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gun restrictions

Updated at 8:30 p.m. ET

The Air Force says a mistake allowed Devin Patrick Kelley to buy guns. On Sunday Kelley opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The former airman had an assault-style rifle and two handguns — all purchased by him, according to federal officials — when he shot and killed 26 people.

There was a time when the National Rifle Association was known primarily for promoting gun safety and advocating for gun ownership for hunting and home protection.

But that seems a long time ago.

It still does those things, to be sure, but these days the NRA is far more recognizable as an uncompromising political force, aggressively defending its interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, while working to defeat any and all politicians it views as its enemy.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans — regardless of party — favor tightening restrictions on firearms, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

But significant partisan divides remain — and perhaps relatedly, they exist alongside divides in knowledge about guns in America.

Eight-in-10 Americans told the pollsters they favor bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and "bump stocks," an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic weapon.

Updated at 5:10 p.m. ET

A horrific shooting in Las Vegas is prompting fresh calls from Democrats on Capitol Hill to pass stricter gun laws, but the Republican majority has made clear that cracking down on gun rights is not on the agenda.

By a 57-43 margin, the Republican-led Senate voted Wednesday to repeal an Obama-era regulation designed to block certain mentally ill people from purchasing firearms. The vote, which approves a House resolution passed earlier this month, now sends the measure to the White House for President Trump's signature.

Updated Feb. 3 at 4:45 p.m. ET

On Thursday the GOP-controlled House voted to overturn an Obama administration rule designed to keep firearms out of the hands of some people deemed mentally ill.

The action was the latest move by congressional Republicans to undo several of President Obama's regulations on issues such as gun control and the environment through an arcane law called the Congressional Review Act.

Demanding action on gun control, about 30 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives are staging a sit-in.

"Lawmakers are grouped in the well of the chamber, in front of the speaker's dais and in chairs in the front row," NPR's Sue Davis reports. "Some members are literally sitting on the floor of the House."

Cornyn Gun Measure Fails In U.S. Senate

Jun 21, 2016
Abby Livingston / The Texas Tribune

A week after the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history, the U.S. Senate on Monday voted down four competing gun control measures largely along party lines, including one put forward by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn that sought to block the sales of weapons to people on the FBI’s terrorist watch list.

 

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

Texas Lawmakers: Don't Single Out College Students Who Carry Guns

Jan 26, 2016
Photo illustration by Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune

Texas senators on Tuesday urged the state's six university chancellors not to single out students who carry guns on campus when the state's new campus carry law goes into effect in August. 

Lauren Silverman / KERA News

It’s been a few weeks since the open carry law took effect in Texas. But many women still prefer to keep their guns concealed – and there is a growing accessory industry to feed their gun fashion needs.

Todd Wiseman / Texas Tribune

The gun debate became front and center last week when President Obama announced his executive actions on gun violence. At the same time, Texas began allowing the open carry of handguns.

C.J. Grisham for Senate website

In the wake of President Obama's efforts to take on gun violence, the head of the group Open Carry Texas told KERA News that the president "wants to make sure that more kids die by refusing to allow us to carry on the schools to protect our own kids."

Courtney Collins / KERA news

More than 50,000 people from across the globe are streaming into the Dallas Convention Center. It’s the granddaddy of all outdoor expos: the Dallas Safari Club’s annual convention. 

From Texas Standard:

Tonight, President Barack Obama will speak and take questions at a televised town hall hosted by CNN.

The topic? Guns – specifically, the administration's new executive orders on gun control.

 


When President Obama announced new gun control measures on Tuesday, the White House said they were needed because Congress failed to address the problem of gun violence.

Gun control advocates also are frustrated with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. That's why they've been focused on changing state laws in recent years. And they're succeeding.

Oregon is one state where gun control advocates won last year with the passage of Senate Bill 941, which requires background checks for private party gun sales.

Arina P Habich / Shutterstock

The new year brought a new law that’s generated a lot of heat in Texas – the open carry of handguns. Here's a look at what open carry means for Texas.

White House/YouTube

President Barack Obama says that contrary to the claims of some GOP presidential candidates, he's not plotting to take away everyone's guns.

President Obama is announcing a series of executive actions intended to combat gun violence, including a regulatory change designed to make it harder for gun buyers to avoid background checks. Obama plans to detail the moves on Tuesday with a statement in the White House East Room.

UT-Austin Gun Protests Feature Mock Shootings, Ketchup, Cereal Box Pistols

Dec 14, 2015
Callie Richmond / Texas Tribune

A handful of gun rights activists lay down on the ground and doused themselves in ketchup, pretending to fall victim to pistols made from cereal boxes as, about two blocks away, a crowd of about 100 protesters waved dildos and noisemakers in the air.

From Texas Standard:

After the Sandy Hook shooting, President Obama and his colleagues in Congress pushed to close what they call a loophole in background checks. They were not successful. The word loophole, it should be noted, is a political term, primarily used by advocates of gun control who say there's a gap in the law when it comes to the sale or transfer of guns between private citizens.

Under existing law, anyone who's in the business of buying or selling guns is supposed to have a federal firearms license. If you have a federal firearms license, then you have to have to run a background check on any gun transfer. But at gun shows, not everyone selling guns is in the regular business of selling them, and not all sellers have to run background checks. Neither do people selling online.

 


Fake Mass Shooting Demonstration Moved Off UT-Austin Campus

Dec 9, 2015
Jennifer Whitney / Texas Tribune

A Texas gun rights group plans to hold a fake mass shooting demonstration Saturday near the University of Texas at Austin to protest gun-free zones.

Parkland Hospital/Facebook

Starting in January, you can legally carry handguns in public in Texas. And later next year, you can have concealed handguns on state university campuses. There are still a few strictly gun-free zones, like hospitals. Some Second Amendment advocates are trying to change that.

Texas Legislature Passes Campus Carry; Bill Heads To Gov. Abbott

Jun 1, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Legislation requiring the state’s public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms and campus buildings is now one step away from becoming law.

Open Carry Wins Initial Approval In Texas House

Apr 20, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

Texas is well on its way to allowing the open carry of handguns in public places after House lawmakers took an initial step to approve it Friday.

Campus Carry Gets Initial OK In Texas Senate

Mar 18, 2015
Marjorie Kamys Cotera / Texas Tribune

Texas is now a step closer to requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed handguns on campus — a policy opposed by many higher education leaders. 

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

In an online video, a North Texas gun rights activist pushing for legislation allowing Texans to openly carry guns tells legislators that treason is "punishable by death."

Open Carry Survives In Texas Despite Its Supporters

Jan 29, 2015
Bob Daemmrich / Texas Tribune

A day after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick came close to declaring legislation permitting the open carry of handguns dead on arrival, a deluge of angry calls and comments from gun rights activists appears to have resurrected it.

Jennifer Whitney / Texas Tribune

Target has joined the growing list of stores asking customers to leave their guns at home. The retailer’s move this week comes after pictures circulated online of gun rights supporters bringing semiautomatic rifles into stores in North Texas and elsewhere.  

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