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."

Lone Star Gun Range

Saturday is the first-ever national “Take Your Daughter to the Gun Range Day." It was organized through Facebook in an effort to show that shooting isn’t just for the boys.

Supporters say learning to shoot can be a confidence-builder and can be a sport young women enjoy their whole lives.

Sandy Billingsley owns Lone Star Gun Range. She says she learned to shoot in her twenties and plans to introduce her daughter to guns at a much earlier age. But, she says, other people aren’t as enthusiastic.

Photo by kcdsTM

Though shocking and disturbing, many gunshot wounds to the face are not as serious as they appear, Harvard surgery professor and trauma surgeon George Velmahos reminded an audience of trauma surgeons and nurses this morning.

Velmahos joined several other surgeons in giving quick lessons about surgical techniques or advancements as part of the Austin Trauma and Critical Care Conference at the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center on the University of Texas Campus.

In between surgeon-centered jokes, Velmahos showed provocative photos of patients with gunshot wounds to the face because he said he knew they would elicit a strong response.

Photo by Filipa Rodrigues for KUT News

Close to three hundred protesters donned hoodies and gathered at the gates of the State Capitol Tuesday night in remembrance of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin. It was a silent protest. It’s one in a series of rallies across the country this week that expressed anger over Martin’s killing by a neighborhood watch volunteer. 

Austin attorney James Nortey helped organize the event. He says the group spread the word about the protest almost exclusively through social media and word-of-mouth. Nortey says he's pleased with the Austin community for showing up.

Photo courtesy of Texas Tribune


Texas Railroad Commission employees will now be able to carry concealed firearms as they go about their work, following a unanimous vote on Tuesday by the three commissioners.

"[Railroad Commission] employees often work alone in remote and desolate areas of the state where they may encounter criminals or dangerous wild animals," Barry Smitherman, the newest commissioner, said in a statement. "The least we can do is allow them to exercise their legal right to carry firearms in accordance with state law.”

Photo courtesy Jerry Patterson campaign website

Gun-toting incumbent land commish Jerry Patterson is once again having a laugh over the idea of shooting his political opponents.  This time, the target is Democratic candidate for agriculture commissioner, Hank Gilbert.

Dallas Morning News reporter Christy Hoppe reports how Patterson "shoots from the lip."