There were numerous, important victories in gun violence prevention legislation in 2014. Massachusetts and Washington became the ninth and tenth states to enact a major, substantive gun violence prevention law since Newtown. Among several other improvements, the Massachusetts law gives law enforcement an opportunity to object when a dangerous person applies for a long gun permit and requires private sellers to verify the validity of a purchaser’s license via a web portal that will access state records. The Washington law, enacted via ballot initiative, closed the private sale loophole by requiring that private firearms sales be conducted by a licensed dealer.

In California, a groundbreaking law was enacted that allows law enforcement and family members to petition for a Gun Violence Restraining Order. The order would disarm dangerous individuals and prohibit them from purchasing or possessing firearms.  In addition, seven states enacted laws to restrict access to firearms by domestic violence perpetrators.  Overall, 37 states have enacted 99 laws strengthening firearms restrictions since Newtown.

In 2014, the gun lobby had limited but significant victories. Missouri and Alabama voters approved amendments to the right to bear arms provisions of their state constitutions to require that courts use strict scrutiny when reviewing challenges to firearms laws. The gun lobby also succeeded in a guns on campus bill in Idaho. In addition, the NRA’s top priority bill in Georgia – the “guns everywhere” bill –was enacted but only after it was watered down due to intense opposition by state activists and national groups. The final version allows CCW permit holders to carry in bars and airports and restricts law enforcement’s authority to question a person carrying a firearm in public.

2014 Laws That Strengthened Gun Violence Prevention

AK H 366 This law requires the court and Department of Health and Social Services to transmit records of an individual’s involuntary mental health commitment to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
AL S 108 This law states that an expungement order shall not entitle an individual to ship, transport, possess, or receive a firearm.
AZ H 2322 This law authorizes information about criminal offenses and mental health adjudications to be transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and prohibits people adjudicated incompetent from possessing a firearm.
CA  A 1014 This law establishes a procedure to allow concerned family members or law enforcement officers to petition a court for a Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO). If a judge determines that an individual poses a danger to self or others, the GVRO would temporarily limit the individual from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and would allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in his or her possession.
CA A 1591 This law changes the requirement that when a person becomes a prohibited person due to certain types of mental adjudications, the court forwards records to law enforcement within 1 court day instead of 2 court days.
CA A 1609 This law would require all firearms purchased outside of California by California residents intending to possess those firearms in California to be shipped to a licensed dealer in California in order to complete the transaction.  The California dealer making the transfer would have to comply with all California requirements.
CA A 1964 This law closes a loophole by clarifying that the unsafe handgun law applies to semi-automatic pistols that have been temporarily or permanently altered so that they will not fire in a semi-automatic mode.
CA A 2310 This law extends a pilot program that allows city prosecutors or city attorneys to bring unlawful detainer actions against tenants to abate a nuisance caused by illegal conduct involving unlawful weapons or ammunition.
CA S 199 This law adds BB devices and air guns to the definition of imitation guns and requires the entire exterior of the device to be brightly colored or made of transparent or translucent materials which permit observation of the device’s complete contents.
CA S 396 This law requires that an ammunition magazine body be only of sufficient length to accommodate no more than 10 rounds of ammunition and the internal working parts of the magazine.
CA S 505 This law requires development of a policy that encourages peace officers, prior to conducting a welfare check, and whenever possible and reasonable, to conduct a search of the Department of Justice Automated Firearms System to determine whether the person is the owner of any firearms.
DE H 225 This law creates criminal penalties for a person is prohibited due to a violent felony conviction who negligently causes great bodily injury or death using a firearm.
FL H 7051 This law states that people seeking to be licensed to carry a concealed firearm may not refuse to acknowledge convictions that have previously been sealed for the purposes of obtaining the license.
FL H 989 This law states that if a person is adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity or is found to be incompetent to stand trial for any such charge, the expunction of the criminal history record may not prevent the entry of the judgment or finding in state and national databases for use in determining eligibility to purchase or possess a firearm or to carry a concealed firearm.
GA H 773 This law makes it a crime to discharge a gun or pistol near a public highway except as otherwise allowable by law.
HI H 1926 This law establishes mandatory minimum sentences for possession of firearms by prohibited people.
HI H 2246 This law requires courts to provide information relating to involuntary civil commitments to state databases and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System and to law enforcement.
IL H 4290 This law makes it a misdemeanor for a certified firearms instructor to knowingly provide or offer to provide a false certification that an applicant has completed firearms training.
IN H 1155 This law states that expunction of a crime of domestic violence does not restore a person’s right to possess a firearm. It also removes a provision of existing law that states that expunction of a conviction allows a person to possess a firearm if not prohibited by federal law.
LA H 1066 This law would expand the list of people ineligible to obtain a concealed carry permit and require that the state perform a federal background check on all applicants for a concealed carry permit.
LA H 1142 This law would prohibit a defendant from possessing a firearm for the duration of a Uniform Abuse Prevention Order if one is issued during a bail hearing.
LA H 244 This law states that if property at a public postsecondary education institution is leased to a nonprofit corporation or association for the purpose of holding a fundraising event, the lease may authorize and provide for the auction and sale of firearms at the event. 02.24.14
LA H 272 This law allows parishes and municipalities in addition to New Orleans to conduct gun buy-back programs.
LA H 753 This law prohibits the possession of a firearm or carrying of a concealed weapon by persons convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse battery. The prohibition expires after 10 years.
MA H 4376 This law strengthens requirements to transmit background check records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, adds domestic violence misdemeanants to the list of prohibited people, requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks on current and prospective employees, prohibits people involuntarily committed for alcohol or substance abuse treatment from obtaining Firearm Identification cards, and requires the state to develop a web portal which private sellers must use to determine the validity of a transferee’s firearms license prior to transfer. The law allows law enforcement to object to the issuance of a long gun license based on the unsuitability of the applicant and to exercise reasonable discretion when issuing a handgun license. The law requires firearms owners to verify that none of their firearms have been lost or stolen when renewing a license and discontinues issuance and renewal of class B licenses.
ME H 1266 This law states that a person who receives a deferred disposition for certain types of domestic violence crimes, the prohibition on firearm possession starts at the beginning of the deferred period.
ME H 1323 This law states that law enforcement officers may seize all firearms and dangerous weapons that they may find in any lawful search for scheduled drugs in which scheduled drugs are found.
MI H 4715 This law prohibits felons from possessing using, transporting, selling, purchasing, carrying, shipping, receiving, or distributing ammunition.
MN H 3238 This law prohibits persons subject to domestic child abuse, domestic violence or stalking restraining orders, and persons convicted of domestic violence, from possessing weapons and strengthens the requirements for disarming domestic abusers.
MO S 745 This law allows the keeping of records of concealed carry applications, provides a process to revoke a holder’s concealed carry permit if the holder becomes a prohibited person, and creates an electronic concealed carry permit database.
NE L 699 This law requires state agencies to electronically report to the Legislature on a biannual basis information about records in the prohibited persons database.
NH S 318 This law, known as “Joshua’s Law”, makes domestic violence a distinct criminal violation.
OK H 2840 This law makes it unlawful for any person serving a term of probation for any felony in any state court of the United States or under the jurisdiction of any alternative court program to possess a firearm.
OK S 1845 This law instructs a court to forward a copy of an individual’s commitment order for mental illness to National Instant Criminal Background Check System and the Oklahoma Bureau of Investigation.
RI H 7939/
RI S 2774
This law requires information about a person’s civil commitment to be transmitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
SD H 1118 This law states that no one may discharge a firearm on certain highways or rights-of-ways near occupied dwellings, churches, schoolhouses or livestock.
SD H 1229 This law requires that court mental health records are sent to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
VA H 574 This law states that a person who voluntarily commits him or herself rather than be subjected to involuntary commitment is prohibited from transporting firearms, in addition to the existing prohibition on possessing or purchasing them.
VA H 743 This law provides that records from a commitment hearing for involuntary admission or involuntary outpatient treatment shall be forwarded to the state criminal database and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
VA S 377 This law states that firearm dealers may choose to obtain a verification check from state police to determine whether a pre-owned firearm being transferred from a non-dealer has been reported lost or stolen.
VA S 576 This law provides that records from a commitment hearing for involuntary admission or involuntary outpatient treatment shall be forwarded to the state criminal database and the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
VT H 589 This law states that a person shall not carry or possess certain loaded long guns while in or on a vehicle propelled by mechanical power or drawn by a vehicle propelled by mechanical power within the right of way of a public highway.
WA I 594 (ballot initiative) This law, enacted via ballot initiative, requires unlicensed sellers to conduct firearms sales through licensed firearms dealers who must perform background checks on the potential buyers and keep records of the transactions.
WA H 1840 This law prohibits domestic abusers who are subject to restraining orders from possessing firearms and concealed carry licenses and requires them to surrender those already in their possession if they present a credible threat to an intimate partner or child.
WI A 464 This law would provide notice of a firearm prohibition and a process for surrendering firearms following the granting of certain domestic violence injunctions.
WI A 727 This bill allows a judge to disarm or prohibit a person subject to a domestic violence injunction if the judge determines that the respondent may use a firearm to cause physical harm to another or to endanger public safety. The law allows disclosure of and access to information regarding individuals who are prohibited from possessing a firearm for purposes of background checks.
WV H 4186 This law strengthens concealed carry permit application requirements.
WV S 317 This law prohibits a municipality from regulating concealed weapons carried pursuant to a permit and allows guns in municipal public parking facilities if the vehicle is locked and the firearm is out of view.
WY H 6 This law makes domestic violence a distinct criminal violation.

 

 

2014 Laws that Weakened Gun Violence Prevention

AZ H 2483 This law states that no ordinance or regulation may restrict the lawful discharge of a firearm on private and agricultural land.
CA A 2300 This law changes from 1991 to 1996 the starting year from which firearms owners are cross-referenced with the state criminal database to identify people prohibited from possessing firearms. It also makes a technical correction to the APPS statute.
CA A 2506 This law designates as peace officers any medical technical assistant series employed by the State Department of State Hospitals and allows them to carry firearms while off-duty.
CO S 135 This law repeals a section of Colorado law regulating the purchase and sale of firearms in contiguous states.
FL H 523 This law authorizes approved tax collectors to accept applications for licenses to carry concealed weapons or firearms.
FL H 89 This law adds a threat to use force to the SYG law and allows a person who is engaged in criminal activity to use deadly force if the person is attacked in his or her home, dwelling or vehicle.
GA H 60 This law allows guns in bars, airports and houses of worship, allows use of the shoot first defense by persons not lawfully in possession of a firearm, allows CCW permit applicants who have committed a firearms-related violation to obtain a permit, restricts the ability of law enforcement to determine if a person who is armed in public has a CCW permit. The law also allows guns in public and private schools if the individual has written consent from a school official.
GA H 826 This law removes ‘school function’ from the list of places where a person cannot possess a firearm. It also states that a person may possess a firearm on school property if the school gives the person explicit written consent. It allows licensed individuals to carry a firearm in their cars while in school safety zones.
ID S 1254 This law prohibits public universities and colleges from regulating the possession, carrying or transporting of firearms by people who have an enhanced concealed carry permit.
ID S 1372 This law states that a student’s educational record shall not include information about gun ownership.
IN S 169   This law substantially weakens the law prohibiting a person from transferring a handgun to a minor or prohibited person by only requiring that the transferor had actual knowledge of the transferee’s status. It also removes individuals adjudicated a delinquent child for an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, drug abusers, and alcohol abusers from the class of prohibited people.
IN S 229 This law removes a provision allowing an ordinance to prohibit an employee’s possession of a firearm or ammunition on school property, property being used for a school function or a school bus. It also prohibits a local unit of government, including a law enforcement agency, from conducting a firearm buyback program using public funds and exempts people other than students, who keep their lawfully-owned firearms locked out of sight in their cars from the prohibition on firearms on school property.
KS H 2578 This law repeals exceptions to the preemption statute that allowed local governments to regulate the open carry of loaded firearms, the carrying of firearms in jails and courthouses, and the manner in which firearms are transported.
LA H 1076 This law prohibits schools from asking students about gun ownership.
LA H 17 This law creates an affirmative defense to the crime of possessing a stolen firearm that the offender had no knowledge that the firearm was stolen.
LA H 325 This law expands the ability of an individual to use force to prevent the individual from illegally entering the person’s dwelling, vehicle or place of business.
LA H 72 This law creates an exception to the crime of possession of a firearm in certain restaurants serving alcohol for concealed permit holders. 01.27.14
LA S 651 This law allows legislators to carry concealed weapons except in the state capitol building.
MI H 4717 This law provides for a procedure for the restoration of rights for certain persons to possess, transport, sell and purchase ammunition.
MO S 656 This law allows concealed carry permit holders to carry openly in public and allows a school district to designate an employee as a protection officer who can carry a concealed firearm. The law also states that no medical professional may be required to ask about firearm ownership but shall not be prevented from doing so if medically indicated and may not use an electronic medical record program that requires, in order to complete and save a medical record, entry of data regarding whether or not a patient owns, has access to, or lives in a home containing, a firearm. The law reduces the minimum age to obtain a concealed carry permit from 21 to 19, prohibits banning possession or transportation of firearms on public housing property and weakens safety training requirements to obtain a concealed carry permit.
MO SJR 36 This law authorized that a proposed amendment to the state constitution be included in the November ballot. The amendment, which was approved by voters, requires that any restriction on the right to bear arms be subject to strict scrutiny.
MS H 314 This law prohibits confiscation of firearms or ammunition in the event of martial law, prohibits public housing authorities from restricting possession of firearms and ammunition, allows a person adversely affected by an preempted ordinance to sue the local government and win damages against an official in his or her personal capacity, prohibits buy-back programs unless the guns are sold back to licensed firearms dealers and limits the ability of a local government to ban firearms on its property.
OK H 2614 This law allows guns to be stored and hidden from view in a vehicle in the parking lot of a public or private elementary school.
OK H 2692 This law extends the grace period on expiring handgun licenses from 30 to 90 days.
OK S 934 This law provides that a parent or legal guardian is not prohibited from providing a firearm to a child for the purpose of safety training and is not responsible for giving a child a gun unless he or she is aware that the child is likely to use it to endanger another person.
OR H 4068 This law states that if a person has been convicted only once of misdemeanor marijuana possession or has completed a drug diversion program for marijuana possession, he or she shall not be prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit.
PA H 80 This law provides standing to the NRA and any other membership organization that has a member who may legally possess a firearm.
RI H 7940 This law would eliminate the prohibition against a person who has been adjudicated or is under treatment as a habitual drunkard from owning, purchasing, carrying, transporting or having in his or her possession any firearm.
RI S 2775 This law removes the term “habitual drunkard” from the list of those prohibited from possessing firearms.
SC S 308 This law allows concealed carry permit holders to carry firearms in bars and allows individuals with concealed carry permits to carry their weapons under their seat in a vehicle or in an open container.
SD S 63 This law states no elementary school or secondary school student shall be required to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning personal or family gun ownership.
TN H 1483 This law broadens the law allowing a handgun permit holder to transport and store a firearm or firearm ammunition in certain motor vehicle parking lots by preempting local regulation and voiding any state laws to the contrary.
TN H 1549 This law states that schools may not collect information on student’s firearm ownership.
TN S 1612 This law broadens state preemption of local firearms law to include the whole field of firearms and ammunition regulation with limited exceptions.
TN S 1672 This law extends the duration of concealed carry permits from 4 to 5 years.
UT H 75 This law makes certain individuals convicted of non-violent felonies and individuals whose convictions have been expunged, set aside, or reduced to a misdemeanor, eligible to possess firearms.
VA H 1169 This law allows retired members of the enforcement division of the Department of Motor Vehicles to carry concealed weapons without a permit. 02.18.14
VT H 735 This law would allow the subject of a restraining order to relinquish his or her weapons to an individual, other than a licensed dealer or law officer, pursuant to certain criteria.
WI A 368 This law states that residents may purchase rifles or shotguns from any state, not just contiguous states, so long as the purchase complies with federal and state laws.
WI A 563 This law removes individuals who have been criminally charged and temporarily released from the list of people prohibited from possessing firearms. 02.28.14

 

2014 Laws with a Minimal Impact on Gun Violence Prevention

AZ H 2535 This law declares that if a firearm transferee requests a certification of eligibility from a local law enforcement official, the official has 60 days from the date of the request to provide the certification. Law enforcement may not refuse to provide the certification based on a generalized objection to possession of firearms.
AZ S 1397 This law clarifies that a permit is not needed to carry a concealed handgun in a licensed liquor establishment.
CA A 1798 This law makes technical, nonsubstantive changes to existing law regarding concealed carry permitting and other licensing aspects of firearms.
CO H 1166 This law allows a person seeking to renew a concealed handgun permit to renew the permit with a sheriff in a different county under certain circumstances.
CO H 1291 This law extends the right of a school district to employ a school security officer who may carry a concealed handgun in the school to a charter school.
FL H 525 This law provides that personal, identifying information contained in a concealed carry permit application and transmitted to a tax collector is exempt from public records act requests.
FL S 424 This law states that a personal property or auto insurer cannot unfairly discriminate against an insured by refusing to issue or canceling a policy, or charging an unfairly discriminatory rate based on the lawful use, possession, or ownership of a firearm by the applicant or insured, or a household member of the applicant or insured.
ID S 1332 This law prohibits confiscation of firearms except those actually used in the commission of a felony and imposes liability on state officials who attempt to enforce federal gun laws.
MD H 270 This law makes firearms license records confidential.
MD S 231 This law states that the Department of Natural Resources may not prohibit a bow hunter from carrying a handgun openly if he or she is otherwise allowed to do so.
MI H 4155 This law states that information in the concealed weapons permit database can only be accessed if the person requesting information from the database identify him or herself and attest that the information is being sought for certain lawful purposes.
MI H 5325 This law adds a definition of firearms records to the state’s licensing statute.
MI H 5328 This law removes provisions that certain records related to concealed weapon permitted are confidential and not subject to freedom of information act requests.
MI S 49 This law exempts from the freedom of information act, information about firearms licensees.
MI S 610 This law makes minor changes to the state’s law regarding the manufacture, sale and possession of short-barreled rifles.
MI S 834 This law removes a provision stating that information contained in an order making a person prohibited from possessing firearms is not subject to disclosure under the freedom of information act.
MI S 881 This law makes a minor change to what information is available by a FOIA request about a bar that prohibits concealed weapons on its premises.
OK H 2461 This law requires law enforcement officials to execute firearms certificate related requests within a specified time; provides for appeals; provides for codification; relates to the transfer or making of a firearm.
PA S 497 This law makes a minor change to the state’s preemption scheme.
SD HCR 1015 This law states that the United Nations cannot infringe the Second Amendment rights of the state’s citizens.
TN S 1700 This law states that it is permissible if a handgun carry permit holder transporting or storing a firearm or ammunition is observed by another person or security device during the ordinary course of securing the firearm or ammunition from observation in or on a motor vehicle.
TN S 1701 This law defines the type of motor vehicle in which a handgun permit holder may transport and store a firearm or ammunition in a parking lot.
TN S 1774 This law states that it is not a crime to possess a firearm in a privately-owned vehicle if the person possessing the firearm is not prohibited from doing so.
TN S 495 This law requires the Department of Safety to develop a way for handgun permit holders to change their addresses online in order to comply with the law requiring them to do so within 60 days of a change of address.
UT H 268 This law includes firearms in the definition of dangerous weapons.
UT H 276 This law clarifies that merely carrying a firearm openly is not disorderly conduct in and of itself.
UT H 295 This law states that a nonresident may possess a firearm while traveling through the state without being subject to Utah’s firearms laws unless the person would be prohibited from possessing a firearm in Utah.
UT H 322 This law states that alternative parking for an individual who desires to transport, possess, receive, transfer, or store a firearm in the individual’s motor vehicle must be in a location that is legal and safe for parking.
UT H 373 This law states that local law enforcement may not refuse to provide certification for the making or transferring of a firearm based on a generalized objection to private persons or entities making, possessing, or receiving firearms. Law enforcement also has 15 days from the date of receipt in which to return a certification, or denial, of federal authorization to purchase a firearm. 04.28.14
VA H 100/ VA S 600 This law states that the prohibition on public disclosure of concealed carry permit information shall not apply to any reference to the issuance of a concealed handgun permit in any order book before July 1, 2008.
VA H 357 This law makes a small change to the law making concealed carry permit records confidential.
VA S 260/ VA S 439 This law states that upon a request for voluntarily commitment for mental health treatment, the court shall notify the person that he or she is prohibited from transporting firearms, as well as possessing or purchasing them.
WA S 5956 This law states that it is not unlawful for a person to possess, transport, acquire, or transfer a short-barreled rifle that is legally registered and possessed, transported, acquired, or transferred in accordance with federal law.
WI A 558 This law makes an immaterial language change to the statute prohibiting firearms in certain public buildings.