Petitions to ban AR-15s, enact stronger gun laws gain momentum

With this week’s terror attack in Orlando, a number of national online petitions calling for bans on “assault weapons” are circulating with some topping 500,000 signatures.

The nation was shocked Sunday with the news from Florida that 49 were killed in a mass shooting by a gunman in what is described by the U.S. Department of Justice as an act of terror. The weapons used by the terrorist, a semi-automatic rifle and handgun, have been the subject of grandstanding legislative debate and executive commentary in the days since.

One way the public is engaging in the discussion is through informal online petitions.

A MoveOn.org petition stating, “We need to ban all assault weapons now, while moving quickly to enact common sense gun reform,”  has over 550,000 signatures while a We The People petition to the White House to, “Ban the AR-15 from Civilian Ownership,” has accumulated 176,821 since June 12.

Other noteworthy efforts started this week urging more gun regulation with the number of signatures gathered by Thursday morning include:

  • “Gun Control Now” (659,878)
  • “Enact stricter weapon legislation in the city of Orlando” (28,702)
  • “End Retail Sales of Any Automatic, or Assault, Weapon in the United States” (12,985)
  • “Ban all Assault Weapons and Ammunition to non U.S. military citizens” (11,909)
  • “Reinstate The Federal Assault Weapons Ban and regulate online sales and gun show sales of firearms” (7,113)
  • “Pass An Assault Weapons Ban” (2,688)
  • “To add the National Rifle Association to the list of terror-sponsoring organizations” (2,347)
  • “It is time to repeal, replace or clarify the Second Amendment” (605)
  • “Immediate ban of assault weapons” (443)
  • “Expand Brady background checks to all gun sales” (478)

Notably, those who support the Second Amendment and current status quo gun laws have begun firing back with their own petitions including:

  • “Disregard the petition to ban the AR-15” (3,895)
  • “Maintain Legal Status of all semi-automatic rifles, carbines, and legal firearms” (1,886)

In unscientific online polling, gun rights has shown to be the winner in a poll by the Denver Post which found 80 percent of respondents answering “No” to the question of “Is Hillary Clinton right to call for a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban in the wake of the Orlando night club shooting?” while a similar Patch poll asking, “Should Congress ban assault weapons” likewise found a 73 percent negative response.