guns

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush.

Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

The mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando has led to a revival of the debate over assault weapons, but journalist Evan Osnos says the real growth in gun ownership is from small, concealed handguns.

"Something really profound has changed in the way that we use guns," Osnos tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "Concealed carry, as it's known, is now legal in all 50 states."

Updated at 1:15 p.m.

House Democrats have ended their almost 26-hour-long sit-in to push for gun control legislation, pledging on Thursday afternoon to continue their fight once Congress returns from the July Fourth recess.

Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., ended the daylong protest surrounded by his Democratic colleagues. The civil rights leader proclaimed that this "is a struggle, but we're going to win this struggle."

Demanding action on gun control, about 30 Democratic members of the United States House of Representatives are staging a sit-in.

"Lawmakers are grouped in the well of the chamber, in front of the speaker's dais and in chairs in the front row," NPR's Sue Davis reports. "Some members are literally sitting on the floor of the House."

“Do you believe guns in the home make you less safe?”

“Who do you believe should legally be allowed to carry a concealed pistol on college campuses?”

Those are the kinds of questions political candidates are getting this year from gun control and gun rights groups.

At the dilapidated morgue in the northern Brazilian city of Natal, Director Marcos Brandao walks over the blood-smeared floor to where the corpses are kept.

He points out the labels attached to the bright metal doors, counting out loud. It has not been a particularly bad night, yet there are nine shooting victims in cold storage.

Most were shot with guns that were not legally owned, he says.

Gun buyers in Oregon could have to wait longer to get a weapon if there's a delay in processing their criminal background check. The Oregon House narrowly approved the measure Monday.

A judge is poised to decide whether a lawsuit filed over the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 can continue. Lawyers for gun manufacturer Remington Arms are seeking a dismissal, saying the company is protected from such suits by federal law.

You’ve heard of sex offender registries. The state of Washington also has a registry for people convicted of gun-related felonies. But it’s hardly used.

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and state Republican leaders have announced a rare bipartisan compromise on gun laws for the state.

McAuliffe, who is a Democrat, tells reporters that "the balance of this deal changes Virginia law permanently in ways that would keep guns away from people who would use them for harm."

College Tragedy Raises Questions About Guns And Mass Killings

Oct 6, 2015
John Locher / AP

Law enforcement officials say the weapons used by Chris Harper-Mercer in last week’s shooting at Umpqua Community College were lawfully purchased.

Celinez Nunez is the assistant special agent in charge for the Seattle field division of the ATF. She told reporters at a press conference in Roseburg last week that more than a dozen guns were found at the community college and the shooter’s apartment.

Jessica Robinson

Beginning Wednesday, visitors at schools in Idaho’s Coeur a’Alene School District will be required to check in by video and be buzzed in. It’s one of many security measures parents and students are seeing across the Northwest as a result of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012.

But one of the most talked about changes — arming teachers — has failed to materialize.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

A group urging more restrictive gun laws is calling for a national boycott of Starbucks Saturday. The group is upset over Starbucks’ policy of letting customers bring firearms into stores in states that allow it. 

Dozens of businesses in Seattle are turning their backs on customers who carry guns. They’ve signed onto a new “gun-free zone” program launched by Washington Ceasefire with the support of Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn.

Businesses can register for the program by signing up on Ceasefire website and posting a "no guns allowed inside" decal on their windows.

The Texas-based company Defense Distributed is getting quite a bit of attention this week for its Liberator — a handgun made almost entirely by a 3-D printer.

AP

The Pasco School District decided to overturn the suspension of a first-grader who was sent home for talking about toy guns.

The district determined no discipline was warranted after talking with the parents.

The father, Mike Aguirre, told the Tri-City Herald his son Noah was punished for talking about Nerf guns and there's no evidence he threatened to harm another student.

The 6-year-old was suspended Feb. 28 at James McGee Elementary School. The district said Wednesday the incident will be erased from his record.

(Updated with audio story, attached.)

Seattle has had it with the flare of gunfire lighting up its streets – and that’s driving city leaders to pull out the stops to find solutions.

More aggressive search and seizures, stiffer local gun laws, increased police patrols, video cameras and now a technology that registers where a gun is fired in the city and notifies police seconds after the shooting – these are some of the tools Seattle officials are looking at to tamp down the violence.

The Associated Press

The only survivor of a shooting at a Seattle cafe where four other people were killed is expected to recover.

Harborview Medical Center reports Leonard Meuse has been upgraded from critical to serious condition. Spokeswoman Susan Gregg says he remains in the intensive care unit Thursday.

Idaho is among a handful of Western states using their gun-rights cred in this tough economy to attract jobs in the firearms industry.

scorpiusdiamond / Flickr

Sometimes it seems most of life’s problems can be solved with proper application of high velocity projectiles.

Take the “Chicken Gun”, operated by the US Air Force. It solved the problem of testing bird impacts on airplanes. It was too hard to fly around looking for a flock of birds to fly into, so they invented a cannon to fire freshly killed chickens at expensive airplanes. And in a pinch, it can be used as a weapon. While it might not create smoking craters, it would totally gross out the enemy.

A teenager caught with an illegal gun in Washington gets little more than a slap on the wrist.  That’s the complaint of prosecutors who are trying to stiffen the penalty.