Almost all of the media attention is on states like New York, Connecticut, Colorado and Maryland that have moved to restrict self-defense rights by making it harder to legally own and use firearms. But some scribblers at the West Coast's dear old newspaper of (scratchy) sort-of record peeked up over their cubicle walls and noticed something unexpected: Even more states are moving to protect the right to bear arms, and even to loosen restrictions on guns. Howdatappen? As reporters Mark Z. Barabak and Melanie Mason put it, "[t]he result is a significant disparity between states — some side by side — as President Obama pushes for new federal gun controls." Not just a significant disparity, you should note, but a growing divergence in the legal treatment of self-defense rights at the state level.
From the Los Angeles Times:
The first state to act after December's Sandy Hook shooting was New York, where Republicans control the Senate and Democrats the Assembly. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, worked with lawmakers of both parties to pass a sweeping bill that beefed up the state's ban on assault-style weapons and required universal background checks.
Other states have moved in the opposite direction, loosening restrictions on gun ownership and increasing the number of places where firearms are permitted. Many have Republican governors, a Republican-run statehouse or both.
In Michigan and Ohio, lawmakers have made it easier to obtain a gun. Arkansas, Maine and Mississippi have passed laws to protect the privacy of gun owners. Wyoming enacted legislation allowing judges to carry weapons in the courtroom, and South Dakota passed a law authorizing school employees to carry guns on the job.
More than a dozen other states are considering legislation that would enhance gun rights, including Texas, North Carolina, Missouri and Georgia.
As you might guess, not all state-level control freaks are happy that their counterparts elsewhere are moving law in a less-authoritarian direction. But, you know, tough shit.
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