I’m completely stuffed as I sit here and write this newsletter. My girlfriend and I started off the day watching my mom go fox hunting on horseback (more like fox chasing since they aren’t really trying to catch the fox.) And we ended the day by eating a wonderful dinner with my dad’s side of the family.
I hope your Thanksgiving went just as well.
This week, our focus is on some surprising new polling. The first and most important comes from NBC News. It finds a majority of American voters now report having a gun in the home. That’s up 8 points in just four years!
Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman digs into the numbers from that poll and a few others to show how engaged armed self-defense is in the American ethos. But he also notes the trend hasn’t necessarily translated into a polling advantage for gun-rights supporters.
Marylanders saw their gun laws called into question this week when a federal appeals panel found the state’s pistol purchase permit scheme unconstitutional. Meanwhile, Michiganders saw their gun restrictions expanded when the governor signed a new list of offenses that make those convicted prohibited from owning guns.
Speaking of polls, we saw a new one on the Supreme Court that asked about its landmark ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. Turns out it’s not only still popular, but it’s actually getting more popular.
Jake also takes a look at how American gun politics seems to be making their way into the internal debates of other countries now more than ever. From Israel to Ukraine to Brazil and Argentina, we’re hearing debates over civilian firearms that sound more and more like our own.
Plus, Cam Edwards of Bearing Arms joins the podcast to critique The Washington Post‘s decision to publish graphic mass shooting pictures.
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Customers examine handguns on sale at a Virginia gun show in July 2023 / Stephen Gutowski
More than half of the nation’s voters now live in a gun-owning household.
NBC News unveiled the results of its latest national survey on Tuesday. The poll found that 52 percent of registered voters say they or someone in their household owns a gun. That’s the highest-ever percentage of voters who acknowledge being in a gun-owning household since the outlet began tracking the question in 1999.
“In the last ten years, we’ve grown [10 points] in gun ownership,” Micah Roberts, who works for the poll’s creator Public Opinion Strategies, told NBC News. “That’s a very stunning number. By and large, things don’t change that dramatically that quickly when it comes to something as fundamental as whether you own a gun.”
New polling indicates supporters of armed self-defense are currently winning the cultural battle.
An NBC News poll released this week found that 52 percent of registered voters now say they or someone in their home owns a gun. That’s up eight points from just four years ago when the pollster last surveyed the voting public. It’s up ten points from just a decade ago. It also represents the highest-ever percentage of voters with a gun in the home since the question was asked in 1999.
It’s a remarkable finding for a couple of reasons.
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Maryland Pistol Purchase Permit Ruled Unconstitutional
By Stephen Gutowski
Maryland’s requirement that residents pass a set of requirements before buying a handgun violates the Second Amendment.
That’s the ruling a panel of Fourth Circuit judges handed down on Tuesday. In a 2-1 vote, the appeals court found the state’s restrictions directly burden citizens’ gun rights. It concluded that burden wasn’t justified under the test set out in the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.
“Maryland’s law fails the new Bruen test,” Judge Julius N. Richardson wrote for the majority in Maryland Shall Issue v. Moore. “As we will explain, Plaintiffs have shown that Maryland’s handgun-licensure law regulates a course of conduct protected by the Second Amendment, and Maryland has not established that the law is consistent with our Nation’s historical tradition.”
Michigan policymakers have expanded state gun restrictions for violent and non-violent offenses alike.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D.) signed House Bill 4945, Senate Bill 471, and Senate Bill 528 into law on Monday. The trio of bills will update Michigan’s criminal sentencing guidelines to ensure that those convicted of domestic violence-related offenses, including misdemeanors, are prohibited from buying or owning firearms and ammunition for eight years after their sentence has been completed. But the bills also swept in hundreds of new offenses unrelated to domestic violence that will now cost someone their gun rights–at least temporarily.
“Keeping Michiganders – especially young women – safe and healthy is a top priority, and these bills will take long overdue steps to protect individuals from abuse,” Governor Whitmer said in a press release. “As a former prosecutor and as governor, I am proud to sign this bipartisan legislation to prevent abusers from accessing firearms.”
Poll: Approval for Landmark SCOTUS Second Amendment Decision Rises
By Stephen Gutowski
More Americans than ever agree with the Supreme Court that the Constitution protects their right to carry a gun outside the home for self-protection.
That’s the conclusion of the latest poll from Marquette Law School. The university reported last Tuesday that 67 percent of adults approve of the Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down the state’s subjective gun-carry permitting scheme for violating the Second Amendment. That’s up three points from the same poll earlier this year and one done the year before. Similarly, disapproval dropped three points.
The poll also found a significant enthusiasm gap between those who support the ruling and those who oppose it. 39 percent of registered voters said they strongly support the Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen, the largest share. Only 11 percent said they strongly opposed the decision, the smallest share.
This week, we’re discussing The Washington Post‘s controversial decision to publish graphic images from certain mass killings.
That’s why I reached out to Cam Edwards, editor of Bearing Arms and longtime newsman, to give his opinion on the story and discuss mine as well. Cam recently interviewed Parkland father Ryan Petty about The Post’s decision and how some families have reacted to it. He said Petty and several other families were disturbed by The Post publishing the images, especially since not everyone affected was directly contacted by the paper.
Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman and I talk about the strange reasoning a federal judge used to uphold Colorado’s gun waiting period.
In an age of unprecedented global exchange brought about by technology like the internet and social media, the latest American cultural export to gain ground abroad may be civilian gun ownership.
In both rhetoric and policy, political leaders and advocates in several places outside the US have recently taken a second look at allowing their citizens to arm themselves.
Just this week, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir provided a public update on his government’s push to expand civilian gun rights in the wake of the October 7th attacks by Hamas. He announced they’ve received more than 236,000 new applications for firearms licenses since he loosened permitting requirements following the attack—an amount equal to the applications received over the prior 20 years combined. He argued this was a positive development and called upon the people of Israel to embrace firearms in terms that echo American gun-rights advocacy.
“I call on all those who are eligible — be patient with the backlog, and go get armed,” he said. “Guns save lives.”
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Outside The Reload
That’s it for this week in guns.
I’ll see you all next week.