As lawmakers from Connecticut to California rush to propose new restrictions on firearms and ammunition, state-level gun-rights activists are playing defense for the first time in years, with some saying they face fights they may not win.
“Our backs are against the wall,” said Scott Wilson, president of the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group.“We are in for the fight of our lives. I have never seen anything like it.”
In a blog post after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., the CCDL admitted to its members that efforts to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines could succeed, despite their strident opposition.
The CCDL message said that "we simply do not know" whether they would be "successful in our efforts to protect us from bans on certain firearms or magazines."
As the White House formulates a list of federal proposals to combat gun violence, with recommendations from Vice President Joe Biden’s task force expected by Tuesday, lawmakers at the state level are forging ahead to restrict the sale or possession of certain types of firearms and ammunition.
•In New Jersey, 18 new bills have been submitted to the state legislature, including one that would require gun buyers to submit to a psychological evaluation, according to the Star-Ledger.
• In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called on legislators to pass the nation’s toughest ban on assault weapons and restrictions on high-capacity magazines.
•In California, which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation, Sen. Leland Yee, a Democrat, said he intends to introduce a bill requiring gun owners to register annually, and another requiring all guns to be kept in lock boxes when not in use.
•In Connecticut, Democratic Sen. Beth Bye wants to limit access to assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and require that firearms be registered by model and serial number, Reuters reported. Bye also wants to impose a 50 percent sales tax on ammunition and magazines.
•In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper, a Democrat, received a standing ovation from some state legislators Thursday when he suggested requiring universal background checks on all gun sales.
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