TOP STORY:With the GOP in charge, gun owners can breathe easier

With Republicans now in control of the Senate, the House and most state legislatures following the Nov. 4 mid-term elections, gun owners are assured that any momentum for federal gun control initiatives is now officially dead.

“History may record the aftermath of this election as the era when stricter gun control advocates finally gave up,” writes Ken Braun in The Lansing News on Nov. 5. “There has been a culture war fought over firearms since the late 1960s, and they have now decisively lost it.”

The election results confirm a trend documented in an October Gallup poll that indicates support for stricter gun laws is near a 15-year low, with 73 percent of respondents opposed to banning handguns—the highest percentage of pro-Second Amendment support in the 55 years Gallup has been polling people on gun-related issues.

Here’s a roundup of significant victories and defeats by Second Amendment advocates over gun-control zealots:

Arizona: Pro-Second Amendment candidate Doug Ducey (R) beat gun control candidate Fred DuVaul (D).
Florida: Pro-Second Amendment incumbent Rick Scott (R) beat gun control challenger Charlie Crist.
Texas: NRA-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (R) won.
Maryland: NRA-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Larry Hogan (R) won.
Alabama: NRA-endorsed Gov. Robert J. Bentley (R) won.
Wisconsin: NRA-endorsed Gov. Scott Walker (R) won.
Michigan: NRA-endorsed Gov. Rick Snyder (R) won.
Nevada: NRA-endorsed Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) won.
Ohio: NRA-endorsed Gov. John R. Kasich (R) won.
Oklahoma: NRA-endorsed Gov. Mary Fallin (R) won.
Wyoming: NRA-endorsed Gov. Matt Mead (R) won.
Idaho: NRA-endorsed Gov. Bruce Otter (R) won.
Kansas: NRA-endorsed Gov. Sam Brownback (R) won.
Maine: NRA-endorsed Gov. Paul R. LePage (R) defeated gun control challenger Michael Michaud (D).
Connecticut: Democratic incumbent Gov. Dannel Malloy, who signed an “assault weapons” ban as part of a gun control bill in knee-jerk reaction to the Sandy Hook in 2013, narrowly defeated Republican challenger Thomas C. Foley with the help of massive support from by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group and Independence USA PAC.
Massachusetts: Candidate Charlie Baker (R) defeated gun control candidate Martha Coakley (D).
Colorado: Incumbent gun control Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) defeated NRA-endorsed candidate Bob Beaupre (R) in one of the few contested gubernatorial races that Bloomberg’s PAC money may have made a difference in the results.

Colorado: NRA-endorsed Cory Gardner (R) defeated incumbent gun control Sen. Mark Udall (D), who was heavily supported by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group and Independence USA PAC.
North Carolina: Incumbent gun control Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) was defeated by NRA-endorsed Thom Tillis (R). Hagan was heavily supported by Bloomberg’s PAC because of her vote on last spring’s failed background check bill.
Kansas: NRA-endorsed Senator Pat Roberts (R) won.
Georgia: NRA-endorsed Senatorial candidate David Perdue ®, who defeated gun control candidate Michelle Nunn (D), another Bloomberg PAC hopeful.
Arkansas: NRA-endorsed Tom Cotton (R) won.
West Virginia: NRA-endorsed Shelley Moore Capito (R) won, the first time that state has sent a Republican Senator to Washington in more than five decades.
Kentucky: NRA-endorsed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) defeated pro-gun control challenger Alison Grimes (D).
Iowa: NRA-endorsed Senatorial candidate Joni Ernst (R) won.
Louisiana: Gun control Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) and Republican challenger Bill Cassidy will face off in a Dec. 6 runoff after neither garnered 50 percent of the vote on Nov. 4.
Michigan: In one of the rare losses on Nov. 4, gun control advocate Gary Peters (D) defeated pro Second Amendment and former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (R).

For more, go to:
Ken Braun: This election could be the final defeat for gun controladvocates
Republican wave, reasonable gun control in Washington state: Opinion roundup
POLL: Support For Repeal Of Gun Control Laws On The Rise Since 2000
2014 Election Results: Big wins for GOP, pro-gun candidates; gains for background checks
How gun rights for ‘restless natives’ became a stealth battle in Election 2014
Wins and Losses for Bloomberg Candidates and Causes on Tuesday

STATE INITIATIVES: Washington voters OK initiative requiring near-universal background checks

The only significant gun-related ballot measure presented to voters during the mid-term cycle was in Washington State, where Initiative 594, which calls for statewide background checks on the sales of guns, soundly defeated Initiative 591, which was sponsored by Washington’s Second Amendment Foundation.

I-591 would have prevented the state from imposing any background check system more restrictive than the one required by federal law.

With the adoption of I-594, which goes into effect as soon as the election is certified sometime in December, Washington joins a handful of other states that require universal background checks for nearly all gun sales.

The measure was financed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety group to the tune of, some estimates say, $10 million.

I-591, on the other hand, was supported by rank-and-file citizens who generated $2 million to make their case—a relatively paltry sum, especially since the NRA did not financially back the measure, although it did oppose I-594.

For more, go to:

-- [Big winners: gun control and Mayor Ed Murray](  
-- [Editorial: Voters stand ground on gun control in passing I-594 over I-591](http://  
-- [Cook County voters favor gun control, mental health funding](http://  
-- [OHIO: Common-sense bill says keep guns locked up](  
-- [MICHIGAN: Episcopal Church in Michigan supports gun control](  
-- [OKLAHOMA: Gun Laws Change In Oklahoma](

WHAT’S NEXT: Land/Water Fund reauthorization, forest policy, Magnuson-Stevens Act, Sportsmen’s Act, Duck Stamp increase

When the 114th Congress is seated in January, the Republican-controlled Senate and House will have a number of conservation-related bills to ponder.

According to the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, among those issues are:

-- [Reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund,](http:// which is set to expire in 2015. 

-- [A comprehensive national forest management policy.](

--  [Magnuson-Stevens marine fisheries legislation.](

-- [A refurbished Sportsmen’s Act.](

-- [Duck Stamp fee increase.](