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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

States and Guns

Adam Nagourney writes at The New York Times:
The first concrete responses to the massacre in Newtown, Conn., began emerging on Tuesday, as state leaders proposed measures to curb gun violence, corporations distanced themselves from an event that has traumatized the nation and the White House pointed to gun control measures that President Obama would champion in the months ahead.

The reactions were considerably more broad-based than what had followed previous mass shootings, coming from Republicans as well as Democrats, from gun control advocates and those who have favored gun rights in the past, and even from the corporate and retail worlds. Proponents of stricter controls on firearms said they were cautiously optimistic that, perhaps this time, something concrete and lasting would be enacted.

In California, Democratic leaders introduced legislation that would mandate background checks and one-year permits for anyone who wanted to buy ammunition there. In Michigan, a Republican governor vetoed legislation that would have permitted concealed weapons in schools. And a private equity company announced that it would sell off the company that made the high-powered assault rifle used in the Newtown shootings last week.
Even as this was happening, millions of American gun owners — about 40 percent of American households report having a gun — remained deeply resistant to any moves to curtail Second Amendment gun rights. And not all the moves announced Tuesday pointed to stricter gun controls.

In Ohio, Gov. John R. Kasich, a Republican, announced that he would sign legislation that would allow people to keep guns in their cars at the Statehouse garage and make it easier to renew licenses and to carry concealed weapons. “I think as we move forward, whatever we do, we don’t want to erode the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens,” he said.
The National Conference of State Legislatures has a table of laws relating to firearm possession by the mentally ill. 

KCBS-TV in Los Angeles reports on a proposal that pension funds divest from companies involved with certain kinds of gun manufacturing.