Entries in Firearms (4)


Tucson Shooting Survivors Urge Congress to Act on Gun Laws

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Survivors of the Tucson, Ariz., shooting rampage that left six dead and 13 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, raised their voices to Congress on Tuesday, calling for stricter gun laws, while also offering words of encouragement to the recovering congresswoman.

Patricia Maisch, who wrestled the gun clip from alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of the Fix Gun Checks Act, which would require background checks on anyone who tries to buy a gun, while also tightening rules mandating federal agencies and states to report criminal background activity.

“I am definitely here to remember the names of those we lost, as well as to honor each survivor,” Maisch said. “But my primary mission today is to remind all of you that Tucson is yet another extremely tragic example of what is at stake each and every time a gun falls — or is placed — in the wrong hands.”

Maisch was joined by several others who played a critical role in the moments after Loughner allegedly opened fire in Tucson on Jan. 8.

In addition to the Tucson survivors, more than 50 victims of gun violence from around the country were also present at the Senate Judiciary hearing Tuesday, after a day of lobbying their congressional representatives.

The Tucson survivors had words of encouragement for their recovering congresswoman. Maisch had a message for Giffords, who gave her first interview Monday with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer.

“I know it’s hard. Keep working,” Maisch said following her testimony. “You’re in my prayers.”

While the guns bill had a tremendous showing of support in the audience, there is opposition to the legislation. A research director of the Independence Institute, David Kopel, who testified before the committee, had sharp criticisms for the proposed law, saying that it would ban gun ownership for anyone who’s ever been ordered to receive treatment for any mental problem.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., the author of the legislation, denied Kopel’s assertion that the bill would apply broadly to anyone who’s received counseling, saying that the legislation would only deny gun ownership to individuals who were determined to be mentally ill through adjudication.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Utah Governor Makes Gun a State Symbol

Utah (dot) Gov(SALT LAKE CITY) -- Utah has become the first state to officially designate a state firearm.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert recently signed legislation making the Browning M1911 the state’s official gun. The designation honors John Browning, the designer of the semi-automatic pistol. Browning was born in Ogden, Utah in 1855. U.S. armed forces began carrying the gun in 1911.

The M1911 takes its place as a state symbol alongside the Rocky Mountain Elk, the state animal; Indian rice grass, the state grass; and the Spanish sweet onion, the state vegetable.

Arizona is also in pursuit of making a gun its state symbol, as legislation is pending for the Colt single-action to become a designated symbol for that state. However, some people in Arizona are against the move following the recent shooting in which six people were killed and Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, (D-Ariz.) was seriously injured.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Pens Op-Ed On Gun Control

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(TUCSON, Ariz.) -- President Obama says that since the tragic shooting in Tucson, another 2,000 Americans have been lost to gun violence. In an op-ed penned for the Arizona Daily Star, the president lays out where he thinks the discussion on gun laws should go.

“Every single day, America is robbed of more futures. It has awful consequences for our society. And as a society, we have a responsibility to do everything we can to put a stop to it,” Obama writes.

He explains his belief in the Second Amendment but says “common sense” can unite Americans behind meaningful gun reform laws.

“I'm willing to bet they don't think that using a gun and using common sense are incompatible ideas,” Obama explains.

The main idea the president pushes in the op-ed is for a national instant criminal background check system that rewards states that provide the best data.  He also suggests developing an “instant, accurate, comprehensive and consistent system” for background checks to sellers.

“Clearly, there's more we can do to prevent gun violence. But I want this to at least be the beginning of a new discussion on how we can keep America safe for all our people,” Obama says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Schumer: Ariz. Shooter's Drug Use Should Have Prevented Gun Purchase

Photo Courtesy - Office of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords/MySpace/ABC News illustration(WASHINGTON) -- In the aftermath of the Tucson tragedy, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that the military should inform the FBI's national database when they reject someone for drug abuse, a move that he believes would have prevented Jared Loughner from buying a gun.

In a letter to the Obama administration, Schumer said the military should notify the FBI when someone is rejected for illegal drug use, something that the military is not currently required to do.

“Had this reporting requirement been in place, Loughner would likely have been prevented from purchasing a firearm. We should fix this reporting loophole so that future tragedies can be prevented,” Schumer wrote in his letter to Attorney General Eric Holder and ATF Acting Director Kenneth Melson.

In an appearance Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, Schumer talked about his letter and said he will sit with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., at the upcoming State of the Union, heeding the call of Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., for lawmakers from both parties to sit together at the address.

Schumer and Coburn join a growing group of lawmakers making the bipartisan gesture; others include Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio