All Articles Tagged "gun laws"
(Chicago Sun Times) — Giving gun-control advocates a major win, the House Thursday rejected a bid by Downstate gun-rights advocates to permit Illinoisans to carry concealed weapons. The measure pushed by Rep. Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) failed by a 65-32 vote, with one voting present. Seventy-one votes were necessary for passage. “Folks, 49 other states have some kind of carry permit process, and how can they be wrong? And it has not been the Wild West there,” Phelps said before the vote. “Everywhere this has been allowed to become law, crime has gone down considerably,” Phelps said. The outcome represented a victory for Gov. Quinn, who earlier this week threatened to veto the legislation. Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel also lobbied lawmakers against the measure.
(Chicago Tribune) – Gov. Pat Quinn sought to stall a push to allow concealed carry in Illinois, saying Tuesday that he would veto any measure lawmakers sent him that would allow citizens to walk around with loaded guns in public. “I don’t think we’re in the business of trying to increase danger to the people of Illinois. We want to work with our law enforcement and prevent bad things from happening,” the governor said at a morning news conference. The threat of a veto from Quinn did little to deter supporters who have been emboldened by last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that tossed out Chicago’s long-standing gun ban. Hours after Quinn announced his opposition in Chicago, a House committee recommended approval of the latest version of a concealed-carry measure. Illinois and Wisconsin are the only states without some form of such a law.
(Chicago Tribune) — The debate over whether to allow Illinois residents to carry concealed guns with a permit was waged from the Capitol to Chicago on Wednesday, well ahead of any actual vote on the issue. Up north, outgoing Mayor Richard Daley warned of a city in which parks, college campuses, malls and other public places could be crowded with gun-toting citizens if the General Assembly passes the conceal carry bill. Daley said he and Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel sent a letter urging lawmakers to vote it down. “Do you want guns at your neighborhood festival or block party? Or in a park, like the one we’re here today?” Daley asked at a news conference at the Austin Town Hall Cultural Center, where he was joined by several aldermen and anti-violence advocates. “CTA buses or trains? Do you want students with concealed weapons walking around every college campus in the state?” The conceal carry legislation cleared a House committee this year but is being fine-tuned. Sponsoring Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said he’s “three to four votes short right now” and said no vote will happen until late April at the earliest.
Students in Texas may soon be able to pack their books and pencils beside their guns and amo before heading to campus. More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on to a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns, says the Associated Press. It would follow a similar bill passed by the Senate in 2009 and this one is expected to pass as well. Republican Governor Rick Perry has said he’s in favor of the idea.
With 38 public universities and more than half a million students,Texas would be the second state to pass such legislation, followed by Colorado. Supporters argue that the best defense against mass shootings, similar to the ones at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois universities, is a student who can shoot back.
History has certainly shown us that two wrongs always make a right.
Similar firearms measures have been proposed in about a dozen other states, but all face strong opposition, especially from college leaders, reports The Associated Press.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Flanked by the parents of slain Chicago Police officer Thomas Wortham IV, Mayor Daley on Monday proposed a package of new gun laws that might have kept Wortham’s alleged killers off the streets. Felons convicted of illegal gun possession or charged with other gun crimes would no longer be eligible for probation, under one of four new wrinkles in Daley’s annual package of gun control legislation. The lame-duck mayor is also proposing: a mandatory, ten-year prison sentence for pointing a gun at a first responder; a separate felony charge for parents or guardians who bring a child along when they commit or attempt a felony and automatic transfer from juvenile to criminal court for 15- to 17-year-olds charged with possession or use of a firearm. Wortham survived two tours of duty in Iraq, only to be gunned down in May in front of his parents’ home by thugs intent on stealing his motorcycle. The slain officer’s boyhood home is located across from a park the officer had worked to make safe for local kids.
(Washington Post) — In the 2½ years since the U.S. Supreme Court ended the District’s handgun ban, hundreds of residents in Washington’s safest, most well-to-do neighborhoods have armed themselves, registering far more guns than people in poorer, crime-plagued areas of the city, according to D.C. police data. Since the landmark court ruling in June 2008, records show, more than 1,400 firearms have been registered with D.C. police, most in the western half of the District. Among those guns, nearly 300 are in the high-income, low-crime Georgetown, Palisades and Chevy Chase areas of Northwest. In all of the neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River – a broad swath of the city with more than 52,000 households, many of them in areas beset by poverty and drug-related violence – about 240 guns have been registered. Although police declined to identify gun owners, citing privacy rules, they provided a breakdown by age, sex and location, from the start of firearms registration in July 2008 to the end of 2010. Of the 1,400-plus weapons, more than 1,000 are handguns, mainly semiautomatics, and the rest are rifles and shotguns. In the 20016 Zip code, encompassing some of the District’s wealthiest enclaves in upper Northwest, 151 firearms have been registered. That is more than 10 percent of the citywide gun total in an area with about 14,000 households, according to U.S. Census data.
(The Root) — In the days and weeks following the Tucson shooting, lawmakers and activists have viewed the tragedy as an opportunity for reviving debate around gun control. New York Representative Carolyn McCarthy, for example, introduced a bill prohibiting high-capacity ammunition magazines. Activists who have long organized around the toll of gun violence in urban black communities, such as the Reverend Al Sharpton, saw their efforts around gun accessibility momentarily boosted in the media.
(New York) — The National Rifle Association has gone uncommonly dark since the weekend shootings here. A posting on its Web site expresses sympathies for the victims of the violence, and N.R.A. officials said they would have nothing to say until the funerals and memorial services were over. In Washington, bills were being drafted to step up background checks, create no-gun zones around members of Congress and ban the big-volume magazines that allowed the Tucson gunman to shoot so many bullets so fast. Gun control advocates say they believe the shock of the attack has altered the political atmosphere, in no small part because one of the victims is a member of Congress.
(Washington Post) — The road to firearms policy in America is paved in blood. Every major change in the regulation of U.S. gun ownership was prompted in part by a national gun tragedy, such as the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or the attempt on the life of President Ronald Reagan. The 1960s killings of Kennedy, his brother Robert and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led to the Gun Control Act of 1968, the cornerstone of gun law in America today.