Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

Monday, October 19, 2020

Gun Control May be Wasting Away, But Not Because of COVID

A recent article on a gun control news site laments that the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted ballot initiatives to expand gun bans and restrictions. Initiatives in Florida, Oklahoma, Ohio and Oregon have stalled, allegedly due to the difficulty in collecting signatures. “Without the pandemic, we certainly would have been able to collect the signatures that we needed,” says a supporter of the Oregon initiatives.    

Unpacking this “but for COVID” assertion more closely indicates that these gun control initiatives were not exactly slated for the slam-dunk success that their proponents would have voters believe.

In Florida, an NRA-supported challenge succeeded in getting a misleading gun ban kicked off the ballot. Anti-gun group Ban Assault Weapons Now (BAWN), a project of several gun control groups including the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and David Hogg's March For Our Lives, had attempted to place the gun ban on the ballot in 2020, but failed to obtain the required signatures. Having secured roughly 175,000 signatures, in recent months the group's goals shifted to placing the measure on the 2022 ballot. With the Florida Supreme Court's decision, gun control advocates will have to start the ballot measure procedure over from scratch if they intend to continue this attack on Floridians' Second Amendment rights.

The Oklahoma ballot initiative, State Question No. 809 to rescind the state’s constitutional carry law, was already going nowhere fast. The campaign to undo the 2019 law had bounced from failure to failure before being halted by a court decision on June 23. In that ruling, a nine-judge panel of the Oklahoma Supreme Court unanimously concluded that the language of SQ 809 was inaccurate, misleading, and legally insufficient. SQ 809 was declared invalid and ordered removed from the November 3, 2020 ballot.

Rep. Jason Lowe (D-Oklahoma City), a primary sponsor of SQ 809, is quoted as saying that, “if the pandemic hadn’t happened, he’d have amended the language and gotten the measure in front of voters in November.” This is extremely doubtful. Rep. Lowe’s earlier referendum petition on the carry law (State Question No. 803) was dismissed by a court in October 2019 for being far short of the signature threshold needed to get SQ 803 on the ballot. A news article describing the fallout of the June 23 court decision acknowledged that the problem was timing. Lowe’s campaign to repeal the carry law would “not be able to start collecting signatures immediately,” and was “unlikely to have enough time to collect and turn in 178,958 signatures before the secretary of state’s Aug. 24 deadline for petitions to qualify for the November ballot.”

Timing was also the critical issue in Ohio. The push for an initiative petition demanding so-called “universal background checks” began in 2016, although the petition itself was not filed until three years later. The Ohio Attorney General rejected the petition summary because it was not “a fair and truthful statement” of the law being proposed. A new petition was submitted in July 2019, with the goal of collecting enough signatures to get the measure on the 2020 ballot. By pre-COVID December, though, the proponents announced they were pushing the timing back, with a new target ballot date in 2021. None of these delays can be due to pandemic-based stay-home orders.

The Oregon initiatives are not a straightforward case of pandemic postponement, either. In 2018, Initiative Petition 43, to impose a ban on commonly owned semi-automatic firearms and standard capacity magazines, was invalidated by the Oregon Supreme Court in a lawsuit brought by the NRA and other petitioners. Backers of the initiative opted to drop their efforts to get the measure on the 2018 ballot and to focus, instead, on the 2020 election. The sponsors of IP 43 subsequently brought forward three gun control initiative petitions, IP 60, 61, and 62. Although the NRA again challenged the ballot title language, after some changes to the language the Oregon Supreme Court approved the ballot titles in April. A news article states the petitioners had originally planned to “select one petition to gather signatures for after proposal language has been approved,” but no signatures had been submitted for any of these petitions to qualify for the 2020 ballot.

The narrative favored by gun control advocates is that their measures represent the views of the overwhelming majority of voters (assertions that “81 percent of voters in Oklahoma oppose permitless carry,” and “90% of Ohioans support background checks,” for example).

Before COVID provided an excuse for the failure of these measures to get on the ballot, many similar initiatives that were voted on were either rejected outright or passed by much smaller margins than would be expected given the claims of overwhelming support. A 2016 ballot initiative for universal background checks in Nevada was approved by just 50.45% of voters (but once passed, was found to be unenforceable as written). Question 3, a background check initiative in Maine that year, was rejected by voters.    

The fact that initiatives on issues other than increased burdens on gun owners will be voted on in Oklahoma, Oregon and across America this November undermines the argument that the pandemic has wiped out gun control initiatives in 2020. A more plausible explanation is that now, with gun sales continuing to break records and an unprecedented number of first-time gun owners, Americans are less interested than ever in ineffectual restrictions on rights and freedoms.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Covid-19 gun control
TRENDING NOW
Did Joe Finally Admit His Anti-Gun Agenda’s True Goal

News  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Did Joe Finally Admit His Anti-Gun Agenda’s True Goal

Last weekend, when four hostages were taken at Congregation Beth Israel Synagogue in Colleyville, Texas, countless people remained transfixed on their televisions and computers, awaiting the outcome. Fortunately, the hostages were able to free themselves. ...

Gun Control Group Hopes to Smear U.S. Firearms Industry with New Website

News  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Gun Control Group Hopes to Smear U.S. Firearms Industry with New Website

We all knew who the finger-pointers and tattletales were in junior high school. A disproportionate number of them, it seems, now populate America’s anti-gun lobby.

Virginia: Extreme Bill Will Ban Home Defense & End Youth Hunting

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Virginia: Extreme Bill Will Ban Home Defense & End Youth Hunting

Though a pro-Second Amendment majority sits in the House of Delegates this session, that’s not stopping anti-gun lawmakers from continuing to push the same radical gun control they’ve pushed for the past two years. Here ...

Advocacy Isn’t Science

News  

Monday, January 24, 2022

Advocacy Isn’t Science

Everytown for Gun Safety produced a report that received favorable coverage on CNN and in The Hill without so much as a basic due-diligence level of questioning. True journalism has been replaced with activism in many newsrooms, so allow ...

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

News  

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Biden Administration Finalizes “New” Firearm Storage Rule

On January 3, the Biden Administration’s Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that it would be finalizing a new rule on firearm storage for Federal Firearm Licensees (FFLs). The DOJ additionally announced an update to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, ...

NRA Wins Case Against Los Angeles County

News  

Thursday, January 20, 2022

NRA Wins Case Against Los Angeles County

The Ninth Circuit sided with the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) on Thursday when it struck down a Los Angeles County order that forced gun stores and shooting ranges to close in ...

Indiana: Lawful Carry Stalls In Senate

Friday, January 21, 2022

Indiana: Lawful Carry Stalls In Senate

After two years of opposition from Governor Holcomb’s administration and stonewalling by the Republican-controlled Senate and President Pro Tempore Rod Bray, Hoosier’s are demanding action on Lawful Carry legislation, also known as Constitutional Carry.

California: San Jose to Consider Ordinance Taxing Gun Owners

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

California: San Jose to Consider Ordinance Taxing Gun Owners

On January 25th, the San Jose City Council will consider File 22-045, an ordinance to tax gun owners and mandate that they purchase liability insurance.

Arizona: First Week of Session Sees A Flurry of Firearm Related Legislation Introduced

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Arizona: First Week of Session Sees A Flurry of Firearm Related Legislation Introduced

Last week, the Arizona Legislature convened for the 2022 session. More than two dozen firearm-related bills have been introduced with proposals to both strengthen and limit your Second Amendment Rights in Arizona. Below are a ...

Wisconsin: Self-Defense Bills Pass Assembly, On to Senate

Friday, January 21, 2022

Wisconsin: Self-Defense Bills Pass Assembly, On to Senate

Yesterday, the Assembly passed four NRA-backed self-defense bills on bipartisan voice votes. They will now go to the Senate for further consideration.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.