gun control

Jamie Doolittle / WLRN News

Parkland officials announced Friday they have decided to keep the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) as its law enforcement provider. This decision was made despite the heavy criticism the sheriff's office  faced after the Stoneman Douglas massacre.

The city of Parkland hired the Center for Public Safety to conduct a review of the city's policing options. The options included  the city establishing its own police department, partnering with another municipality or continuing its current relationship with BSO.

Less than one month after a gunman killed 50 people in an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, the New Zealand Parliament voted Wednesday to ban most semi-automatic and military-style weapons.

The law makes it illegal to possess the prohibited weapons in New Zealand. Current owners of the now-banned firearms will have until the end of September to return their weapons for compensation under a buyback program. If they don't return them, they could face up to five years in prison.

Peter Haden / WLRN

Could Florida have something to teach the country about gun control? 

Federal lawmakers are considering a law that would encourage states to implement systems through which courts can remove weapons from people who may be harmful to themselves or others. The state-level measures are called extreme risk protection orders, or red flag laws. 

Updated at 4:28 p.m. ET

Days after three separate suicides in Parkland, Fla., and Newtown, Conn., left those communities reeling, the Senate did something rare for a GOP-led chamber: It held a hearing on gun control.

The Democratic-led House Thursday approved another piece of legislation to broaden federal gun-control legislation. The bill gives the FBI more time to do background checks on gun purchasers. It comes a day after the chamber passed a bill extending the checks to private firearms sales.

Both measures face long odds at becoming law.

The latest bill would extend the time sellers have to wait before completing a gun sale. Like Wednesday's measure, it passed largely along party lines — 228 to 198.

Updated at 6:35 p.m. ET

The House passed what advocates call the most significant gun control measure in more than two decades on Wednesday when it approved the first of two bills aimed at broadening the federal background check system for firearms purchases.

The vote on the first bill, dubbed the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, passed largely along party lines 240 to 190 with Democrats who control the House cheering as they carried the legislation across the finish line.

The House is slated to vote Wednesday on a bill that would require background checks on all gun sales — including those that occur online or at gun shows. On Monday, a group of four CEOs sent a letter urging Congress to pass the proposal.

One year after the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., the urgency for new gun restrictions has declined, but roughly half the country is concerned a mass shooting could happen at a school in their community, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

In the immediate aftermath of the mass shooting that killed 17 people on Valentine's Day, 71 percent of Americans said laws covering the sale of firearms should be stricter. Now, it's 51 percent.

For the National Rifle Association, the year since the Parkland shooting has led to a changing — and less favorable — political landscape.

Democrats control the House of Representatives, public opinion polling shows a majority of Americans support expanded background checks, and the NRA's political spending is down.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Family members of victims from the Marjory Stoneman Douglas massacre and shooting survivor David Hogg launched on Monday an effort to get a constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot in 2020 that would ban the sale of assault weapons. 

Hogg and Gail Schwartz, who lost her 14-year-old nephew Alex Schachter at the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting, were among the group that dropped off 200 signed petitions to be certified at the Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office in Downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

A longtime Trump ally pushed to have two fathers of Parkland victims tossed out of a congressional hearing on gun violence — a reflection of the vociferous nature of the debate Democrats have made a priority in the new Congress.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., sparked commotion in the hearing when he listed circumstances in which violence was committed by undocumented immigrants, and said the solution would be to build the Trump-backed wall along the Southwest border.

News Service Of Florida

Following a messy election, a fresh political season is set to begin in Florida. New state leaders will be sworn in Jan. 8, including incoming Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

Although he still has a few decisions to make on key positions, DeSantis and his team have worked to fill hundreds of jobs in the administration, including for some of the state’s most prominent posts.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers are filing bills for the 2019 Legislative session that begins in March.

Gun control advocates view 2018 as a turning point in their campaign to strengthen the country's gun laws.

They cite widespread success in passing laws through state legislatures. They're also buoyed by Democratic victories in the midterm elections, which flipped control of the House of Representatives. Another benchmark: In this election cycle, gun control groups outspent gun rights groups for the first time ever.

The Trump administration is banning bump stocks, the firearm attachment that allows a semiautomatic weapon to shoot almost as fast as a machine gun.

The devices, also known as slide fires, came under intense scrutiny after they were used by the gunman who opened fire on a country music concert in Las Vegas last year, killing 58 people.

The massacre touched off a public outcry, including from some lawmakers, for the accessories to be banned.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press via The Miami Herald

Florida Democrats in Washington could only watch when the Republican Congress decided against new gun legislation after a shooter killed 17 students and staff at a Parkland high school last year. Nor could they force action to combat rising sea levels off Florida’s coastlines. 

That will change come January. 

After gaining 38 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, including two in Florida, Democrats will control the lower chamber for the first time since 2011. 

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