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January 13, 2015

2015 Promises a Banner Year for the Second Amendment, But With Challenges

Overall, 2014 was a very good year for our Second Amendment rights.

The Gallup organization released a poll in October that found the lowest levels in its ongoing public opinion survey history in favor of enacting stricter gun laws.  A little over a month later, the Pew Research Center found in a survey that there is increasing public support for gun ownership, with 52 percent of Americans reporting that it is important to protect our Second Amendment rights.

To finish out the year, there was a significant increase in firearms sales during the month of December, which built upon November’s record numbers. On Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) processed more than 175,000 background checks, which is a record-setting figure that averages to about three per second.

And, even more interestingly, public support for the Second Amendment flourished despite gun control groups’ intense spending during the 2014 mid-term elections.  Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spent at least $40 million this election cycle. Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords’ group Americans for Responsible Solutions spent $10.6 million but lost half of the races it supported, including the one for Giffords’ old seat , in which  the group spent $2 million.

However, the question remains – will this support continue to grow in 2015? The opposition is formidable and Bloomberg will not be backing down. As has been discussed before, he plans to refocus his efforts in the states because he believes that is where he will get the most bang for his buck. Bloomberg’s phalanx of paid lobbyists is already pushing anti-gun bills in a dozen state capitals, with more still to come.

While there are obstacles, there are also opportunities to set a precedent for rolling back ill-advised and infective laws that Bloomberg has previously helped pushed into enactment with his billions. In 2013, at the urging of Mayor Bloomberg, the Colorado legislature passed gun control legislation that was a complete waste of time and effort. Colorado citizens rebelled, recalling two state senators, and forcing a third to resign.  Over the past year, Governor John Hickenlooper distanced himself from the legislation, claiming that a staffer made him sign it. Now, some Colorado legislators have introduced legislation to repeal the laws.

What will 2015 hold for our Second Amendment rights?  If 2014 is any indication, lawmakers are seeing the same signs we do to indicate that restricting Second Amendment rights is not only bad policy, but bad politics as well.

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