Tuesday was election day in many states and cities across the country. Several key races were to be decided, including who would become governor of Virginia and New Jersey as well as who would take over as mayor of NYC. Here is a brief review of who won and what it means for gun owners.
Liberal Democrat Bill de Blasio takes over for Bloomberg in NYC
Bill de Blasio will become the new mayor of the Big Apple, taking over for gun control czar, three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Given that Bloomberg is the quintessential pro-gun control politician, it’s difficult to imagine de Blasio doing anything that Bloomberg hasn’t already done or has tried to do with respect to limiting the rights of law-abiding gun owners.
Under current NYC law, it’s virtually impossible for the average citizen to purchase a handgun and keep it within the city’s limits for self-defense. NYC is a ‘may-issue’ district in theory, but really a ‘no-issue’ district in practice.
One should certainly not expect this to change with de Blasio at the helm.
According to his website, de Blasio has pushed for “strong gun safety laws at the state level and for the promotion of industry-wide standards in gun safety, including microstamping.”
He also created the “Wall Street for Change” initiative, a national divestment campaign targeting hedge funds and money managers who have holdings in companies that manufacture “assault” rifles and magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. Under his influence and other types of public pressure, 20 firms and managers have either divested their holdings entirely or scaled back their investment in the firearms and ammo industry. Essentially, it’s a top-down strategy where supporters are trying to cripple the industry by telling those with money to invest elsewhere because investing in gun companies makes one complicit in or an enabler of gun violence.
Therefore, one can conclude that when it comes to gun control and a hostility toward the firearms and ammunition industry, de Blasio is really no different than Bloomberg.
Republican Gov. Chris Christie re-elected
Like the City of New York, the state of New Jersey is anti-gun.
As with NYC, New Jersey is a ‘may-issue’ state in theory where CCW permit applicants must “specify in detail the urgent necessity for self-protection, as evidenced by specific threats or previous attacks that demonstrate a special danger to the applicant’s life that cannot be avoided by means other than by issuance of a permit to carry a handgun.” But in practice it’s a ‘no-issue’ state.
In his first term as governor, Chris Christie did little to change the status quo despite his ties to the Republican party, which is largely believed to be pro-gun.
While Gov. Christie didn’t make things better for New Jersey gun owners, he certainly didn’t allow things to get worse.
Back in August, Christie vetoed three draconian gun control bills, one that would have banned .50-caliber rifles, on that would have overhauled the state’s process for issuing firearms ID cards and one that would have required state police to issue reports on lost, stolen and discarded firearms using trace data provided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
These bills were spawned in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, and Christie was under a lot of pressure to sign these into law. He didn’t. That shows leadership and gumption and perhaps an affinity for the Second Amendment.
Christie’s not perfect. Not by any means, he did sign 10 gun bills into law, most of which crackdown on gun crimes and create tougher penalties for gun offenses. But things would undoubtedly get a lot worse if his challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, had won.
Democrat Terry McAuliffe to become Virginia governor
Unlike NYC and New Jersey, Virginia is widely known to be a pro-gun destination. Well, that might change now that Democrat Terry McAuliffe is set to become governor.
As part of his official platform, McAuliffe said that he would pursue gun control measures like universal background checks, limiting the size of magazines and a return to the one-gun-per-month purchase rule.
While he did not specifically say he’d endorse a ban on certain semiautomatic rifles with detachable magazines on his campaign website, he said as much on his Facebook page following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary.
“I’ve said in the past and I continue to believe that there are mainstream restrictions on dangerous weapons that we can agree on including: renewal of the Assault Weapons Ban, passage of bipartisan legislation to strengthen background checks, and re-implementation of Virginia’s one-gun-a-month rule,” he wrote in December 2012.
Anyway you look at it, whether he opts to just go after his platform agenda or he opts to go whole hog and push for a ban on so-called ‘assault weapons,’ it’s not good news for gun owners in Old Dominion.
To make matters worse, McAuliffe was heavily backed by Bloomberg’s pro-gun control super PAC, which spent as much as $2 million on campaign ads in the last two weeks of the race to help ensure he’d win. McAuliffe is indebted to Bloomberg, to say the least. If any of those aforementioned gun-control bills clear the state House and Senate and land on McAuliffe’s desk, he’s absolutely going to sign them into law.
It’s a very unfortunate situation. Bloomberg, like he did in Colorado, which passed a universal background check bill and a magazine limit following Sandy Hook, has won again.