After the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others in Tucson, the proximity between elected officials and armed citizens is drawing fresh attention and, in some cases, worry. Security personnel have stepped up their presence in some state capitols as new legislative sessions begin, and the typical raft of proposed pro- and anti-gun legislation has taken on a new urgency as a result of the events in Arizona., says Stateline.org.
Overwhelming victories by Republicans in November's state elections have increased the chances of pro-gun bills passing, and many lawmakers believe the right legislative response to fatal shootings like the one in Tucson is to expand, not limit, gun rights. Ensuring broader access to guns for law-abiding citizens, they argue, can help residents defend themselves if an attack or other emergency occurs. In one of its first moves, the GOP majority that took control of the New Hampshire House of Representatives this month voted to allow concealed guns and other weapons in the statehouse and surrounding legislative buildings. Republicans also reversed a 40-year-old chamber policy that banned concealed guns on the House floor itself.