The National Rifle Association agrees with gun-control advocates on the need for a bill that aims to improve the background-check system by penalizing federal agencies that fail to report records to the system and increasing federal funding for reporting domestic violence records.
About 6,500 children under 17 have been killed, and about 30,000 others wounded by gunfire since the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Ct. in 2012, reports the Boston Globe. This estimate is based on an average of the annual numbers of deaths and injuries recorded in recent years by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “The numbers are unbelievably high,” says Dr. Michael Nance of Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia.
Gun rights activists spent record amounts last year to elect Republicans, but they are not likely to get their biggest wish, nationwide concealed-carry legislation, before the 2018 elections. Key members of Congress are giving priority to a measure to improve the background check system for gun purchases.
Policing expert Jeffrey Fagan, who analyzed 94 defendants in 24 stings conducted between 2006 and 2013, found that 74 of the defendants were black and only a handful were white — a disparity so large that there was “a zero percent likelihood” it happened by chance. Federal prosecutors challenged the findings.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is seeking a law that would require the immediate removal of all firearms when someone is hit with a misdemeanor or felony domestic violence charge. Under current law, a person convicted on a felony domestic violence charge must surrender guns. Misdemeanor convictions are not covered.
Unlike other sites of mass killings, the town schedules no public events on the fifth anniversary of the deaths of 20 school children and six educators. Some families have formed a group to support stronger gun laws and seek warning signs of violence.
After the Sandy Hook school shooting that killed 26, gun enthusiasts rushed to buy millions of firearms, driven by fears that the episode would spark new gun legislation. Those restrictions never became a reality, but a new study concludes that all the additional guns caused a significant jump in accidental firearm deaths.
One surprising source of criticism of the gun-rights bill approved by the House is conservative legal scholars and pundits, many of whom believe the bill rests on a shaky constitutional foundation and will invite a court challenge should it be enacted.