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On the eve of its convention, the NRA is running into trouble in statehouses.

On The Eve Of Its Convention, The NRA Is Running Into Trouble In Statehouses

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is holding its annual convention this weekend in Nashville, Tennessee. Big name conservatives are making the pilgrimage to support the powerful gun lobby, including the following GOP presidential candidates or likely candidates: Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. Incidentally, recently announced candidate Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was not invited to the event — because he has close ties with a gun-rights group that fashions itself as even more extreme than the NRA. But, the NRA’s own rhetoric is becoming increasingly extreme, as this new “Lil’ Wayne LaPierre” video from Everytown for Gun Safety illuminates.

We have no doubt that those gathered will continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that passing responsible gun laws not only saves lives but actually goes hand in hand with strengthening the Second Amendment.

Meanwhile, we wanted to bring you the good news on guns: there are positive developments at the state level taking place all across the country. Take a look:

  • Washington: Voters in Washington took a tremendous step last November by approving a ballot measure to pass expanded background checks in the state. The state legislature has continued that momentum, to an extent, by passing another important measure related to domestic violence. There’s more to be done to protect women from domestic abusers, however; here is a video from the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility that shows just what is at stake.
  • Oregon: Senate Bill 941, which requires expanded background checks among gun buyers, has passed a Senate committee and is moving to the floor for a vote. A new report from Everytown for Gun Safety revealed that criminals are flocking to the online gun marketplace to evade background checks, and that 1,360 guns are transferred to prohibited purchasers each year from just four of these sites. The Senate bill would help close this loophole.
  • Arizona: Four dangerous, NRA-backed billed died in the Arizona state legislature. Among them was one bill that would have let people carry concealed, loaded guns into government buildings and public sporting events, and another one which would have unconstitutionally nullified federal gun laws as they apply to Arizona.
  • Iowa: The Iowa Senate rejected an omnibus gun bill that would have weakened the gun permitting process and eliminated background checks on private handgun sales. Right-wing gun-rights advocates were not pleased.
  • Virginia: Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe vetoed three gun bills, including two that would make it easier for individuals to carry concealed weapons in public.
  • West Virginia: Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed a bill that would have eliminated the permit requirement for concealed carry. The bill would have also therefore eliminated the required gun safety training courses for those applying for a permit. In his decision, Gov. Tomblin cited the need to “be responsive to the apprehension of law enforcement officers from across the state, who have concerns about the bill as it relates to the safety of their fellow officers.”

The progress in states this year follows progress last year: In 2014 six states enacted new laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers. At least 12 states are considering similar legislation this year.

BOTTOM LINE: The NRA will use their annual meeting to project power and influence, and aspiring GOP presidential candidates will join in their fear-mongering. But around the country, elected officials and gun safety advocates are standing up to the gun lobby’s extreme and dangerous platform that would put more guns in the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, and other dangerous people.

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