Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:57 PM
alp227 (29,750 posts)
NRA’s lobbying bags big legislative wins in states over the past two decades
In state capitals and city halls nationwide, the National Rifle Association is demonstrating its enduring ability to thwart new firearms regulations and expand rights for gun owners — even after a school massacre in Newtown, Conn., gave the gun-control cause new momentum.
Just last week, Illinois state House members declined to consider proposed limits on assault weapons amid a surge of negative phone calls and e-mails from NRA members and other gun owners. In Wisconsin last week, legislators wary of provoking the NRA backed off a proposed ban on loaded firearms in the public gallery overlooking the state assembly chamber. In suburban Los Angeles, Glendale City Council members anticipate a packed and emotional meeting next week as a result of NRA-issued “grass-roots alerts” protesting proposed limits on gun shows. And legislators in at least seven states are weighing whether to allow public school staff members to carry weapons to work, as the NRA has urged.
The local and state-level skirmishes underscore the obstacles that await President Obama and congressional Democrats as they prepare to push new gun-control measures in the face of stiff opposition from the NRA and its Capitol Hill allies — many of whom represent areas where gun ownership is a cherished value.
Gun rights advocates suffered a setback in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown shootings when Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons in schools, day-care centers and other public places. Another defeat came this week, when New York’s Democratic governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, and legislature approved new bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. It was only by moving with extraordinary speed that the state prevented the NRA from mounting its typically muscular opposition.
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