Though for the moment gun control may be on the back-burner in the presidential election, in four states it will be a big issue on the ballot come November.
According to USA Today, voters in four states will decide on proposed gun restrictions next month, as gun-control proponents turn to ballot initiatives to push stricter firearms laws, after being rebuffed in Congress and by state officials.
The story says voters in Maine and Nevada will decide whether to expand background checks for gun buyers.
In Washington State, voters will decide whether judges can temporarily suspend Second Amendment rights of people who “pose threats to themselves or others.”
In California, the most anti-gun state in the land, voters will decide on measures that ban “high-capacity magazines” and a new requirement for background checks to be performed for every single ammunition purchase.
In the story, gun-control advocates say “the wave of new ballot initiatives—along with intensifying focus on the issue in the presidential race and in a handful of hotly contested U.S. Senate races—mark a dramatic shift from a little more than three years ago when the Senate defeated a compromise plan to ban some semi-automatic weapons and expand background checks.”
Everytown for Gun Safety, the moutpiece of anti-gunner and billionaire Michael Bloomberg, is spending heavily to push it’s agenda at the state level. It has already spent nearly $8 million to advance the measures in Nevada, Maine, and Washington and expects to unleash more money before Election Day, the story says.
Independence USA super PAC, another Bloomberg anti-gun group, has pumped nearly $5.9 million into Pennsylvania to back Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, who crafted the Senate’s unsuccessful background-check plan in 2013.
Jennifer Backer of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said in the story that Bloomberg’s various forces haven’t gained traction with legislators “because the majority of Americans are opposed to his gun-control agenda.”
“Desperate for a victory, Bloomberg has invested more of his billions in a misinformation campaign designed to impose his gun-control agenda through poorly crafted ballot initiatives that would criminalize common practices of law-abiding gun owners and would not prevent criminals from accessing firearms,” Baker said in a statement.
The NRA says it is pushing back against the ballot initiatives in all four states, spending the most heavily in Nevada.
“Nevada’s popular Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval opposes the background-check measure. He previously vetoed a background-check bill passed by the state legislature, dealing a blow to gun-control groups.”
“The measure on the ballot in Nevada extends criminal background checks to people who buy them through a private seller. It also would require background checks when someone transfers a gun to another person. Several exemptions are built in, such as gifts to immediate family members or sharing rifles while hunting.”