These images have since become mainstream. When Brian Kemp ran for governor of Georgia in 2018, a tongue-in-cheek ad showed him in a room full of guns, pointing a shotgun near a young man interested in dating his daughter. This drew criticism, including from Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, who tweeted“This recurring, American-only ‘joke’ is annoying.”
Mr. Kemp responded dismissively with his own tweet“I’m conservative, folks. Move on!”
Groups like the Firearms Policy Coalition have filed dozens of legal challenges over gun limits, and conservative judges, some appointed by former President Donald J. Trump, have won legal victories, including striking down a California law last month that placed a minimum age of 21 on purchases of semi-automatic rifles.
Mr Suplina, of Everytown, challenged the notion that this was an era of expanding gun rights, citing a recent modest compromise on guns in Washington and some victories at the of the state, including laws prohibiting or limiting phantom weapons in Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, New York and Rhode Island. At least four states — Delaware, New York, Rhode Island and Washington – imposed new limits on high-capacity magazines that could hold a large amount of ammunition.
“The fight is really intense,” Mr Suplina said. “But for the first time in recent times, the gun safety movement is emerging, meeting them on the battlefield, so to speak, and that includes state houses and also Congress.”
Still, gun supporters are generally feeling optimistic.
“We are only at the beginning of expanding gun rights,” said Mr. Csencsits of Gun Owners of America.
But lest its members get too complacent, Gun Owners of America has a very different message on its website about the state of affairs: Be Afraid.