Media Contact:
Julie Henson, (415) 433-2062 x304, media@smartgunlaws.org

SAN FRANCISCO—In the last few weeks, state legislators from across the country have already made significant progress to address gun violence in their communities.

So far this year, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence has tracked 406 new bills that have been introduced for the 2014 sessions, and many of these bills have already begun moving through the legislative process. Despite the fact that many of the bills being introduced in the states are designed to weaken gun laws, the majority of the gun bills set for hearings would strengthen the state’s gun laws. Thirty-three of the gun bills moving through state legislatures would strengthen the state’s gun laws, eleven of the bills would have minimal impact on the state’s gun laws, and nineteen of the bills would weaken the state’s gun laws.

Laura Cutilletta, the Law Center’s Senior Staff Attorney, issued this statement:

We are pleased to see that state legislators are recognizing that smart gun laws are critical to preventing unnecessary gun deaths. At the Law Center, we are always looking for sensible and effective solutions to protect our communities from the tragedy of gun violence and studies continually remind us that strong gun laws can truly keep our communities safe.

As the legislative sessions begin, we are encouraged to see that the states are once again fighting to protect their communities from gun violence—a vitally important task, given our nation’s weak federal laws and the fact that Congress has continued to fail the American people on this issue. 

2014 Policy Trends in Legislation to Strengthen Firearms Laws

Many of the new bills that would strengthen firearms laws tend to be substantive and significant, and often cover a range of policy areas. Several of these policies have also been associated with reducing gun death rates and curbing gun trafficking. Here are some of the major policy areas that would strengthen state gun laws and a list of states that have introduced bills that would address that policy:

  • Requiring background checks for private gun sales: Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington
  • Banning large capacity ammunition magazines: New Jersey (strengthen existing law), Virginia
  • Requiring locking devices for safe storage: Florida, Pennsylvania
  • Prohibiting sale and possession of firearms manufactured using 3-D printing technology: Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey
  • Disarming prohibited and/or imminently dangerous people: Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin
  • Disarming domestic abusers: Hawaii, Maryland, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Vermont, Wisconsin
  • Keeping guns off government property: Hawaii, New Hampshire, Virginia, Wisconsin, West Virginia

For more, see our map of the progress in the states and a comprehensive overview of 2014 gun legislation: http://bit.ly/2014StateTracking

About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence is the only national law center focused on providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention. Founded by lawyers after an assault weapon massacre at a San Francisco law firm in 1993, we remain dedicated to preventing the loss of lives caused by gun violence by providing trusted, in-depth research and information on the Second Amendment and America’s gun laws.