State lawmakers continue to spar over Texas’ campus carry law

images-2Tom Benning Email tbenning@dallasnews.com
Published: December 17, 2015 4:26 pm

AUSTIN – As public universities in Texas have started to detail their preliminary plans for campus carry, state lawmakers continue to argue over the particulars of the contentious firearms legislation that was passed this year.

The latest gambit comes from Sen. Kirk Watson, an Austin Democrat who’s opposed the measure.

Watson on Thursday asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to withhold issuing an opinion on the law until after schools actually implement their campus carry policies. That request came after Sen. Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury, had asked Paxton to weigh in on the law’s finer points.

Read More

Texas state flag

Texas state flag

WVa may weigh measure to allow concealed guns without permit

By JONATHAN MATTISE, ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dec 17, 2015, 11:49 AM ET

Lawmakers in West Virginia are gearing up for another attempt at making it legal to carry concealed weapons in the state without a permit, and their chances of success are high.

The Republican-led Legislature overwhelmingly passed a measure earlier this year to allow people to carry out-of-sight guns without a permit. Democratic Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin vetoed it, citing safety concerns and an outcry from law enforcement. The Legislature ran out of time and wasn’t able to hold a vote attempt at overriding the veto.

Sen. Bill Cole, the president of West Virginia’s Senate, said legislators are working on a new version of the legislation for to appease law enforcement’s concerns, and some possibilities have emerged: increasing penalties for gun-related crimes, requiring 18- to 21-year-olds to undergo the gun training currently required for concealed carry permits, and limiting the new law to West Virginia residents.

Read More2000px-Coat_of_arms_of_West_Virginia.svg

Why mental health bill isn’t moving

By Bridget Bowman
Posted at 5 a.m. on Dec. 16

“We have to do it now,” Rep. Tim Murphy said on the House floor, urging Congress to act on his mental health system overhaul legislation in the wake of another mass shooting.

That was two years ago. In December 2013, the Pennsylvania Republican introduced his comprehensive mental health bill — which has recently been lauded by top House Republicans, including Speaker Paul D. Ryan, as a potential response to mass shootings. It was near the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., where 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adults.

For Murphy, a clinical psychologist, it’s unclear why his bill, which he reminds his colleagues of after the nation’s frequent mass shootings, hasn’t moved forward in Congress. “I’ve got a Ph.D. and I’ve practiced in this field for 40 years and I still can’t tell you why some people act the way they do,” Murphy said. “This is — to me it’s beyond comprehension.”

Read MoreDSC_0216

White House promises ‘non-traditional’ State of the Union

DSC_0305By JULIE PACE, AP White House Correspondent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is promising President Barack Obama will deliver a “non-traditional” State of the Union address next month, eschewing the standard litany of policy proposals for a broader discussion on the challenges facing the country.

The format reflects the legislative reality for Obama’s final year in office. Much of what the White House and the Republican-led Congress could realistically achieve in an election year is already underway, including discussions on criminal justice reform, and the ticking clock on Obama’s presidency leaves little time to jumpstart major new initiatives.

The president is scheduled to deliver his last State of the Union on Jan. 12, less than three weeks before Americans begin voting in the presidential primaries.

In a briefing for reporters Thursday, White House officials said Obama’s agenda for his last year in office includes securing congressional approval of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, additional steps to address climate change, and bolstering gun control measures. The latter steps will be taken through executive action, though officials wouldn’t say whether the measures would be ready in time for Obama’s address to Congress.

Read MoreDSC_0305

No decision made on gun sales in West Poplar

Pennslyvania flagINGA SAFFRON, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
LAST UPDATED: Thursday, August 13, 2015, 1:08 AM
POSTED: Wednesday, August 12, 2015, 8:53 PM

In the three years since Yuri Zalzman purchased an old shooting range in the reviving North Philadelphia neighborhood of West Poplar, he has hosted gun enthusiasts, sold ammunition to customers, and rented guns to practicing marksmen. Now, he thinks he should be allowed to sell firearms, too.

Philadelphia’s Zoning Board is not so sure.

After nearly three hours of oral arguments Wednesday, the board asked attorneys to submit briefs outlining their positions.

That means that West Poplar residents and antiviolence groups – about 50 people attended Wednesday’s hearing – will have to wait at least another month to learn whether Zalzman can open a gun shop in his North Percy Street building.Read more

Rally against guns on campus set for Thursday in Orlando

florida sealRally against guns on campus set for Thursday in Orlando

Groups want to stop legislation to allow students to carry weapons in class
By Daniel Figueroa IV
The Ledger
Published: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:01 p.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, August 11, 2015 at 11:01 p.m.
LAKELAND — The League of Women Voters Florida and the Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus will hold a statewide summit in Orlando on Thursday morning to rally Floridians against proposed legislation to allow guns on college and university campuses.

Identical bills were filed in the House and Senate last week which, if passed during the 2016 legislative session, would delete a current provision in Florida law preventing people with concealed carry licensees from taking firearms onto campuses.

Read More