Let's Take A Step Back And Look At Our Successes
As state legislatures across the country begin to close and the activity heats up in other states, the untold story of the 2017 legislative session is that gun safety continues to be a winning issue in states across the country.
Bills to Protect Domestic Violence Victims Becoming Law in Red States
Since 2013, 23 states have moved to pass laws that keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. These measures have been enacted in every region of the country and have passed with strong bipartisan support.
In 2017 alone, Republican governors have signed bills to disarm domestic abusers in New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee and Utah – and more good bills are still in the works.
These bills are significant because there is a lethal link between gun violence and domestic violence: The presence of a gun in a domestic abuse situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed.
Guns on Campus Bills Face Defeat
This year 19 states have introduced legislation to legalize or expand the presence of guns on campus, and at the mid-point of many legislative sessions, legislatures in four states have rejected or failed to pass this legislation: Kentucky, New Mexico, West Virginia and Wyoming. In Wyoming, the bill was defeated in a bipartisan vote on the Senate floor.
Only one state, Arkansas, has enacted a guns on campus bill in 2017, and under pressure from the medical community and the Southeastern Conference, this law was modified soon afterward to prohibit firearms from college sporting events, day cares and hospitals.
In 2016, 18 state legislatures introduced guns on campus legislation, and our Moms Demand Action volunteers helped defeat it in 17 states.
Gun Safety Prevails in … Montana
Contrary to the gun lobby’s spin that only coastal elites favor common-sense gun laws, gun safety has prevailed all year in Montana, a state with a proud hunting and sporting tradition.
So far this year, Montana Governor Steve Bullock vetoed a bill that would have enacted permitless carry. And he returned a guns in restaurants bill to legislators stating that "Montanans recognize that guns and alcohol in public places don't mix." And the Montana House rejected a bill with bipartisan opposition that would have forced guns into K-12 schools.
Background Check Repeal Stopped in Iowa
There has been ample coverage of the fact that a recent Iowa bill makes Iowa only the second state to enact a new Stand Your Ground law since the killing of Trayvon Martin in 2012. That is dangerous indeed.
But the original version of House File 517 would have also repealed Iowa’s law requiring background checks on handgun sales. Another provision would have dismantled Iowa’s permit requirement for concealed carry and let people carry hidden, loaded handguns in Iowa without a permit.
The fact that lawmakers took these reckless provisions out of the bill during the legislative process is no accident. It is due to the hard work of committed Iowans, including Moms Demand Action volunteers, who testified in Des Moines and who showed up in district forum after district forum. And it reflects the broad recognition -- among both Democratic and Republican lawmakers—that the background check repeal and permitless carry provisions were far too extreme, even for a state with strong Republican majorities.