Guns & America

For more than 20 years, studying guns and health has been a challenge for the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. Entangled in the messy world of gun politics, researchers have struggled to study violent deaths. But a nationwide program that recently expanded to all 50 states is changing that.

Federal land agencies like the National Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management aren’t doing enough to keep employees safe, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

That concern was heightened by armed standoffs, like the takeover of Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016.

Trust Your Gut: What Selling Guns Online Is Like

Oct 14, 2019

In a parking lot in Fayetteville, Georgia, John Pander is about to head into a competitive shooting match. And he’s brought along a pistol he doesn’t shoot anymore. It’s a SIG SAUER P229.

Pander usually buys his guns new, from federally licensed dealers. He keeps them locked up in a safe at home, but sometimes the safe fills up.

“So it all comes down to space,” said Pander. “And yeah, sometimes you want to fund the next purchase.”

So when he’s got his eye on a new gun, he puts an old one up for sale.

The AR-15 has taken center stage in the American gun debate. But at its heart, the AR-15 is a rifle that has been modified to look and feel a certain way.

The emphasis on its appearance, however, has shaped how the country regulates firearms, to the frustration of many gun owners and gun control advocates alike.

The AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle that usually shoots 5.56mm rounds. It has a detachable magazine so users can put in 5-, 10-, 30-, or even 60- and 100-round magazines.

Mass shootings may grab the headlines, but suicides are by far the leading category of gun death in America. However, most Americans don’t know this, according to a new national poll from APM Research Lab, Call To Mind and Guns & America.

Experts say this misperception is handcuffing suicide prevention efforts.

The poll asked more than 1,000 Americans what they think the leading cause of gun deaths is.

The cable loops through the gun to keep it from firing.
Raul Rubiera

In 2017, the homicide rate in Charlotte peaked to its highest number in close to two decades. That statistic and trends so far this year prompted an investigation by reporters at The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer.

A recent survey from APM Research Lab, Call To Mind and Guns & America found that most Americans — including those who own guns and those who don’t — support laws requiring gun owners to store their firearms with a lock in place.

But not everyone sees storage the same way.

A Republican senator from Georgia has introduced a bill to study what he calls “mass violence.” It would give a $300 million infusion to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Sen. Johnny Isakson’s plan is to spend $75 million annually, for four years, to study the causes of what he calls “mass violence” and how to prevent it.

Officials on Tuesday shared a yet incomplete account of the Virginia Beach shooter’s mental state and personal history, in an effort to give a sense of closure to victims’ families nearly four months after the killing spree.

A dozen people were killed and several others injured in May when a city employee went on a 40 minute shooting spree at a Virginia Beach municipal building. The shooting concluded as one of the most lethal workplace killing sprees of the last decade.

The chief executives of many prominent U.S. companies sent a letter to U.S. senators on Thursday urging them to pass new federal gun control laws.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the letter from 145 CEOs reads. “There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence.”

As kids across the country head back to school for the year, the question of how to keep students safe is constant and ever-evolving, especially when it comes to mass shootings. One recent active shooter training at Pinnacle Charter School in northern Colorado focused on three actions: evacuate, barricade, and fight.

Standing on blue gym mats, under bright fluorescent lights, a trainer and a student lean in, heads close.

Instructor Graham Dunne is holding up some printouts with faces on them. He tells his students they’re smaller than real heads.

“Here’s some useless knowledge from being a sniper,” he says. “The average human head is 6 inches across by 10 inches high. These are probably half that.”

We’re at the Flatrock Regional Training Center in Commerce City, Colorado. Usually the people training here are law enforcement, but today they’re teachers, principals, bus drivers, coaches, and school administrators, 13 of them.

In the last few weeks, Democratic presidential candidates, Congressional leaders, and even the President, have been proposing various gun control policies to curb gun violence in America. But a recent study from the Journal of Rural Health shows that certain firearm laws are more effective at reducing violence than others, depending on if you live in an urban or rural area.

Wednesday night, thousands of El Pasoans streamed into Southwest University Park, for a community memorial to honor the 22 victims of the mass shooting that took place just over a week ago, on Aug. 3.

Upon entering the city’s minor league baseball stadium, visitors were greeted by a group of therapy dogs who traveled from Nebraska to provide comfort.

Image of the North Carolina State Legislature Building in Raleigh.
Mark Turner / Wikimedia Creative Commons

After two mass shootings this past weekend, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and President Donald Trump joined in support of states passing “red flag” laws. These laws allow a judge to order a temporary removal of firearms from a person threatening violence against themselves or others.

Businesses can do more to protect their customers and the public from mass shootings, experts say, after more than 30 people were killed over the weekend in two separate incidents.

On Saturday morning, a gunman stormed a Walmart shopping center in El Paso and killed at least 22 people, in an apparently racially motivated attack against Hispanics. Less than a day later, in Ohio, another shooter opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine people.

Following the shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which killed at least 31 people, lawmakers started to point to one factor that could have contributed to shootings: violent video games.

Here’s the problem: They don’t.

What Is A Red Flag Law?

Aug 5, 2019

Among the popular gun policy proposals raised in the aftermath of shootings like those in Sandy Hook, Parkland and now El Paso and Dayton, the call for “red flag” laws has become a common refrain.

But like universal background checks and closing the “gun show loophole”, “red flag” laws aren’t self-explanatory.

Every time there’s a shooting in the United States that leaves multiple people injured or dead, a few things happen in reaction. Public officials express their condolences, there’s often a call for legislative action. And reporting begins to come out referencing how many similar shootings have taken place that year.

Police officers often work secondary employment as armed security guards in their police uniforms. It is a widespread practice that raises many unanswered questions about oversight and the use of public resources for private purposes.

On weekend nights in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, questions about oversight come into full view.

Tremont is a few blocks of popular bars and restaurants surrounded by a neighborhood of single family houses. It is affluent by Cleveland standards, with home prices climbing above $400,000.

A new study says that fatal shooting cases are getting measurably more attention from police than non-fatal shootings. But one expert thinks giving fatal shootings more attention might not be the most efficient way to combat gun violence.

Fatal and non-fatal shooting cases often start the same way: A gun is fired; someone is hit.

But if someone is killed by those shots, the case gets handed off to the police department’s homicide unit.

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Guns & America will be tracking policy proposals made by candidates for president.
Luis Melgar / Guns & America

Polling shows guns are among the top priorities for many Democratic voters and gun issues remain a big topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

A fund administered by the RAND Corporation is awarding nearly $10 million dollars to researchers across the country to study gun violence, injecting new funding into a topic that has seen relatively little attention from the scientific community over the past two decades.

Higher rates of gun ownership are associated with higher rates of gun deaths involving an intimate partner or family member, according to new research published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Large-capacity magazines, containers that hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition, have been illegal in Colorado since 2013. Lawmakers passed the ban following the 2012 mass shooting at a movie theater in Aurora.

After a tumultuous few months, the National Rifle Association suffered another in a series of blows Friday, when a second Attorney General opened an investigation into its nonprofit status.

The Attorney General for the District of Columbia is looking for “financial records, payments to vendors, and payments to officers and directors,” for the NRA and the NRA Foundation, Inc., the group’s charitable foundation, according to a press release issued Friday.

Nationwide, police shoot black people at a rate three times higher than white people. Between 2013 and 2018, 28% of police shooting victims were black, twice their proportion of the overall population, according to the Mapping Police Violence Project.

A study from researchers at Duke University and the University of Chicago found that about 40 percent of the prisoners they surveyed did not own a gun six months before committing the crime that landed them in prison.

“What they told us was that they had a lot of experience in obtaining guns but they didn’t hang onto them,” said the study’s lead author, Philip Cook, a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.

Since 2005, if you purchase a gun in the United States, you’re going to be given a free gun lock. It’s a federal law. But many gun safety experts don’t believe the most popular kind of these locks are effective at keeping people, especially older children, from gaining access.

A new study published in the journal Preventive Medicine suggests mental health and gun violence aren’t as closely related as people often think.

The study looked at how mental health symptoms and gun access impact two gun behaviors: if a person is likely to carry a gun outside their home and if they have threatened someone with a gun.

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