By: Brenden Boudreau
With all the talking heads in the mainstream media pontificating on whether we are going to see a “blue wave” or “red wave” on November 6, it may be difficult for gun owners across the nation to parse what the future holds for political power in their individual states.
The truth is, for the vast majority of Americans, not much is going to change.
California, of course, will continue to be an anti-gun wasteland. A spattering of states across the Heartland will remain under the control of Republicans, who, we can confidently expect, will resist the temptation of enacting bipartisan gun control to appease the liberal elites.
Several states that helped put President Trump in the White House, and which are currently under Republican control from top to bottom (think Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Iowa), could very well elect Democratic Governors for the first time in years. Such an outcome would all but assure deadlock on the gun rights issue for the next four years, at least.
Pending the results in the coming week, these four states could become major gun control battlegrounds in 2019:
Republicans are likely to retain control of the State Legislature in Florida, but gun owners in the Sunshine State should take little comfort in this projection. It was Republican legislative leadership, after all, that ushered through the state’s massive gun control expansion earlier this year.
If anti-gun Democrat Andrew Gillum is elected governor, he’ll likely have ideological allies in two Republican leaders: incoming Senate President Bill Galvano and the proposed next Speaker of the House, Jose Oliva. Galvano received $200,000 from Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety, and Oliva was instrumental in drumming-up Republican support for SB 7026, the largest loss of gun rights in recent Florida history.
Gillum has already publicly called for the outright ban of certain firearms as well as the repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
While it seems far-fetched for Republicans to team-up with a known anti-gun Democrat, a sizable percentage of Republicans in the Legislature have already tarnished their records by voting for radical gun control, including bans on firearms accessories, bans on entire classes of people from owning firearms, and instituting mandatory government waiting periods to obtain guns.
To counter these disastrous developments, Director of Legislation for Florida Gun Rights, D.J. Parten, is working with conservative members of the Republican caucus to file legislation to repeal Governor Rick Scott’s gun control. While it is unlikely to gain any traction next year, simply having such a bill introduced will give gun owners something to rally behind and a battering ram to use against the growing anti-gun tidal wave forming in Tallahassee.
Maine joined the growing ranks of Constitutional Carry states in 2015 after Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature joined together to put this landmark pro-gun legislation on the desk of Governor Paul LePage, who quickly signed it into law.
But with the political winds changing in Augusta, Constitutional Carry could soon be on the chopping block in the Pine Tree State.
Michael Bloomberg and his anti-gun allies already attempted to ram gun control into law via a failed 2016 ballot initiative.
The Democrats in Maine are on track to take over the Governor’s mansion, and the ever-radicalizing party has a good chance of taking full control of the State Legislature, too. Maine gun owners, therefore, must prepare for an onslaught of gun control bills and attempts to repeal the state’s Constitutional Carry law.
Out-going Republican Governor Susana Martinez was no close ally of gun owners. Divided control of the government in Santa Fe, though, kept the more radical forms of gun control from advancing in New Mexico after Democrats took back full control of the State legislature in 2016.
Michelle Lujan Grisham, the Democratic candidate for Governor who is currently leading in all the polls, is very anti-gun. Proudly touting her Moms Demand Action endorsement, Lujan Grisham, a current Congresswoman, is looking to continue her anti-gun legacy as Governor if voters give her the chance.
Lujan Grisham is calling for outright bans of commonly owned firearms and accessories, as well as mandatory storage laws and due process-shredding confiscation orders. The liberal candidate appears primed to forcefully enact her extreme agenda as Democrats are all but certain to maintain control of the Legislature. Gun-owning New Mexicans must be willing to fight come 2019.
The Rocky Mountain State has been the frontlines in the battle for the Second Amendment dating back to 2013.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, the newly-minted Democrat majorities in the Colorado Legislature wasted no time in exploiting the tragedy to put far-reaching gun control measures on the desk of Democrat Governor John Hickenlooper.
Led by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), gun rights activists succeeded in recalling multiple Democratic State Senators who voted for these gun control measures, giving Republicans control of the State Senate.
With a divided government in Denver, the gun control battle has mostly been quiet since the 2013 assaults. But with Democrats poised to retain control of the Governorship as well as having a decent shot of taking back the Senate, Colorado gun owners could once again find themselves in an intense battle to defend their right to keep and bear arms.
“RMGO and its two PACs are working overtime to prevent another 2013 scenario,” Dudley Brown, Executive Director of RMGO, recently told GPM. “It’s quite possible we face another clean sweep, Democrat-controlled state government in 2019, which would mean another round of gun control in Colorado.”
Brenden Boudreau is the Director of Field Operations for the National Association for Gun Rights, writing from Michigan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Disclosure: In addition to his work with the National Association for Gun Rights, the author is also Executive Director of Great Lakes Gun Rights.