After being stopped by lawmakers, desperate anti-gun activists are taking their case to the people.
Voters in four states will decide gun control measure on the ballot in November, The Hill reported.
In Nevada and Maine, voters will decide if the state ought to expand mandatory background checks to include private gun sales.
Californians will vote on a measure to restrict the size of magazine capacities.
And Washington state voters will decide if people subject to extreme-risk protection orders, which includes those who may be suicidal and those who have orders of protection against them, can own firearms at all.
“2016 will be the year of gun sense,” Kate Folmar, a spokeswoman at Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “If elected leaders themselves won’t change the laws that make it too easy for dangerous people to get weapons, the American people will change them themselves.”
Everytown for Gun Safety is funded by billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and Hillary Clinton supporter.
While the National Rifle Association is spending most of its money on the presidential race, it is allocating significant funds to fight the measure in Nevada and plans to spend some to fight in Maine, too.
“After decades of legislative and electoral defeat, the gun control lobby has resorted to buying gun control by spending [Michael] Bloomberg’s billions to impose his New York style gun-control through the ballot initiative process,” NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said.
“He can buy his way onto the ballot but the NRA is committed to exposing his lies and defeating the gun control ballot initiatives that in fact would not prevent criminals from getting guns but instead make it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to self protection,” she said.
Gun control advocates have developed a strategy to attack gun control issues that poll well for them at the ballot box the same way same-sex marriage legalization gained momentum.
“Our goal is in fact a state-by-state strategy, given how intractable Congress is. It’s not unlike what you saw with the marriage equality arc,” Folmar told the Hill. “They started to build momentum state by state, and as more and more people lived in marriage equality states, momentum built.”
Republican Maine state Sen. Eric Brakey said the small measures on the ballots are just the beginning of a much larger gun grab.
“This is the camel getting its nose under the tent. Before you know it, you’ve got a whole camel in your tent,” he said.
“That’s when you start seeing bans on particular firearms, and then they come knocking on your door because you have a prohibited firearm that’s registered to you at your home.”
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