The 2023 Legislative Session has been a stampede of radical gun control, headlined by the ban on so-called “assault weapons” (HB23-1230). Last week, the AWB was scheduled to have its initial hearing with the House Judiciary Committee, and RMGO was rallying opposition. The gun control lobby could barely contain their joy at the thought of stripping Second Amendment supporters of Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Then, suddenly… the hearing was canceled.
Since then, the “assault weapons” ban has been the subject of much speculation and curiosity, as supporters and opposers alike have been wondering when, and if, it will appear on the schedule again.
Last Thursday night, the waters were further muddied after an article from Fox31 claimed that “State Democrats pull assault weapons ban bill.” Andy Boian made the proclamation that the bill “wasn’t going to pass,” and therefore, the “Democrats pulled the bill.” This article first appeared just after 7:15 PM on March 30th. However, the initially strong wording of the article was apparently “false reporting,” as it was walked back in no time.
Within a few hours, the article had been amended to include refutations from House Democratic leadership, but they were weak at best.
While RMGO was elated upon the initial reporting that the bill was “dead,” the Democratic Leadership’s response was able to dampen the celebrations. However, the refutations by leadership do not mean there are no causes for optimism. First, the article itself contains no outright denials of the bill’s eventual death. Instead, it features a weak statement that the bill was postponed “because of other bills being debated.” This argument falls flat because the Judiciary Committee had one item on its agenda, and the radical anti-gunners are frothing at the mouth to push this bill. Instead, it is more likely that the 450+ activists that RMGO had rallied to testify in opposition to this bill scared them into postponing it and avoiding the public’s ire.
For now, RMGO is cautiously optimistic about the “assault weapons” ban’s future. As long as the grassroots activists remain involved and passionate in their opposition to the bill, there is a growing belief that it could be defeated. However, even a bill on life support can come back from the brink of death. There is a very real possibility that this bill is rammed through in rapid fashion at any moment for the remainder of the session. In the end, only constant vigilance and enthusiastic activism will ensure that this bill meets the end it deserves.