December 2010

Downrange: December 2010

ELECTION WRAP UP

According to results tabulated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the 2010 elections proved to be exceptionally strong for pro-firearms candidates at both the federal and state levels.

Big picture: In the election, Republicans took back control of the House of Representatives while picking up six seats in the Senate

and plus-six net-change governorships. Though the Democrats maintain control of the Senate, pro-industry/gun Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) won re-election—a move that keeps either anti-gun senators Chuck Schumer (D) or Dick Durbin (D) from assuming the leadership position.

At the state level, pro-gun/hunting measures fared very well. Three of four states overwhelmingly passed Right to Hunt and Fish measures, including, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Tennessee. The state of Kansas passed, with 90 percent approval, a right to keep and bear arms measure.

In the U.S. Senate, pro-gun senate candidates did well in the election that ultimately saw the GOP make strides by flipping six seats in the Democrat-controlled chamber. Important pick-ups included John Boozman (R) defeating incumbent Arkansas senator Blanche Lincoln (D), and in Florida, Marco Rubio (R) beating Charlie Crist (I) and Kenneth Meek (D). Also, in Kentucky, Rand Paul (R) outpolled Jack Conway (D); in Missouri, Roy Blunt (R) defeated Robin Carnahan (D), and in New Hampshire, Kelly Ayotte (R) defeated Paul Hodes (D). And in Wisconsin, Ron Johnson (R) defeated gun-hating incumbent Russ Feingold (D).

In gubernatorial races around the country, pro-gun candidates did particularly well. This is important for many reasons, chief among them redistricting. The GOP grabbed 10 governorships from sitting Democrats in Michigan, Tennessee, Kansas, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Ohio, Iowa, New Mexico and Oklahoma. A quick breakdown shows Republicans controlling 29 states, Democrats controlling 19 states, Independents controlling one state (Rhode Island), and one state still being being counted.

Also, the GOP retook control of the House of Representatives with a pick-up of 61 or more seats (some races are in recounts). Though the House was a pro-gun chamber under the Democrats, the Republican takeover, combined with the election/re-election of pro-gun Democrats, has led to an increased number of pro-industry lawmakers in the House.

As a gun-rights supporter, I was happy to see many vociferous anti-gunners in the House go down in defeat. That list includes Alan Grayson in Florida’s 8th District, Ron Klein in Florida’s 22nd District, John Adler in NJ’s 3rd District, and many others. All in, restricting gun rights just got a lot harder for anti-gunners across the country.

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