Five GOP Governors Who Surrendered Ground on Gun Control in 2018

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

The post-Parkland gun control push may have netted zero action in Congress but it has certainly found takers in one of the most unlikely of places—five Republican Governors who have surrendered ground on gun control or made clear their intentions to do so.

The state-level slide toward gun control began in Florida, where Gov. Rick Scott (R) signed a $400 million gun control bill into law. Breitbart News reported that the gun controls included firearm confiscation orders, waiting period for long gun purchases, and an increase in minimum purchase age from 18 to 21.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the measure Rick Scott signed also banned bump stocks, which were not even used in the Parkland school shooting.

On April 12, 2018, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) signed a massive body of gun controls into law. Those controls included a ban on private gun sales and bump stocks, although neither private gun sales nor bump stocks were contributors to the Parkland attack.

Phil Scott’s gun controls also bar law-abiding citizens from owning “high capacity” magazines.

Ironically, Phil Scott was able to win the gubernatorial race by proclaiming he saw no need for more gun control in the state of Vermont. On June 22, 2016, he told Vermont Public Radio, “I don’t believe that we need more gun restrictions in Vermont at this time. I think we should enforce the ones we have. I think we should focus more on safety and gun education, but also addressing the violence problem that is systemic across the country – and I don’t have the answers for that, but that’s what’s driving this frustration, this outrage.”

On April 24, 2018, Huffington Post reported that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed a bill which bans bump stocks and implements a law to allow police to confiscate firearms. The firearm confiscation law is described as a “red flag” law.

On May 14, 2018, Breitbart News reported that Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) proposed confiscation laws for his state, as well as a tripling of the 24-hour waiting period on gun purchases. Rauner wants law-abiding citizens to wait 72 hours before being allowed to pick up their guns at the store and take them home.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) had the opportunity to roll back gun controls and regulations via permitless carry legislation that reached her desk last week. Instead she vetoed the measure, thereby preserving the requirement that law-abiding citizens obtain permission from their state government before being allowed to exercise rights that “shall not be infringed.”

NRA-ILA executive director Chris Cox responded to Fallin’s veto by saying, “Gov. Mary Fallin vetoed this important piece of self-defense legislation. … Make no mistake, this temporary setback will be rectified when Oklahoma residents elect a new, and genuinely pro-Second Amendment governor.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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