States examining their own gun-law options

posted at 7:41 pm on December 21, 2012 by Erika Johnsen

The states are already beginning to play out the battle between the “fewer guns means less crime” and “more guns means less crime” mentalities, and while Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed for concealed carry in schools earlier this week, states like Virginia and Texas are starting to think the matter over — and a few other states are following suit.

A South Carolina House member introduced legislation there earlier this week. The Florida legislator who wrote the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law and an Arizona gun rights group have also proposed arming trained teachers

“In our zealousness to protect people from harm we’ve created all these gun-free zones and what we’ve inadvertently done is we’ve made them a target,” Florida GOP Rep. Dennis Baxley told the AP. “A helpless target is exactly what a deranged person is looking for where they cannot be stopped.” …

Advocates of arming school staffers argue opponents are sensationalizing the issue, and insist no Rubicon is crossed when a gun is brought into a school. In Michigan, it is legal to carry a pistol in schools — as long as the weapon isn’t concealed. Patterson pointed out several school districts in Texas have armed police forces. And Utah, Oregon and New Hampshire already allow concealed carry in schools, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. …

And here’s another smattering of examples of the conversations currently getting started across the country, via the NYDY:

MINNESOTA: Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, says he’ll listen to “anything and everything.” But, “There’s a limit to what society can do to protect people from their own folly.” …

OKLAHOMA: Two Republican lawmakers have called for teachers or school personnel who receive special training to be armed. Legislative leaders have sidestepped questions on the proposals. …

TENNESSEE: A Republican lawmaker has called for adults on campus to be armed. …

UTAH: Republican attorney general reaffirmed support for existing law that allows concealed weapons on public property, including schools.

Various other states are wondering whether to institute more gun control, including their own state-specific “assault” weapons bans, with New York Gov. Cuomo especially leading the gung-ho charge on that one:

Mr. Cuomo, speaking on WGDJ-AM, said gun control had not recently been among the most discussed topics in the capital, so he had reached out to lawmakers to gauge where they stood before he made his proposals final.

He added that he was focusing his attention on changing state laws restricting the possession of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. The governor described the state’s existing ban on those items as having “more holes than Swiss cheese.” …

In the interview, Mr. Cuomo did not offer specifics about the measures he might propose, but, while discussing assault weapons, he said: “Confiscation could be an option. Mandatory sale to the state could be an option. Permitting could be an option — keep your gun but permit it.”

While all of these governors and legislatures consider the options that are best for their state in the coming days, I would merely point out that Connecticut having some of the strictest gun laws in the country didn’t do anything to stop last week’s murderous rampage.


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