Gun-control advocates stymied by lawmakers’ inability to pass widely supported gun safety measures are turning their hopes this year to another arena: the ballot box.
Voters in four states will consider a handful of gun-control proposals Tuesday. The measures have drawn big-dollar support from national gun-control groups such as Everytown for Gun Safety, and enjoy significant fundraising advantages over opposition groups such as the National Rifle Association. Polling indicates all four measures are favored to pass.
Measures in Nevada and Maine would implement a system of universal background checks for gun shows and private sales, similar to existing laws in a number of other states. These types of laws are widely supported by the public, in principle — a recent Pew Research Center poll found that 79 percent of Republicans and 88 percent of Democrats favored background checks for gun shows and private sales.
Polls show between 50 percent and 60 percent of likely voters in Nevada support the background check measure there. Proponents have raised nearly $18 million so far, with $12.5 million coming from Everytown for Gun Safety and an additional $3.5 million coming from a personal contribution made by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg. Opponents have raised close to $5 million, nearly all of it coming from the NRA.