States Introduced More Than 1,000 Gun Bills Last Year

The percentage of gun control bills has gone up since last year.

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As Washington appears near a vote on new gun control measures, the Sunlight Foundation is out with new data that shows states have been extraordinarily active proposing their own legislation on guns since the December shooting in Newtown, Conn.

[PHOTOS: Guns in America]

Its review found that since January, states have introduced more than 1,000 gun laws, about half of which pushed for more gun control, the other half of which supported more gun rights.

But Sunlight argues that if anyone has made progress, it's the gun control side.

Citing research from the San Francisco-based Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which tracks gun legislation, the nonpartisan government group reports that in 2012, some 35 percent of gun bills introduced in states would have strengthened gun laws. Now, that figure has gone up to 43 percent.

Among those new gun control laws: an Arizona bill that would prohibit "armor-piercing" ammunition, a Florida bill that would get rid of a patient's right to privacy on their guns, and a New Jersey bill that would add a seven percent tax on the sale of ammunition.

[READ: Towns Propose Mandatory Gun Ownership]

Gun control legislation passed in Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland and New York has been particularly strong.

But Dave Workman, spokesman for the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, a gun-rights lobbying group, disagrees with Sunlight's assessment—because much of the legislation that's been introduced is still pending or has failed.

"Many proposals have fallen by the wayside," says Workman. "And voters are seeing a lot of gun legislation that is just repackaged agenda items from the past. They still don't have any traction, and that's why they aren't becoming a law."

[BROWSE: Political Cartoons on Gun Control and Gun Rights]

Workman called the tough gun control legislation passed in Connecticut and Colorado "a couple [of]trophies for the mantle" but said it was "too early for them to start breaking out the kazoos."

Connecticut's new law bans some weapons, requires background checks for all gun purchases and prohibits the purchase or sale of high-capacity magazines. Colorado's new gun measures include an expansion of background checks on gun purchases and a 15-round limit on ammunition magazines.

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