As anti-gun groups and politicians from sea to shining sea renew their call for more restrictions on firearm ownership by law-abiding Americans, many states are quietly passing legislation strengthening the right of their citizens to keep and bear arms.
A look at the past few weeks provides some excellent examples.
Last Thursday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed an important bill repealing the nearly four-decade-old two-day waiting period on the purchase of handguns. Changing the law, which was nothing more than an obsolete and inconvenient restriction on law-abiding handgun purchasers, now allows licensed dealers to transfer ownership as soon as the state DOJ informs them that the buyer has passed the NICS check.
Meanwhile in Nevada, state legislation forced Las Vegas to dump its ordinance requiring a Clark County handgun registry. And with it, the 67-year cache of gun owner information will also come to an end, as the Las Vegas Metro Police Department has announced that it will destroy the 1.4 million handgun registrations.
The ramifications of Senate Bill 175 also go much further than just Clark County. With passage of that legislation also came an expansion in the number of out-of-state Right-to-Carry permits recognized in Nevada. Permits recognized now include those from Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.The legislation contained a sunset provision, which NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action will continue to work towards repealing when legislators return to Montpelier.
Also last week, Vermont became the latest state to board the suppressor train. An amendment to House Bill 5 allows the lawful possession and use of firearm sound suppressors at “sport shooting ranges” in Vermont. This new law will go into effect on July 2, making Vermont the 41st state to legalize the private ownership of suppressors.
It’s interesting to note, however, that the legislation contained a sunset provision, which NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action will continue to work towards repealing when legislators return to Montpelier.
Lastly, earlier this week North Carolina hunters scored a major victory with the passage of House Bill 640. That measure, if signed by Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, would expand Sunday hunting opportunities with firearms in the state.
The prohibition on Sunday hunting is an old blue law still left on the books in just a handful of states, and it effectively cuts in half the hunting opportunity for many who rely on weekends to head to the fields and woods in pursuit of a variety of game animals, both large and small.
The Outdoor Heritage Act removes the absolute prohibition on hunting on Sunday with a firearm on private land. While the NRA supports this positive step forward for hunters and private property owners in North Carolina, NRA-ILA will continue working to fully lift the restrictions on Sunday hunting remaining after this bill.
The list goes on, as states throughout the nation passed positive pro-gun reforms this session. We’ll keep you updated as other measures make their way through the legislative process.