Is Everytown backing off controversial gun control fights?

AP Photo/Wilson Ring

Everytown for Gun Safety is one of those gun control groups that is trying very hard to become the 800 lbs gorilla for their side of the debate. To be fair, in some places, they kind of are. If they don’t like a bill, that bill probably has no chance of actually passing.

Such is politics.

Recently, the group released their state agendas for 2022, and there are some interesting things there. Or, as Stephen Gutowski notes over at The Reload, more specifically, not there.

The group’s decision to shy away from some of the more high-profile measures proposed in California and Washington could signal a tactical shift in 2022. With the prospect of an upcoming election season, as well as waning support for new gun laws, gun-control advocates could be looking to eschew high-profile fights over more controversial gun measures.

The group stayed silent on controversial proposals out of the Golden State, such as Governor Gavin Newsom’s (D.) desire to mimic the model of Texas’ abortion law for assault weapons and ‘ghost guns.’

“This year, lawmakers should protect Californians by supporting gun safety bills that would reduce gun deaths and save lives, starting with AB 452, first of its kind legislation to require schools to send home information about secure firearm storage, and AB 988, legislation to create a crisis line for people having a mental health crisis,” Everytown said in a January 3 press release for the state.

The group also chose not to support a newly introduced bill from San Francisco Assemblymember Phil Ting (D.) to create new civil liability for gun manufacturers and dealers. It is modeled after a similar law out of New York. That law is currently facing a legal challenge from several gun makers and the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

Similarly, Everytown chose to highlight safe storage practices, certain gun-carry restrictions, and even a police reform measure over some of the more hotly-contested measures currently proposed in Washington state.

To call this interesting would be an understatement.

After all, California is a safe place for them. It’s the kind of place that actually takes them seriously and listens to what they have to say.

For them to not come out in support of laws like this in support of some much more benign measures is interesting.

I mean, some of these measures are controversial, but all gun control laws should be controversial. So what gives?

My own guess is that with the waning support for gun control we’ve seen comes waning donations for the non-profit group. With less money coming in, it’s likely they decided to pick their battles more carefully. You can’t get knee-deep in every fight when you don’t have the money to get knee-deep in every fight.

Everytown may just not have the support they once had.

Of course, that’s just speculation. The organization hasn’t said why they’ve made these particular decisions and it’s not like they’re suddenly going to become less anti-Second Amendment, no matter how much support for them seems to dry up.

Instead, they’ll just back off a bit and then come back.

Besides, they’re not the only group, and as Gutowski notes in his piece, there are others who are still up for fighting on the more controversial bills, which means gun rights activists had best not get complacent.