2023 Wasn't All Roses for Gun Rights

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File

Last week, right before the end of the year, I wrote about how 2023 led to some significant gains for gun rights. It wasn’t a bad year for those of us on this side of the debate.


But it wasn’t perfect.

Sure, perfection is a bit much to expect, particularly in this day and age, but we can hope. Especially since it’s our rights on the line.

Yet perfection is generally unattainable in pretty much every aspect of our life. Even in the area of gun rights, there are some places and people who simply cannot let us enjoy our rights in peace. They have to infringe, and we’d be silly to ignore the gains they made in 2023.

Significant gun-related legislation and jurisprudence was promulgated by Democrats and left-wing judges in 2023, affecting individuals’ rights to own firearms under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Amid frequent mass shootings across the United States, left-wing activist groups and Democrats have sought to pass legislation that would restrict the availability of guns to persons by imposing administrative requirements to own them, such as background checks. Many of these were opposed by Republicans and conservative activist groups through litigation, with those measures being as follows.

New Mexico’s Suspension of Gun Possession In Albuquerque

On Sept. 8, Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico signed an executive order that banned the possession of firearms outside private residences in Bernalillo County, which covers the City of Albuquerque. The decision was widely criticized, including by several left-wing activists who have previously called for stringent gun control measures, as being unconstitutional.


Now, I get that The Daily Caller is counting this as simply an anti-gun move by a Democrat, but I’d actually count this as a win for our side.

Grisham made her proclamation, but then she was promptly smacked down by not just the courts but even a number of her fellow state officers and gun control advocates, as noted above.

It created rifts in the gun control debate. It’s not that Grisham did anything most actually disapproved of. what she did was make that move way too soon and spoiled the whole thing for down the road.

Also noted was California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 28th Amendment proposal.

The Daily Caller also notes other moves out of California.

California’s Enactment Of Sweeping Gun Possession Restrictions

On Sept. 26, Newsom signed into law several bills that restricted the possession of firearms in the state presented to him by the state legislature.

Among the measures enacted include the raising of the minimum age to purchase a firearm from 18 to 21, a new 11% excise tax on the sale of all guns in the state and a prohibition on carrying guns within 1,000 feet of several properties — such as schools, places of worship, public gatherings and parking lots, among others.

The law was later enjoined by Judge Cormac Carney of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, on Dec. 20. “[I]ndividuals must be able to effectuate their right to self-defense by, if they so choose, responsibly bearing arms,” Carney wrote in his ruling, which is temporary pending the outcome of litigation against the state.


Of course, that ruling has been stayed by the Ninth Circuit, as Cam noted on Monday, so it’s in effect.

Also of note are universal background checks in Minnesota and the banning of over 50 firearm models in Washington state as “assault weapons.”

These are significant, to be sure, but when you compare it to the wins of 2023, it’s hard to feel all that bad. Sure, we may not have perfection, but we’re a lot closer to the gun rights idea of it than the gun control version.

Gun rights seemingly came out the big winner here.

Here’s hoping we can say the same thing in 2025.

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