Friday, May 27, 2022

Play

High gas prices are not slowing down Memorial Day travel, early voting starts tomorrow in Nevada, and Oregon activists seek accountability for dioxin contamination in low-income Eugene.

Play

Education Secretary Cardona calls for action in after the Texas massacre, Republicans block a domestic terrorism vote, and Secretary of State Blinken calls China the greatest challenger to the U.S. and its allies.

Play

High-speed internet is being used to entice remote workers to rural communities, Georgia is offering Black women participation in a guaranteed income initiative, and under-resourced students in Montana get a boost toward graduation.

State, Congress Feel New Urgency for Stronger Gun Laws

Play

Thursday, March 25, 2021   

Correction: the Connecticut Lottery mass shooting occurred in 1998. An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that the event happened in 1999. (1:12 p.m EST., March 25, 2021)

HARTFORD, Conn. -- After this week's second mass shooting in the U.S., a Connecticut gun-safety group hopes the state takes its current gun laws a step further, and looks to Congress to enact stronger legislation nationally.

Last week in Congress, Connecticut and Maryland lawmakers introduced the Handgun Purchaser Licensing Act, which would set up a federal grant program, to motivate state and local governments to create permit-to-purchase handgun laws.

Jeremy Stein executive director of CT Against Gun Violence, said a 10-year-old state law has curbed gun homicides by 40%, and thinks it's time to expand it to the national level.

"About 50% of the guns used in crimes are coming from states with weak gun laws; states with no universal background checks, that don't have permit-to-purchase laws," Stein asserted. "States that don't have training requirements; that allow homemade 'ghost guns;' unregistered, unlicensed, untraceable guns to be sold."

Last month, the U.S. House passed two bills, House Resolution 8 and House Resolution 1446, to expand background checks on firearm sales.

Stein is unsure if they'll pass, however, since Second-Amendment concerns have been cited in the U.S. Senate for years as reasons not to pass stronger gun laws.

The Connecticut Assembly is considering a bill to strengthen existing law on risk-protection orders or warrants, that could remove firearms from people at risk of harming themselves or others.

Stein noted it includes easing the process to obtain a risk-protection order.

"It's looking to expand who can apply for these types of orders, to make sure that family members, physicians and mental-health providers can also petition a court to get an order, without the necessity of involving law enforcement," Stein explained.

Connecticut's risk-protection order law was the first of its kind in the nation, enacted after the 1998 Connecticut Lottery mass shooting.

Stein added preventing mass shootings remains a top priority, but addressing daily community violence is also at the forefront. His group supports a bill to fund community-based violence-prevention programs.

"Connecticut should follow California, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, to form a better overall plan as to how we can finally end gun violence in Connecticut," Stein argued. "And to focus on places like New Haven, Bridgeport, Hartford, Waterbury, where gun violence is most prevalent, and that mostly affects Black and Brown communities."

According to the Center for American Progress, only 10% of Connecticut's population is Black, but more than half of the state's gun-homicide victims are Black.

Both bills are in the Legislature's Public Safety Committee.


get more stories like this via email

Early voting locations will be open across Nevada for several weeks, from May 28 through June 10. (Jlmcanally/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The Nevada primary election is June 14, and early voting starts tomorrow and runs through June 10. Mail balloting is now permanent, so every active …


Environment

This week, in honor of World Otter Day, conservation groups are looking to raise awareness about efforts to restore sea otters along more areas of …

Health and Wellness

With the unofficial start to summer, pools around Ohio are opening this Memorial Day weekend, and when it comes to swim time, experts encourage …


Aside from health risks, environmental officials say harmful algae blooms pose a threat to Iowa's water recreation industry. When beaches and other access points are temporarily shut down, it discourages plans for boating or swimming. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

Memorial Day weekend marks the beginning of water recreation season, and before putting on a swimsuit, Iowa environmental experts say being mindful …

Social Issues

As the nation processes the horrific shooting in Uvalde, where 19 children and two teachers were killed, teachers' unions across Illinois and America …

Gas prices are higher on average in western Montana than they are in eastern Montana. (Vinícius Bacarin/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The cost of heading out of town this Memorial Day weekend will be higher than past years, with higher gas prices and inflation hitting travelers…

Health and Wellness

One of Connecticut's largest health systems launched a new resource in Hartford this month, aimed at helping patients access healthy and nutritious …

Social Issues

Advocates are contending the New York State Senate is not doing enough to lower the price of prescription drugs. Recently, lawmakers dropped bills …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021