How Many State Gun Laws Have Been Enacted Since Newtown?


It's been nearly one year since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Many hoped the shooting would reinvigorate national efforts on gun control. And maybe it did, for a short while. But any attempt at a vote in Congress was quickly stymied. It wasn't long before gun control was finished at the federal level.

But what about in the states? The New York Times examined every law concerning gun rights introduced in state legislatures since the December 14, 2012 shooting and the results are, well, depressing.

The Times found roughly 1,500 gun laws brought up in state legislatures since Sandy Hook. A bit more than one-tenth of those — 178 — passed at least one chamber. More than 100 actually became law. As the report reveals, "almost every state has enacted at least one new gun law."

That's not the depressing part. The next sentence is:

"Nearly two-thirds of the new laws ease restrictions and expand the rights of gun owners."

A grand total of 70 of the 109 laws passed since the Newtown shooting loosen gun restrictions. In the wake of a tragedy that took the lives of 26 people, most of them children, the majority of state legislatures chose to make it easier to get a gun, and expand the locations where someone can carry a firearm, including schools.

In the immediate wake of shootings like Sandy Hook, we're told not to politicize the tragedy. Okay, fine. But it's been a year, so let's politicize: of course the far majority of state legislatures that voted for increasingly lax gun laws are controlled by Republicans. 

Source: The New York Times

Of the gun laws passed, 28 made it easier to get a gun permit and 22 eased restrictions on where you can carry a gun in public. Nine allowed individuals to bring guns on school property. All this after the Newtown shooting was supposed to bolster efforts for stricter gun control laws.

The New York Times report shows that yes, Sandy Hook did indeed spur action on gun laws. Unfortunately, it was in the wrong direction.  So take a look at the results. And mourn the state of gun legislation in this country.