Marching Orders: 1/19/18

The Marching Orders blog is an occasional roundup of gun policy news about lawmakers, candidates, and legislation that we are tracking at LEAP Forward.

LEAPers

Yesterday, the Violence Prevention Center released its data on gun deaths for 2016, showing once again a clear correlation between the strength of gun laws, the prevalence of guns, and the rate of gun deaths in a particular state. In Alabama, where the NRA and its Republican allies have weakened regulation, the rate soared.  Meanwhile, Connecticut ranked among the lowest states in the nation for gun deaths. Sen. Richard Blumenthal issued the following statement:

“Strong gun laws save lives - as this powerful report proves. Guns continue to cross state lines seamlessly, and gun violence knows no state boundaries.  Connecticut will remain vulnerable until Congress acts to adopt common sense measures to stop the scourge of gun violence.”

Endorsed Candidates

Joseph Kopser (TX-21), announced he raised $260,000 during Q4 and has $330,000 cash on hand. 

Legislation

No sooner did we report on Delaware HB 302 - a risk protection order bill known as the Beau Biden Gun Violence Protection Act - than the predictable pushback from Republicans began:

House Minority Leader Rep. Danny Short of Sussex County says that this piece of legislation isn't as well crafted as the 22-page bill that's already on the floor. 
According to Short, House Bill 285 actually answers a lot of legal ramifications that aren't answered in the Beau Biden bill. 
"It doesn't have a fairness to it and the other one right up front, there's no hearing in regard to the actual confiscation of of the firearms. There's some other issues in regards to how an individual, if in fact prevails in the Superior Court and is not considered mentally ill, how do they actually get their possessions back?" says Rep. Short. 

In Washington state, the Law and Justice Committee of the state Senate has approved SB 5992, a bump stock ban, along party lines, as Democrats flexed their newly-won majority. The bill could be voted on by the full Senate soon, with some Democrats indicating that legislative action could be completed by the end of the month. Democrats recently won control of both houses of the legislature, and the bill has bipartisan support and the backing of the Seattle Times editorial page:

Washington has done a responsible job of incrementally improving state gun laws, without stomping on the rights of gun owners. But mass shootings like the one in October in Las Vegas show there’s still more work to be done.