With Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s seat on the Supreme Court now open, the NRA and its allies see a chance to stack the court with a pivotal additional vote against the overwhelmingly popular, evidence-based gun safety laws that the gun lobby has failed to stop in legislatures across the county. A new gun extremist on the Supreme Court could conceivably change the standard of review in Second Amendment cases, a development that could put nearly every gun law at risk. This extreme approach could call into question newer gun laws like prohibitions on the possession of firearms by domestic abusers and Extreme Risk laws, also known as red flag laws. The standard advocated for by the gun lobby also would make it significantly easier to attack wide swaths of popular and effective gun laws, including laws requiring background checks on all gun sales and permits for concealed carry.
Not only are bedrock federal gun laws at risk with gun extremists on the Supreme Court, but so are the core gun laws that have been passed by nearly every state in the country. The below chart shows the states with four critical types of gun laws: (1) background checks on all handgun sales, (2) Extreme Risk, or red flag, laws, (3) laws that disarm domestic abusers, and (4) laws requiring a person to obtain a permit to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public. More information on state gun laws can be found at the Gun Law Navigator, which is the largest historical database of modern U.S. gun laws, drawing on a survey of state gun laws dating back to 1991.
|Background checks |
for all handgun sales
|Extreme Risk |
(or red flag) laws
|Require a permit
for concealed carry
|Totals||22 +DC||19 +DC||35 +DC||35 +DC|