Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Richard Pacelle, professor of political science at the University of Tennessee, to find some answers.
Supporters of gun rights won a battle last night in Richmond, Va.
A State House committee there rejected a number of gun-control measures, including a ban on assault weapons, a ban on selling magazines with more than 20 rounds of ammunition and mandatory universal background checks.
In the last week, National Rifle Association activists have claimed victories in two other states as well.
In Wisconsin, lawmakers backed off a proposed ban on loaded guns in the gallery that overlooks the state legislative chamber.
And in Illinois, House members declined to consider legislation to curb assault weapons after a large number of emails and phone calls from NRA members opposed to the move.
It’s the latest in a decades-long run of victories for guns rights activists at the state and local level.
Reporter Peter Wallsten told Here & Now that the NRA considers state capitals the prime battlegrounds in the struggle over gun laws, in part because it is confident that is has enough support in Congress.