Gun control supporters are celebrating President Barack Obama’s immediate but unimplemented executive orders by pledging to renew their efforts to lobby for strict gun laws during 2016 state legislative sessions across the country.
The gun control lobby scored two big victories in 2015 in Delaware and Oregon. In October, Delaware became the ninth state to pass a law designed to prevent convicted domestic violence abusers from legally owning firearms, while in Oregon, the passage of Senate Bill 941 requires background checks for private party gun sales.
The menace in the muck: Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has pledged to spend at least $50 million of his own money to get tougher gun laws across the country. He spent almost $800,000 on lobbying during Oregon’s 2015 legislative session, making it the biggest spender in the state last year.
“When a New York billionaire comes to a state like Oregon with that much money, obviously it’s a game changer,” Kevin Starrett, executive director of the Oregon Firearms Federation, told the Associated Press.
There were victories for gun-owners as well. Texas passed an open-carry law that allows handgun license holders to carry their guns in visible holsters.
It’s doubtful Bloomberg’s bucks would have much traction in Texas, where Obama’s immediate but unimplemented executive orders were greeted with scorn.
Gov. Greg Abbott told the Associated Press that the president’s executive actions “trampled the purpose and substance of the Bill of Rights.”
Abbott said Texas “will take every action to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens” from “the president’s latest attempt to undermine our liberty.”
The next showdown could be in Nevada, a traditionally red state, such as Oregon, where gun control advocates have gathered enough signatures to put an initiative on next November’s ballot that would require background checks for all gun sales in the state.
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