The Presidential election is done and America is waiting for the next president. And for gun owners, that also means waiting to hear changes or updates on our rights to bear arms. So how did the second amendment fare in the 2020 ballot measures?
2020 Ballot Measures on the Second Amendment
Although all eyes are on the Presidential election this week, there was much more that America voted on this November 3.
The Second Amendment has been continually under attack in jurisdictions across the country.
However, several ballot measures would actually expand the citizens' rights.
Montana, Alabama, and Utah all saw votes on ballot measures that related to firearms.
In Montana, voters weighed in on if local governments have the power to regulate concealed and open carry laws.
In Alabama, two counties determined if “stand your ground” laws apply in churches.
And in Utah, a state constitutional amendment was on the ballot to make hunting and fishing a right of Utah residents.
Montana: Legislative Referendum 130
Votes are still being counted on Legislative Referendum 130, which asked voters to remove local governments’ power to regulate the carrying of concealed firearms – or to restrict the open carry of firearms – except in public buildings within a government’s jurisdiction.
It would also repeal the local government’s authority to prevent the possession of firearms by convicted felons, minors, undocumented immigrants and or people judged to be mentally incompetent.
Governor Steve Bullock had previously vetoed a bill that would have accomplished the same thing.
He said that Montana law has long protected “our basic right to keep and bear arms.”
And that he trusts local governments to decide “whether the mentally ill may bring guns into schools, or whether a local government can permit concealed weapons.”
Gary Marbut, president of the Montana Shooting Sports Association, said that Montana already has a preemption law that effectively prohibits local governments from regulating guns.
LR-130 would reinforce the state constitution.
State Rep. Matt Regier, a Columbia Falls Republican, sponsored the legislation and says its function is to provide uniformity across Montana for concealed carry permit holders.
Montanans are currently split on LR-130, with 50.5% in favor and 49.5% against. 551,476 total votes have been counted at the time of writing.
Alabama: Amendment 5 and Amendment 6
In Alabama, voters statewide had the chance to vote on two amendments for the Shoals; Amendment Five for Franklin County and Amendment Six for Lauderdale County.
If the amendments pass, a special “stand your ground” law would provide that a person is not liable for using deadly physical force in self-defense or in the defense of another person on church property.
The amendments allow the use of deadly force to protect a church attendee or employee if the person is at risk of physical harm from someone engaged in a crime involving death, robbery or kidnapping.
The bills are local versions of legislation brought by Rep. Lynn Greer, R-Rogersville, which failed to advance in the Legislature.
Amendment 5 was passed with 71.5% of the vote.
Amendment 6 was passed with 71.6% of the vote.
Utah: Constitutional Amendment E
Constitutional Amendment E establishes a “constitutional right to hunt and fish in Utah.”
It also makes hunting and fishing the “preferred means of managing and controlling wildlife in Utah,” according to Joint House Resolution 15.
Amendment E was easily passed with 74% of the vote.
With the exception of the unknown status of Montana’s LR-130, the Second Amendment fared well in the 2020 election.
Unfortunately, with the Presidency hanging in the balance, there may be four very tough years ahead for the right to keep and bear arms.
What is your takeaway from the 2020 ballot measures regarding the second amendment? We'd love to hear from you in the comments section!