Since Newtown Massacre, More States Have Loosened Gun Restrictions than Tightened Them Despite Most Americans Wanting the Opposite

Sunday, December 15, 2013

One year after the Newtown school shooting that shook the nation, the vast majority of new gun laws adopted in state legislatures have resulted in loosening firearms restrictions—despite the fact that most Americans want tougher gun control laws.


A new CBS News poll shows 49% support stricter gun laws. Only 12% backed easing regulations, while 36% preferred keeping laws as they are.


But politicians in statehouses across the United States decided mostly to make things easier for gun owners, buyers and sellers.


Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, 109 new gun laws have been adopted. About two-thirds (70) eased restrictions, while 39 imposed tougher rules regarding firearms, according to The New York Times. The laws that loosened restrictions were mostly passed in Republican-controlled states, while the majority of tougher laws were enacted in Democrat-controlled states.


An AllGov examination of the Times’ data revealed that 18 states approved changes that only loosened regulations: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Dakota,

Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming.


Twelve states adopted laws that only tightened regulations: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island,

South Carolina and Washington.


Another nine states passed laws that both loosened and tightened regulations: Alabama,

Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Tennessee, Texas and Utah.


Most of the regulation-tightening laws have dealt with background checks and restricting access to firearms to people with mental health problems.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

State Gun Laws Enacted in the Year Since Newtown (New York Times)

A Year after Newtown, Americans Divided on Gun Laws (by Sarah Dutton, Jennifer De Pinto, Anthony Salvanto and Fred Backus, CBS News)

As Mass Shootings Continue, Congress Remains Gun Shy about Enacting New Laws (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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