The year 2017 brought too many devastating losses due to gun violence—high-profile mass shootings, combined with thousands of daily incidents that don’t make the news, contributed to the United States’ astronomically high rate of gun violence.
But the gun violence prevention movement continues to make historic progress, building on momentum that began after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary. Since that horrific shooting five years ago, over 210 lifesaving gun safety laws have passed in 45 states and DC, all at a time when Congress has failed to act to save lives from gun violence at the federal level.
In our special 2017 year-end edition of Gun Law Trendwatch, which publishes biweekly during the legislative cycle, we round up the gun violence prevention movement’s progress in 2017.
In the 2017 legislative cycle, several states passed gun safety laws that improve background checks and promote suicide prevention. Other states, even ones with strong gun cultures, like Louisiana, enacted laws strengthening efforts to prevent domestic abusers from accessing guns. And California and Connecticut committed to funding programs aimed at reducing urban gun violence.
This year, our attorneys tracked, analyzed, and summarized over 1,600 firearm bills in all 50 states and partnered directly with advocates in more than half the states to advance lifesaving legislation.
Some of the standout trends from this year featured in Gun Law Trendwatch: 2017 Year-End Review include:
- Domestic Violence: Every year, a number of states pass laws that make it harder for domestic abusers to access guns, and 2017 was no exception.
- Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Bills that would allow family members and law enforcement to petition courts to temporarily disarm individuals who pose a significant risk to themselves or others were introduced in 18 states and enacted in Oregon.
- Defensive Victories: Legislators in 20 states rejected measures to allow guns in public without a permit, and guns on campus bills were defeated by 18 states—major setbacks to the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda.
Even in the face of terrible events, like this fall’s mass shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, Texas, our movement continues to beat back the gun lobby’s deadly agenda by working tirelessly to advocate for lifesaving gun safety laws and fight back against dangerous bills introduced by lawmakers caught in the grips of the gun lobby.