Ivan Pierre Aguirre/The New York Times
Congress failed to impose gun restrictions after the school massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Parkland, Fla., and there’s little confidence that 21 deaths at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, will change matters now.
But states aren’t waiting.
In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy urged lawmakers to advance firearms safety measures, including raising the age to 21 for purchases of long guns and exposing gun makers to civil lawsuits.
In New York — where an 18-year-old in Buffalo was charged two weeks ago with committing a racist mass shooting — Gov. Kathy Hochul said she would seek to ban people under 21 from purchasing AR-15-style rifles.
And in California — where a politically motivated mass shooting erupted at a luncheon of older churchgoers this month — legislative leaders and Gov. Gavin Newsom fast-tracked tougher controls on firearms.
“We are getting a lot of inquiries even though a lot of state legislatures are out of session,” Nico Bocour, director of government affairs for the anti-gun-violence group Giffords, said after the Uvalde shooting. “In the wake of a lot of inaction by Congress, states want to step up and keep people safe.”
The present Congress maintains its track record of accomplishing virtually nothing of social value.