 26 February 2018 10:23 AM

Even if Republicans do not fully embrace meaningful gun control, such measures still have a chance of advancing, FiveThirtyEight's Perry Bacon Jr. argues in an article on Monday.

Bacon said that although some Republicans are signaling support for gun control legislation, he does not count on them actually following through on the measures in a meaningful way, because the GOP has proposed similar restrictions after previous mass shootings, only to quietly drop them after media attention fades away.

However, he points to three more likely scenarios for significant change in American gun policy, the first of which is through state legislatures. Bacon notes that of the eight states where Democrats control both houses, only California has an "A" rating from Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

This means that there are seven other state legislators under Democratic control which have the political ability to make changes. One such example is Oregon, which currently only has a "C" rating.

However, following the Florida school mass shooting it is pushing for legislation that would bar gun ownership by people who have received a restraining order or been convicted of stalking, which is expected to be signed into law soon.

Bacon also suggests that there might be more reluctance to at least pass laws widening gun rights, especially on the national level.

He views this as a positive development, because he points out several examples where states that had high-level shooting incidents actually passed more measures expanding gun rights, after the media attention on the shootings had died down.

He cites in particular an analysis by The New York Times following the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 26 dead, including 20 first-graders.

The study showed that although in the year after the massacre there were 39 laws to restrict gun access passed in states nationwide, there were also 70 provisions to expand gun rights adopted during the same timeframe.

Bacon suggested that continued media pressure on the issue could make it more complicated for Republicans to advance new pro-gun measures, at least on the national level, where there is more attention given.

But previous experience shows it is far from a given that such media scrutiny will continue as other issue take precedence.

The other way for gun control legislation to actually happen is for Democrats to once again control Washington.

Although Bacon acknowledges that when they last did control both the legislative and executive branches, in 2009 and 2010, Democrats did little to limit gun access, the subsequent mass shootings over the years made it a major priority in the party to push more gun control measures.

Bacon suggests this makes it likely that the next Democratic president puts gun control at the top of the agenda, similar to how Barack Obama approached health care and the economic stimulus in the first year of his presidency.

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Even if Republicans do not fully embrace meaningful gun control, such measures still have a chance of advancing, FiveThirtyEight's Perry Bacon Jr. argues in an article on Monday.
gop, gun laws, support, congress
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2018-23-26
Monday, 26 February 2018 10:23 AM
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