gun control

The Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee on Tuesday advanced a bill that would allow public health care facilities to continue to ban concealed guns.

A state law taking effect July 1 will allow people to carry concealed guns into any public building that is not secured by armed guards and metal detectors.

Kansas City Star

This week Democrats in the Kansas House of Representatives attempted to roll back a law that allows concealed weapons to be carried on college campuses across the state.

As The Kansas City Star reports, the effort was ultimately derailed because moderate Republicans decided to side with their colleagues on the right rather than cross the aisle. The law, which was instituted in 2013, allows handguns in most public buildings in Kansas, including college and university buildings.

Ilana Panich-Linsman / NY Times

Texans may soon be able to purchase and openly carry firearms with no permit of any kind required, reports The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

The gun proposal currently under consideration in the Texas House is known as Constitutional Carry. It would also ensure that Texans can carry guns without any required safety training.

The leader of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services wants the state’s two psychiatric hospitals to be exempt from a concealed carry law set to take effect in July.

KDADS Secretary Tim Keck told a legislative committee this week that the department is seeking authorization to continue banning concealed guns in Osawatomie and Larned state hospitals. The two hospitals treat people with mental health conditions who are considered a danger to themselves or others.

Kansas public colleges will have to allow firearms on their campuses starting in July. But they’re still battling with the gun lobby over how people should be allowed to carry their guns.

In preparation for the law mandating concealed carry on campuses, the colleges have proposed some restrictions. For example, people carrying a semi-automatic weapon on campuses would not be allowed to keep a round in the chamber.

gritphilm / Creative Commons

Early in the morning of New Years’ Day, a Texas politician was struck in the skull by a bullet. The bullet had been fired into the air as part of a New Years’ celebration.

State Rep. Armando Martinez told his wife he felt like he’d been hit in the head with a sledgehammer. She took him to the hospital, where it took doctors 45 minutes to remove the bullet from his skull. Miraculously, Martinez lived. 

Rural Blog

Oklahoma is among the top ten in states with the most per capita gun violence, according to a new study by the Center for American Progress.

Ralph Barrera / AP photo

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has sued a southeast Texas county that’s trying to ban guns from its courthouse, reports The Los Angeles Times

CNN/Texas Department of Public Safety/US Census Bureau

There are almost 28 million people living in Texas, and more than 1 million of them are licensed to carry a handgun, reports CNN. That’s one out of every 28 people. Dallas County has the third highest number of gun licensees in the state, following Harris (139,563) and Tarrant (71,504) counties.

Caleb Long / Wikimedia Commons

While the nation at-large considers whether to limit access to guns, the conversation in Oklahoma is about whether to increase access. This urge to stock up on weapons is part of a long tradition of pro-gun sentiment in the state, notes News OK.

J. Scott Applewhite / STF

Several gun-control measures failed in the US Senate this week. The proposals included a narrowly-tailored compromise that had previously been put forth by Texas U.S. Sen. John Cornyn last December. In the wake of the Orlando mass shooting, Senator Cornyn decided to try again, reports The Houston Chronicle

Rick Wilking / Reuters

In the wake of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado officials approved a number of new gun control laws. The measures passed the Colorado legislature in 2013 and were signed into law by Governor John Hickenlooper. The new laws were immediately challenged by supporters of gun rights. But now, reports Reuters, a federal appeals court has ordered a lower court judge to dismiss the challenges to the gun legislation.

University of Texas/Texas Tribune

Texans’ opinions about guns appear to be at odds with the laws of their own state, according to new polling data. The Texas Tribune reports that Texas voters overwhelmingly support mental and criminal background checks on all gun purchases in the US. That includes firearms sold at gun shows and private sales.

Tulsa World

A rural school district in Oklahoma has posted some signs on its campus that are drawing attention, according to The Rural Blog. The fours signs read: “Please be aware that certain staff members at Okay Public Schools can be legally armed and may use whatever force is necessary to protect our students.” 

Billy Hathorn / Texas Tribune

Texas’s new open carry law is making headlines and causing controversy. But there’s one place you might not expect the battle to play out: at your local zoo. According to The Texas Tribune, that’s because zoos are funded through private foundations but located on public property. That means the laws are hazy for zoos if they want to keep firearms off their property.

R0Ng / Creative Commons

Texas’s new open carry legislation took effect last week, and the Austin American-Statesman has published a list of everything you need to know about the new law. There are almost a million Texans with concealed handgun licenses, and these citizens are all now allowed to carry their handguns openly in public. Handguns must be kept in a belt or shoulder holster.

Joe Southern / KTRK

The battle over gun control recently made an unusual foray into a Texas middle school classroom. Earlier this month, Rosenberg seventh-grader Colton Southern was asked to cover his Star Wars t-shirt, reports ABC affiliate KTRK. The shirt depicted a storm trooper aiming a laser rifle. Southern was asked to zip up his jacket to hide the shirt.

Map Provides a Window into U.S. Gun Violence

Dec 18, 2015
Small Arms Survey / Washington Post

A map in The Washington Post last week helped to explain the continuing surge of mass shootings in the U.S. According to the Post, the frequency of killings “is closely tied with America's very high rate of gun ownership.” According to a 2007 Small Arms Survey, the U.S.

Obama Plans to Close Gun Show Loophole Himself

Dec 18, 2015
Montie Martin / Connection Newspapers

Texas gun dealers are readying for battle against a possible new effort from the Obama administration to make it more difficult for criminals to buy guns, reports Texas Standard. In the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, President Obama and his Congressional colleagues attempted to close what is known as the gun-show loophole. This gap in the law says that not all sellers at gun shows have to run background checks. Neither do people selling online.

In an impassioned plea, the editor of The Canadian Record took to her column today to shame lawmakers who refuse to stand up to pro-gun lobbyists. Laurie Ezzell Brown, the editorialist in the town of Canadian in the Texas Panhandle, let her anger be known, and the editorial was reprinted this week on The Rural Blog. Brown’s column reads, in part:

Steven Acerson / New York Times

The New York Times recently reported on a growing problem in America’s backcountry. Hikers and backpackers in the nation's public lands are increasingly coming into contact with recreational target shooters.

The Texas legislation requiring state public universities to allow handguns in dorms, classrooms, and campus buildings is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott's desk. Abbott says he'll sign the measure.

gunwatch.blogspot.com

There are several bills allowing Texans to openly carry handguns facing the legislature this session.  But, they have some challenges reports the Amarillo Globe News

State Rep. John Smithee is the senior lawmaker in the Texas Panhandle delegation.  He says, “There’s two issues:  one is how strict your licensing is, and two is where you could take your open carry and what restrictions would be placed upon it.”

The Amarillo Republican says he hasn’t take a formal position on the matter yet.

Smithee doesn’t expect lawmakers to debate the proposed bills until March. 

Bob Daemmrich / texastribune.org

The biggest fight to pass open-carry legislation in Texas could be advocates of the Second Amendment.  The Texas Tribune reports conflict is emerging over how big changes to the current state law should be.

The biggest fight to pass open-carry legislation in Texas could be among advocates of the Second Amendment. The New York Times and Texas Tribune report that conflicts are emerging over how big the changes to the current state law should be. Gun rights supporters say the divide could sink efforts to lift handgun restrictions in the next legislative session.

Voter turnout turns tide in Colorado

Nov 13, 2014
Michael Ciaglo / The Colorado Springs Gazette

Last year two Colorado lawmakers who supported stricter new gun control laws were recalled out of office.  This year is a different story.  The pair of pro-gun Republicans were defeated by Democratic candidates.  Analysts say the seesawing results are due to increased voter participation using a new mail-in ballot process reported the New York Times.

Michael Ciaglo / The Colorado Springs Gazette

Some sheriffs are refusing to enforce the new gun laws in Colorado reported Erica Goode for the New York Times.  

Texas Gun Control: The Duel Continues

Nov 12, 2013
nytimes.com

Opposing sides of Texas gun culture are attending each other’s events according to a story in the New York Times.  

Colorado Recalls: Review and Reflection

Sep 12, 2013
Matthew Staver / New York Times

Colorado Democrats, Senator Angela Giron and Senator John Morse were voted out of office this week.  The special recall election is a test of swing state voters, and their acceptance of gun restrictions according to the New York Times

http://nomadicpursuits.com/

Politics are polarizing in traditionally moderate Colorado.  Colorado has been a swing state for a long time with basically an even split between Democrats, Republicans, and the “unaffiliated.”  However the divide is widening mostly due to the rightward drift of Republicans reported the Economist.

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