NRA troubles not slowing down their gains in state houses

Tipping point for the NRA

Led by NRA loyalists, barely slowed down by NRA financial and image problems, the supposed nonprofit is organizing state legislators to push through firearm deregulation bills, all towards the goal of selling more guns. These gun extremists are organizing in many states to pass laws that weaken gun safety regulations.

The bill topping the list they intend to pass decreases licensing requirements to obtain a firearms license. The NRA, a business which used to be a club originated to promote training for gun safety and firearm skills, now tries to eliminate firearm licenses in order to sell more guns.

Not interested in promoting firearm training or weeding out criminals, they argue that licensing restrictions are inconvenient for gun owners and causes “government red tape.” Active bills in Georgia, Alabama, Utah, Iowa, Tennessee and Indiana intend to eliminate the need to even obtain a license in order to carry guns. This year, a bill like this already passed into law in Montana.

In another effort, six state legislatures are conducting hearings and voting on right-to-kill legislation, or as the NRA calls it, stand-your-ground. The states attempting to either initiate or expand these laws with active bills are Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Arkansas, Hawaii and Ohio. These laws allow the shooting of anyone if the shooter can claim they were threatened. A threat could include a voice raised in anger, or a road rage incident.

In five states, the NRA is successfully pushing active bills to expand places gunners can bring loaded weapons. North Carolina and Florida want church goers to bring their guns with them on Sunday. In Missouri, the NRA want guns on buses, and in Arizona they want guns at public events and protests.

In South Dakota, North Dakota, Georgia, New Mexico and Montana, the NRA is pressing for laws that block government officials from restricting gun manufacturers or gun stores during a declared emergency. Unlike other businesses, those profiting from guns would be allowed to continue with business as usual. With no regard for the risks to the public during a pandemic, they are more concerned about any letup in gun sales.

These are the consequences of Republicans winning control over state houses in the last election. The Democrat’s success nationally in the Senate and the Presidency last year distracts us from the failure to win states houses. Gun fanatics, taking advantage of their legislative majority in states, are rushing to pass legislation that weaken gun laws.

On the other end, many gun violence prevention bills, though proposed, still sit at the starting gate. Even the visual evidence of firearm risks and threats of guns in the nations capitol haven’t stirred much action on banning firearms from state houses. Certainly, state legislatures are not trending towards gun reform measures.

In only two states, Washington and Oregon, are there actions to block firearm involvement at protests. A Washington bill passed the House that would ban openly carried firearms at protests. An Oregon bill allows government entities to ban guns from any government grounds.

There are only a few other active gun control bills of note this year: slight improvements in background checks in Washington and Virginia, and magazine capacity restrictions of assault weapons in Washington and Hawaii.

Republicans and particularly NRA members manage to call their state legislators urging them to pass bills that weaken firearm regulations. Until gun violence prevention supporters let their opinions be known to their legislators, gun proliferation will continue.