GUN RIGHTS BATTLES GOP state legislators seek to ease gun codes

Posted: April 7, 2015 at 9:47 am

Conservatives emboldened by election victories are working to roll back gun restrictions in several states, while those on the other side of the debate are claiming success elsewhere in passing initiatives related to gun background checks.

On the pro-gun spectrum, for example, Kansas Governor Sam Brownback last week signed a bill to allow Kansans to carry concealed weapons in the state without training or a permit.

Second Amendment Foundation founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb told Fox News, "I think the voters spoke pretty loud and clear in November and elected a pretty pro-gun rights Congress as well as many statehouses across the country and we're seeing now lots of bills being sponsored...".

On the other side, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said her group is focused on initiatives it can win with voters, rather than legislators.

"In 2013, we helped close the background check loophole in six states," Watts said. "In 2014, we helped pass laws in red and blue states to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers."

Watts also pointed to the overwhelming passage of Initiative 594 by voters in Washington state last fall. That law expands the federal background check requirement for gun sales to private dealers, such as those now found at gun shows.

"The gun lobby has been so insidious in this country in taking away the responsibilities that go along with gun rights," Watts said. She added in an interview with Fox News that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has an annual budget of $350 million.

The NRA said that while its operating budget is close to that figure, a "small fraction" -- approximately $20 million -- goes toward what it calls 'political activity,' with the bulk spent on safety and training programs.

Moms Demand Action works with Everytown for Gun Safety, which is bankrolled by former New York City mayor and billionaire, Michael Bloomberg.

Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), told Fox News, "Billionaire Michael Bloomberg's tactics may be new, but the fight is the same. The NRA and our five million members stand ready to defend the Second Amendment wherever the battlefield. The majority of Americans do not want more gun control and we will fight tooth and nail to expose Bloomberg's lies and defeat his extreme gun control agenda. "

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GUN RIGHTS BATTLES GOP state legislators seek to ease gun codes

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