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Daily Beast: In Wake of Mass Shootings, Republican Governors Double Down on Dangerous Gun Policies

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A new report from the Daily Beast singled out Republican governors — including Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu — for signing dangerous gun laws and stalling commonsense violence prevention measures despite a recent string of devastating mass shootings.

“In the last month, many GOP governors have rejected calls to consider state-level gun violence prevention measures, redirected focus to discussions of “school safety” or mental health, or, in some cases, doubled down on an unequivocal opposition to any gun restrictions,” the Daily Beast wrote.

See more key excerpts below and the full report here

 

  • Several of these governors are up for re-election this year, and the murders in Uvalde—as well as recent mass shootings elsewhere like Buffalo, New York—have put gun violence back on the national agenda in a way it has not been in years.

 

  • In battleground states like Georgia, New Hampshire, Ohio, and others, GOP governors have indicated clearly they have no desire to even entertain an election-year push on gun reform—even if their states have relatively high levels of public support for strengthening gun safety laws.

 

  • In Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp is fresh off campaigning in a primary in part on his law to allow people to publicly carry firearms without a permit. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution poll found that nearly 70 percent of Georgia voters disapprove of that proposal.

 

  • Since Uvalde, Kemp has stiff-armed any discussion of reforming the state’s gun laws, emphasizing school security and mental health. His lieutenant governor, Geoff Duncan, struck a different note, saying it’s time for “a conservative and comprehensive conversation about changing the trajectory of gun violence.”

 

  • DeWine, who pledged in 2019 to act on gun violence after a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, signed a bill last week that would drastically reduce the training required for teachers to carry a firearm in the classroom … even though there is scant evidence that arming teachers makes for safer schools.

 

  • Democratic challengers are also targeting GOP incumbents on guns. Stacey Abrams, who is in a rematch with Kemp in Georgia, rolled out a gun violence prevention plan last week. Nan Whaley—the mayor of Dayton, Ohio—is running against DeWine and has also hit him frequently on his gun plans.

 

  • In his responses to Uvalde, Abbott has proposed just about everything besides reconsidering Texas gun laws. In a Wednesday letter to the legislature requesting a special session focused on school shootings, Abbott said they should focus on “school safety,” “mental health,” “social media,” “police training,” and “firearm safety.”

 

  • Sununu, who is generally considered a moderate in today’s Republican Party, has been even more explicit in rejecting gun reform after Uvalde than Kemp and Abbott. “We’re not looking to make any changes,” Sununu said at a press conference on June 1.

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