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Now that we have to wait on the FBI investigation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh, it is time to continue my series on party platforms. This post will look at the Democrat Party platforms for Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, and Maryland. When I finish this series on the Democrats, I plan to do a similar one on Republican state party platforms.
Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS) signed permitless concealed-carry into law in 2015. Last year, campus carry was legalized as of July 1st. Bear this in mind when reading what Democratic Party of Kansas has to say on firearms.
From the addendum to their platform adopted in 2018.
Kansas Democrats believe guns have no place in public schools, in our colleges, universities, public libraries, or other public buildings.
We insist that firearms be carried only by those who have been properly trained and certified in their use, have passed a thorough background check, and have been licensed by the state.
In other words, they object to all the progress on gun rights passed in Kansas over the past few years.
The Democrat Party of Kentucky does not publish a platform on its webpage. According to Ballotpedia, they merely adopt the national Democrat Party’s platform. Some Kentucky Democrats have suggested a platform but I can’t find any evidence of one being adopted. The national platform has this to say about “gun violence” (sic).
With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue.
Like Kentucky, the Democrat Party of Louisiana does not publish a platform on its webpage. Again, like Kentucky, it merely adopts the national Democrat Party’s platform. A search of their website for “platform” turns up only elections to the platform committee of the national convention. I’m sure most in Louisiana do not agree with the national party’s platform regarding firearms. That might explain why there is only one Democrat congressman from Louisiana and Gov. John Bel Edwards ran for election on a pro-2A platform.
Maine used to be a state where the Democrats were pro-gun and most of the state outside of southern Maine is still relatively pro-gun. Voters in Maine did turn down a Bloomberg sponsored and financed referendum calling for universal background checks. Moreover, the state joined New Hampshire and Vermont in approving permitless or constitutional concealed carry. However, the platform of the Democratic Party of Maine does contain calls for more gun control even if they call it gun safety (sic).
Firearms are explicitly mentioned in two sections of the platform. First, under “Health Care”:
d. Support for programs that increase gun safety
And then under “Freedom, Safety, and National Security”:
5. Ensures responsible gun ownership in accordance with the 2nd Amendment of the U.S.
Constitution and works to strengthen background checks for every firearm sale within the
State of Maine and promotes the restoration of gun safety research..
As Democratic state party platforms go, that is relatively weak stuff.
Given that Maryland has a plethora of gun control laws including requiring a class in order to purchase a handgun, a mag ban, and a ban on modern sporting rifles, it should be surprising that the Maryland Democrats have come up with even more things they want in the name of “gun safety” (sic). Sadly, it isn’t. The Maryland Democratic Party devotes a full webpage in their Issues section to gun control.
Democrats support Americans’ Second Amendment guaranteed rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms.
We also believe the government should pass sensible laws that stem gun crimes, violence that too often destroys families and communities. A staggering 89 percent of unintentional, fatal shootings of children occur in the home.
Guns and domestic abusers are a deadly combination.
Of women killed by men, more than 90 percent are killed by a man they knew personally.
At least 62 percent are killed by an intimate partner. Over the past 25 years, more intimate partner homicides have been carried out with guns than with all other weapons combined.
No law will prevent all gun crimes, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t implement sensible gun regulations that strike a balance between liberty and safety.
Currently the law prohibits a convicted domestic abuser from purchasing or possessing a gun, but the law does not provide a timeline for forfeiture or a requirement of proof of forfeiture.
General Assembly Democrats are leading the fight to require abusers to forfeit guns within 48 hours and to give notice of forfeiture within 5 days.
I searched their webpage for any mention of the murder rate in Baltimore, gang violence, or even crime (other than “gun crimes”) and I couldn’t find anything. I guess it is easier to go after domestic abusers who are already banned under Federal law (Lautenberg Amendment) from possessing a firearm than it is to attack criminal gangs and drug-related crime in Baltimore.