Governors in three states have recently signed or are poised to sign major gun control legislation. On Friday, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed four gun control bills into law, including raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms from 18 to 21, mandating a three-day waiting period for background checks, and allowing teachers, medical care providers, and mental health providers to petition the court to confiscate someone’s weapons if they pose a danger to themselves or others. A fourth bill in Colorado rolled back legal protections for gun manufacturers and made them more liable for civil suits related to gun violence.
The move by Colorado comes just three days after Washington state became the 10th state in the nation to ban assault rifles and handguns after Governor Jay Inslee signed a gun reform package. The package included banning the purchase of new assault weapons for residents, mandating training for gun purchasers, and clarifying legal liabilities for gun dealers and manufacturers. The National Rifle Association has already filed a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Washington challenging the ban.
Meanwhile, Maryland Governor Wes Moore has said that he plans to sign a gun control package that includes prohibitions for civilian gun owners to bring their guns to schools and other sensitive locations. One of the bills passed by the Maryland state legislature removes the “good and substantial reason” from the law, which Democratic lawmakers said would make the prohibition of concealed carry legal under a new Supreme Court decision. The bill would also prohibit a civilian from bringing a firearm onto someone’s property without the permission of the property’s owner.
While gun control advocates have praised these moves as a way to curb gun violence, some gun rights groups are already threatening court action against the Democratic leaders. The National Rifle Association criticized the Washington state legislation, contending that it infringes on second amendment rights. In Colorado, the nonprofit gun rights advocacy group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners said they were going to challenge the bills related to the legal age, with the executive director calling it “bigoted politicians doing what bigoted politicians do: discriminating against an age.” In Maryland, gun rights groups have also questioned the constitutionality of the bill and have threatened legal action.
Gun control has been a contentious issue in the United States for many years, with advocates calling for stricter measures to prevent gun violence and opponents arguing that these measures infringe on their second amendment rights. The recent moves by governors in Colorado, Washington, and Maryland are part of a larger trend of states taking action on gun control in the absence of federal legislation. As the debate continues, it remains to be seen whether these state-level efforts will have an impact on gun violence in the United States.
Mr. A Vilz