Guns

The debate over gun control continues after President Obama's executive action this week designed to curb gun violence.
Peretz Partensky / Flickr Creative Commons

President Obama issued an executive action this week designed to curb gun violence. The president said this country's routine mass shootings compelled him to act.

Republican members of Congress swiftly responded with promises to defend Americans' constitutional right to bear arms. But it's not yet clear whether the president's action will change the culture of gun ownership in the United States or where it fits into the national conversation about gun laws. 

Three handguns of various styles.
Matanya / Wikimedia Commons

Advocates for gun control propose stricter enforcement of background checks as a means to reduce gun-related crime.

An image of a handgun
RabidSquirrel / pixabay

The North Carolina House of Representatives voted Tuesday afternoon to remove the most controversial portions of a bill that would have allowed some people to buy handguns without a permit. It would have also allowed lawmakers to carry pistols on General Assembly grounds.

An image of a handgun
RabidSquirrel / pixabay

Lawmakers could debate a plan to loosen North Carolina's gun regulations as early as Thursday. The Republican majority has struggled to reach a consensus for weeks on the bill called the Second Amendment Affirmation Act as citizens from across the state have lobbied them.
 

An image of a handgun
RabidSquirrel / pixabay

One morning this month, Kaaren Haldeman, an anthropologist in Durham, sent her three sons to school and drove to downtown Raleigh. There, down the hallways of the North Carolina General Assembly building, she led two mothers who were pushing babies in strollers.

“Have you been in this building much?” she asked them. “It's like a labyrinth.”

Joslin Simms, the mother of Ray Simms who was murdered in May of 2005.
Justin Cook / justincookphoto.com/

Durham is a city on the rise. And over the past decade or so, it has established a reputation for its change and rapid development. 

But not far away from the city's booming downtown and repurposed factories  is a part of the city that is dealing with high crime rates and the losses of their young men due to violence and prison.

It is a tale of two cities: one prosperous and open to tourist and transplants, the other isolated and dealing with violence and drugs.

Gun wall featuring rifles and assault riffles.
Michael Saechang - flickr.com/photos/saechang

Craig Stephen Hicks, the man accused of killing three young people in Chapel Hill this February, could face the death penalty. A Durham County Superior Court judge ruled Monday that the prosecution brought forth enough incriminating evidence to make him eligible for a death sentence.

Flickr user Ben Re

Almost one out of every 10 people in the United States has a firearm at home and has shown a propensity for impulsive angry behavior, according to an academic analysis led by a Duke University professor and published this month.
 

The analysis, which relied on an early 2000s in-person interviews with more than 5,000 people across the country, concludes that individuals showing impulsive angry behavior are more likely than people diagnosed with a mental illness to engage in gun violence.

Photo: Firearms
Jorge Valencia

The suspect in this year’s murder of three young people in a Chapel Hill apartment is scheduled for his second court appearance today.

Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, has been charged in the fatal shooting of three young people in the apartment next to his in the Finley Forest neighborhood of Chapel Hill. According to search warrants, authorities found three airsoft guns and 11 firearms in his home, including pistols shotguns and one AR-15 assault rifle with a fully-loaded magazine.

Concertina wire surrounding a prison
Kate Ter Harr / Flickr Creative Commons

Corrections officers from North Carolina prisons could carry concealed firearms while off duty without a permit under a legislative proposal that seeks to help them protect themselves from a growing number of threats from prison gangs.

    

2015 marks the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement, including Bloody Sunday and the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Family members of some of the victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., have filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used by the gunman to kill 26 people.

For the first time in at least 20 years, significantly more Americans say it's more important to protect the right to own guns than to control gun ownership, according to the Pew Research Center.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (52 percent) sided with gun rights compared with the 46 percent who favored gun control.

The findings represent the continuation of a shift that was only briefly interrupted by the Newtown, Conn., school shootings in 2012.

Remains of the records, shred this week by the Durham County Clerk of Courts.
Durham County Sheriff's Office

Gun rights groups are cheering the destruction of an 80-year-old registry of gun owners in Durham County, N.C.

A law passed this summer abolished the county registry: the only one in the state of North Carolina. It contained thousands of registrations, dating back to 1935. After the registry was discontinued this year, it became unclear who actually controlled the archive.

Vintage Tommy Guns
Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

Commissioners in Forsyth County voted last night to allow the Sheriff's office to trade antique guns for new weapons. The Sheriff now can trade two 1928 fully automatic Thompson submachine guns for 88 new semi-automatic Bushmaster rifles.

Our original story about the trade 1/13/14:

Ursa Waz

"The truth is I don't always want the audience on my side. That's not a very dynamic state. A better state is where some are on your side, some are skeptical, some are listening intelligently and are very present, others are reflecting - there's a mixture. That's what creates the atmosphere where something unexpected can happen." - Mike Daisey

Gun
Megathon Charlie via Flickr, Creative Commons

Beginning Tuesday, residents with concealed carry permits will be able to legally bring handguns into restaurants and bars across the state.  The new measure also allows concealed guns on state property such as public schools and college campuses, provided the weapons are locked in a vehicle. Restaurant and bar owners can opt out of the new law by posting a sign that prohibits concealed weapons in the establishments.

A Chapel Hill group is handing out stickers that look like this to restaurants and bars that want them.
emedco.com

A Chapel Hill group is helping restaurants and bars clarify a new law to patrons.  People with permits to carry concealed handguns can bring their weapon into establishments where alcohol is served. But, while drinking alcohol is prohibited when carrying a firearm, a permit holder can still bring a concealed gun into places that serve it, unless the owner posts signs saying otherwise.  Meg McGurk heads the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership and says there's still confusion over the new law so she's handing out "no concealed weapons" stickers to Franklin Street businesses.

A Ruger Single Six. Sturm, Ruger & Co. is opening a gun manufacturing plant in Rockingham County.
szuppo via creative commons

A new state law puts more restrictions on when law enforcement can destroy confiscated guns. 

Senate Bill 443 says police must now resell firearms or use them for training purposes within their departments if they can not return them to their original owners.  Authorities can only destroy confiscated guns if they are damaged or don't have a legible serial number. 

Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page takes aim at a steel plate during a round of target practice earlier this month. Mayodan, a small town in the county, is the site of a new gun manufacturing plant that will create more than 450 jobs.
Jeff Tiberii

Sam Page steps out of his jeep wrangler wearing a green hunting suit, boots and a black hat. Everything but his hands, face and neck is covered. It’s a sizzling Thursday summer afternoon and Page is dripping with sweat. After a short walk into the woods, he plants his feet, focuses on a steel plate about 50 feet in front of him— and fires.

N.C. General Assembly, State Legislature
Dave DeWitt / WUNC

State senators have passed a measure that would do away with handgun permits and add more places people can carry or store firearms.

Gun
Megathon Charlie via Flickr, Creative Commons

Mothers across North Carolina are marching and speaking out at events tomorrow to raise awareness of how gun violence affects families. Joslyn Simms, who lost her son Rayburn to gun violence eight years ago this month, will be speaking at tomorrow's rally in Durham.

NC House
Jessica Jones

State house lawmakers have given tentative approval to a bill that would allow concealed weapons on college campuses, at sporting events and in businesses serving alcohol, among other places.

mothersincharge.org

When Dorothy Johnson-Speight’s son Khaaliq was killed in 2001, she thought her life was over. He wasn’t the first child she lost – her 3-year-old daughter had died almost 15 years to the day before
Khaaliq’s murder -- but he was the first child lost to violence, and his death shook her.

  In North Carolina, when you purchase a handgun, your gun permit goes into the state's public records. Recently, however, Republican lawmakers have sponsored a bill that would remove this information from public access. Today on The State of Things we speak with local experts about the struggle between the first and second amendment.

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