guns

Todd Wiseman, Texas Tribune

Update: The Travis County Commissioners scheduled to take action today on a controversial proposal to ban gun shows at the Travis County Expo Center and other county-owned facilities. 

Commissioners will take up the topic at 10 a.m.

Original Post (Jan. 7, 6:04 p.m.): There’s a gun show at the Travis County Exposition Center about once a month, but that may come to an end. On Tuesday, Travis County commissioners will consider a measure that would no longer allow gun shows on county land or at county facilities.

At a news conference dominated by discussion of what's expected to be Washington's next big political battle, President Obama insisted Monday that he will not let Republicans tie an increase in the federal government's borrowing limit to negotiations over cuts in future federal spending.

Vice President Joe Biden is getting ready to make recommendations on how to reduce gun violence in the wake of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

But he says his task force is facing an unexpected obstacle: slim or outdated research on weapons.

Public health research dried up more than a decade ago after Congress restricted the use of some federal money to pay for those studies.

A Researcher Under Fire

Texas Tribune

In the wake of school shootings -- Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst says he wants government-funded weapons training for teachers.  Dewhurst is asking State Senators to explore such a program and provide recommendations.

"The training involved with the concealed handgun law license is not sufficient in my judgment to have that person trained for an event involving an active shooter," Dewhurst said.

The National Rifle Association accused the White House of having "an agenda to attack the Second Amendment" Thursday, after representatives of the group attended meetings on gun control hosted by Vice President Biden.

The Obama administration is using the meetings to collect ideas and possibly ease the way for gun control legislation, which became a higher priority after the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn., last month. But it seems there was no ground bridged in the meetings with the NRA.

flickr.com/ChrisWaldeck

The National Rifle Association is asking its members to contact Travis County Commissioners-- publishing Commissioners’ names, phone numbers and email addresses on the NRA website.

Travis County is considering banning gun shows at the County Expo Center and the NRA is asking its members to get involved.  Commissioners’ staffers say they’re getting up to 200 emails each day, along with calls and faxes, many from out-of-state.

County Judge Sam Biscoe says Commissioners will probably vote on the issue next Tuesday, but the outcome may depend on legal issues. 

flickr.com/glasgows

The City of Austin is considering policy changes aimed at reducing gun violence and illegal gun trafficking.

Council member Mike Martinez says "there is a broad national conversation about curbing gun violence," and he thinks the city has a responsibility "to do everything we can do." 

A subcommittee consisting of Martinez, along with fellow council members Laura Morrison and Chris Riley, will meet next Tuesday to consider legal options and to hear opinions from the Mayor's staff and Police Chief Art Acevedo.  

After Vice President Biden said Wednesday that the Obama administration might take some executive actions on the issues of guns and gun-related violence, questions naturally arose:

What kinds of things was he talking about? What might the administration do that doesn't require Congressional action?

"We are sending a rep to hear what they have to say," National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam says of the organization's decision to accept an invitation from the task force Vice President Biden is leading — the group that's studying gun laws and related issues in the wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Con

CNN

The reviews are in regarding Alex Jones’ appearance with CNN’s Piers Morgan last night:

“An uncontrolled explosion,” per the Washington Post.  “An intense pro-gun rant,” says the Huffington Post. And … “Armed Mafia Stalk Alex Jones Post Piers Morgan Debate,” via Jones’ own Infowars.

The Austin-based conspiracy theorist, radio host and public access superstar appeared on Morgan’s show for what was billed as a discussion on “Guns in America.” Unsurprisingly, the discussion soon went south – not that surprising a move, when your guest has co-authored a White House petition to deport your host.

When children are gunned down in their classrooms, as happened last month in Newtown, Conn., it's time to say "enough," former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., tells ABC News.

Should Gun Owners Have to Buy Liability Insurance?

Jan 2, 2013

Nouriel Roubini recently sent a Tweet suggesting that gun owners should have to buy liability insurance, just like car owners do:

If we had liability insurance on guns, as we do 4 cars, we will see which insurance company would insure at which price folks with arsenals

flickr.com/thomashawk

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting, state governments across the nation are re-examaning their gun laws.

No license is required for purchasing and owning a firearm there is no licensing requirement. All that is required is a state-issued ID that says you are at least 18 years to purchase a rifle, or at least 21 years to purchase a handgun. 

If President Obama takes the lead in a movement for more effective gun control now that he's been stirred to action by the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, it would mark a significant break from his pattern so far as chief executive.

For while Obama has dutifully served as the nation's consoler in chief in localities where the all-too-frequent mass shootings have occurred, that has seemed the extent of the official response observable to White House outsiders.

A growing number of lawmakers are indicating they are open to considering new gun control measures in the wake of Friday's school shooting in Newtown, Conn. But while much of the national debate has focused on limiting access to guns, others are suggesting that schools should arm themselves to defend against attacks.

David Thweatt, school superintendent for the small Texas town of Harrold, northwest of Fort Worth, decided in 2006 that it was time to arm his staff. There's only one school in Harrold, a K-12 with 103 students.

President Obama has thrown his support behind a leading Democratic senator's effort to reinstate a ban on assault weapons — another sign that Friday's mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut has put gun control back on Washington's political agenda.

The issue of gun control appears to have moved into business and finance. One of the largest private equity companies in the country is terminating its relationship with a firearms corporation associated with one of the weapons used in the Newtown school shooting.

WFSB; Hartford, CT

Details surrounding the elementary school shooting in Newton, Connecticut are still unfolding. The Associated Press cites a police source reporting 27 dead, including 18 children. You can follow updates in a live blog from NPR, and get real time coverage from Google News.

Elected officials in Texas are beginning to issue statements about the shooting. KUT News has compiled them below; we will update this post as more come in.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

“The horrific event that transpired at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut is as profoundly disturbing as it is impossible to fully understand. The fact that so many victims were children weighs heavily upon the hearts and souls of each Texan and every American. Anita and I send our personal condolences to everyone touched by this senseless tragedy, pray for the quick healing of those injured, and extend our hopes that time will help ease the suffering of those who lost loved ones.”

Texas Tribune

A federal appellate court has affirmed a lower court’s decision that banning the purchase of handguns by people younger than 21 does not infringe on a person’s constitutional rights.

The Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which has appellate jurisdiction over districts in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, made the unanimous decision Thursday. It affects the sale of weapons by federally licensed firearms dealers.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

NPR's Carrie Johnson tells us more about the Justice Department report on the "Fast and Furious" gun-trafficking operation:

Justice Department watchdogs say a flawed gun-trafficking operation in which federal agents lost track of nearly 2,000 AK-47s and other weapons resulted from a series of "misguided strategies, tactics, errors in judgment and management failures."

The long-awaited report by Inspector General Michael Horowitz recommended that the conduct of 14 officials in Washington and Arizona be reviewed for possible disciplinary action. Horowitz placed most of the blame with leadership at the Phoenix field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona, which hatched the operation known as "Fast and Furious."

Pages