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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.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

A company in the tiny town of Moran, Texas, is facing scrutiny for one of its main products after a gunman opened fire on Las Vegas concert-goers earlier this month.

The shooter had semi-automatic rifles fitted with bump stocks, which allowed him to rain down bullets on the crowd like he had fully automatic weapons. 

Like many Americans, Chris Michel woke up Monday morning to the horrific news of the massacre in Las Vegas, which left 58 people dead as well as the shooter Stephen Paddock and nearly 500 injured.

From Texas Standard:

new study has opened fire against the commonly held belief – particularly in Texas – that carrying guns can reduce violent crime.

Texas Governor Jokes About Shooting Reporters After Signing Gun Bill

May 26, 2017
Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday visited a shooting range to sign a bill into law that significantly reduces the cost to get a license to carry a handgun, making Texas one of the states with the lowest fee in the nation.

Lawmaker Seeks To Pass 'Constitutional Carry' Gun Bill In 2017

Jan 3, 2017
Todd Wiseman / The Texas Tribune

A hotly contested legislative session in 2015 led to two controversial gun laws: One that allows for the open carry of handguns and another that permits the concealed carry of handguns on Texas college campuses.  

Why are the Feds Scanning License Plates at Gun Shows?

Oct 6, 2016

From Texas Standard:

Lewisville, Lubbock, Sherman – just a handful of Texas cities where there will be gun shows this weekend. At any given time, nearly a half dozen cities across the state host weekend gun shows where sellers, buyers, and collectors congregate in what amounts to a firearms bazaar of sorts.

Criticism over these events focuses on a lack of universal background checks for purchasers. But law enforcement agents have been tracking some gun show patrons’ license plates.


Want To Reduce Gun Violence? Look At The Numbers

Aug 16, 2016
Shutterstock

National headlines on gun violence tend to focus on mass shootings and terrorism. Nearly two-thirds of gun deaths in the U.S., though, are suicides. Today on Think, Krys Boyd explored these numbers with Ben Casselman who’s reported on gun deaths for the website FiveThirtyEight.com.

There is a pistol-packing revolution going on in America. Nearly 13 million Americans have permits to carry concealed handguns — triple the number just nine years ago — and that figure is low because not every state reports.

Ray's Sporting Goods in Dallas' Oak Cliff is a neighborhood firearm dreamland.

It's stocked with the latest pistols, shotguns and AR-15 military-style rifles. Chuck Payne, the store's manager, says he has sold to a lot more women recently.

"A lot of married ladies with their husbands, some without, but they've decided that their husband's not home, they need to be able to do something and they need a different gun than what their husband had," Payne says.

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.

Transportation Security Administration

A record number of airline passengers were caught last year trying to take guns on planes, and most of the weapons were loaded, federal officials say.

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.

 


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.

 


From Texas Standard:

A group made up of professors, and a few others, rallied behind their common goal of a gun-free UT on Monday at the University of Texas at Austin. This pushback against a state campus carry law passed last session has been building for months. The new law is set to take effect next year.

The protesters' message was loud and clear: ban guns or we could sue. Law professor Ken Williams from South Texas College of Law in Houston says their main claim will center around how universities will ensure a safe environment for both students and faculty.

 


Shutterstock

William McRaven took over as chancellor of the UT System at the beginning of 2015. Already he's had to navigate major changes in how the statewide system operates, and form new plans to accommodate the new campus carry law that goes into effect for the fall 2016 semester.

Study Says Concealed Carry Permits Don't Affect Crime

Sep 25, 2015
Texas Tribune

Supporters insist that allowing people to legally carry concealed handguns reduces crime, but that has not been the result in at least four states that have tried it, including Texas, according to a newly published academic study led by a Texas A&M researcher.

Philip Lange / Shutterstock.com

Texas-based Whataburger is asking customers not to openly carry guns in its restaurants.

Texas House Approves Open Carry Of Handguns

Apr 20, 2015
Texas Tribune

After turning back last-minute attempts to let city voters opt out, the Texas House gave final approval Monday to legislation allowing gun owners with concealed weapons licenses to carry their side arms openly.

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.

Courtesy of Stephen Burgher

This story is the first in KERA's series on veterans, part of the public media initiative "Veterans Coming Home."

One of the first things Dr. Stephen Burgher had to get used to as an emergency physician in Afghanistan was treating blast injuries.

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.  

Moms Demand Action

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Target joins the list of companies asking customers to leave guns at home; the North Texas college student on an African animal hunt faces more criticism; Dallas County gets ready to welcome 2,000 immigrant children; and more.

YouTube/Donna Campbell campaign

This political primary season has seen an unprecedented use of guns to get votes. Republican hopefuls across the country are appearing in political ads firing guns and holding political events around firearms.

This political primary season has seen an unprecedented use of guns to get votes. Republican hopefuls across the country are appearing in political ads firing guns and holding political events around firearms.

Shelley Kofler / KERA News

In Texas, it’s generally assumed Republicans get the gun vote. But there’s a group of Democrats who are hoping to turn that around at the state convention in Dallas this weekend. Gun owners want to make sure the Democrats’ state platform doesn’t shoot the party in the foot.

Brinker International

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Chili’s reviews its gun policy; North Texas isn’t that fit; a North Texas student advances to the semifinals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee; and more.

Ken Wolter/Shutterstock / shutterstock.com/gallery-931246p1.html

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Chipotle focuses on burritos, not guns; North Texas is a dangerous place for pedestrians; take a journey up Interstate 35; and more:

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