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State Gun Laws: Who's Restricting & Who's Expanding?

by Countable | Updated on 4.2.18

What’s the story?

  • In recent months, and with renewed urgency since the school shooting in Parkland, FL, states have been pursuing new gun laws. Many are enacting more gun controls, but a handful are expanding gun rights. Legislative sessions are ending soon, closing a window for action. What’s happening in your state?

  • Here’s a round-up from the Wall Street Journal:

  • Florida and Vermont have passed the most comprehensive gun control packages, including raising the age limit for purchase, outlawing bump stocks, and enacting "red flag" laws.

  • Florida also allows teachers to be trained to carry guns on campus.

  • Vermont also now requires background checks for private firearm sales and bans high-capacity magazines.

  • Washington, Massachusetts, and New Jersey passed bump stock bans after the Las Vegas shooting.

  • After Las Vegas, Oregon and Washington tightened restrictions on gun ownership by domestic abusers.

  • The New Jersey House passed expanded background checks, a "red flag" law and a requirement that applicants seeking a concealed-handgun permit show a “justifiable need” to be armed. Senate approval is pending.

  • New York tightened restrictions on gun ownership for convicted domestic abusers.

  • Maryland’s House passed a "red flag" law, but Senate approval is pending. Similar laws in Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee are not gaining traction.

  • Idaho lawmakers voted down a law that would have restricted gun ownership for domestic abusers for two years after conviction.

  • Colorado and Minnesota are considering school safety bills.

  • Louisiana is considering a bill that would allow students to wear bulletproof backpacks.

  • The Tennessee legislature is debating a bill to penalize any local governments that refuse to let firearm or hunting trade shows rent space at public fairgrounds or convention centers.

  • Lawmakers in Iowa are considering enshrining the "right to bear arms" in the state constitution.

  • South Dakota enacted a law to allow firearms for self-defense in houses of worship and private schools.

What do you think?

What’s happening in your state around gun laws? Do you support enacting tighter gun controls or expanding gun rights? What are you doing in your state to support those legislative goals?

Tell us in the comments what you think, then use the Take Action button to tell your reps!

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia* / Creative Commons)*

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