Fearing Obama agenda, states eye new gun laws.

When President Obama took office, gun rights advocates sounded the…

When President Obama took office, gun rights advocates sounded the alarm, warning that he intended to strip them of their arms and ammunition.

And yet the opposite is happening. Mr. Obama has been largely silent on the issue while states are engaged in a new and largely successful push for expanded gun rights, even passing measures that have been rejected in the past.

In Virginia, the General Assembly approved a bill last week that allows people to carry concealed weapons in bars and restaurants that serve alcohol, and the House of Delegates voted to repeal a 17-year-old ban on buying more than one handgun a month. The actions came less than three years after the shootings at Virginia Tech that claimed 33 lives and prompted a major national push for increased gun control.

Arizona and Wyoming lawmakers are considering nearly a half dozen pro-gun measures, including one that would allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. And lawmakers in Montana and Tennessee passed measures last year — the first of their kind — to exempt their states from federal regulation of firearms and ammunition that are made, sold and used in state. Similar bills have been proposed in at least three other states.

Assault weapons ban
In the meantime, gun control advocates say, Mr. Obama has failed to deliver on campaign promises to close a loophole that allows unlicensed dealers at gun shows to sell firearms without background checks; to revive the assault weapons ban; and to push states to release data about guns used in crimes.

He also signed bills last year allowing guns to be carried in national parks and in luggage on Amtrak trains.

“We expected a very different picture at this stage,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control group that last month issued a report card failing the administration in all seven of the group’s major indicators.

Gun control advocates have had some successes recently, Mr. Helmke said. Proposed bills to allow students to carry guns on college campuses have been blocked in the 20 or so states where they have been proposed since the Virginia Tech shootings. Last year, New Jersey limited gun purchases to one a month, a law similar to the one Virginia may revoke.

But recent setbacks to gun control have been many.

Last month, the Indiana legislature passed bills that block private employers from forbidding workers to keep firearms in their vehicles on company property.

Gun rights supporters also showed their strength last year by blocking legislation to give District of Columbia residents a full vote in Congress by attaching an amendment to repeal Washington’s ban on handguns.

Read the rest of Ian Urbina’s article at MSBNC via The New York Times.

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  • Eric

    The rise of administrative law with its interpretation by federal agencies has been termed, “the Fourth Branch of Government.” The ATF is certainly a relevant example of this. The “Fourth Branch” has been a “quiet” growth of power over the last 50 years as Congress has unwisely handed its functions over to “company men.” The original “Commerce Clause” has been so “stretched” as to greatly weaken “states rights” and the objective of Self-Determination of states, the key of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The growth in spending to support the so-called “Fourth Branch” is risking exponentially, showing it is not sustainable. Big Government = Big Bankruptcy = Mega Great Depression, essentially a very real, Doomsday Scenario involving the breakup of nations, even ours. Reorganization is absolutely necessary, both with regards to Gun Rights as well as the original intent of Self-Determination as well as fiscal sustainability, which made America the original success it was. Right now, it can be argued, we are witnessing the authoritarianism of an Empire in decline. We can reverse decline by moving America away from an Empire and back to a Republic, a similar problem faced by the Greeks, Romans, and others. Dark Times but also times for Rebirth…

  • Awlhattin O’Kaddle

    As usual, ATF thinks it’s charter is to squeeze every thing it can out of every piece of Gun Control legislation.
    ATF needs to be reorganized and re-chartered. It is a major threat to Law Abiding gun owners. It’s abuses of it’s authority are well documented.