Four states had gun control measures on the ballot, and only one chose to protect the rights of law-abiding residents.
Voters in Maine rejected a measure that would have required universal background checks for sales between private parties and at gun shows.
Gun rights advocates contend these kind of checks would result in a federal database of gun owners, which might make it easier for the government to confiscate firearms from law-abiding citizens, while criminals get to keep theirs.
From the Christian Science Monitor:
Proponents of the measures hailed their victories in California, Nevada, and Washington State as evidence that their patchwork approach to reforming gun-control laws nationwide, one state at a time, is gaining steam. The defeat of Maine’s well-funded ballot initiative (52 percent to 48 percent), however, could serve as a lesson for those pushing for stricter gun policy.
“I think there’s two lessons that gun control advocates should take out of this,” Mark Brewer, a political science professor at the University of Maine, tells The Christian Science Monitor. First, they should be wary of coming across as “meddlesome big-city outsiders” running a campaign in a state that is not their own, he says. Second, they should carefully craft proposed policies to avoid unintended consequences.
On the other side of the country, California voters decided to restrict gun rights. Criminals don’t obey gun laws, but the people voted to require residents to submit to background checks to buy ammunition and magazines. Ammunition sellers now need a license.
Gun rights supporter Craig DeLuz said the measure “is another attempt by [Lt. Gov. Gavin] Newsom and his 1%, elitist friends to attack law-abiding Californians. They want to replace the ‘War on Drugs’ with ‘The War on law-abiding gun owners’so they can continue locking up young black and Latino men.’
Voters in Nevada passed a law that requires gun buyers to undergo a background check from a licensed gun dealer, and Washington voters approved a measure that would temporarily bar a resident from buying a gun if the person’s family, household members, or law enforcement are concerned that he might harm himself or others. One can imagine how this Second Amendment-restricting measure can be abused.
What will the election of a pro-gun rigths president and an existing pro-gun rights Congress mean for state gun control laws?
BearingArms.com compiled a list of measures the Republican president and Republican Congress can push. Gun rights proponents especially might appreciate nationalizing concealed carry reciprocity and background check reform.
Photo credit: By glasgows – flickr, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons