gun reform

John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, who once had an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association, says Congress should — and will — pass new gun restrictions in the aftermath of the most recent mass shootings, in El Paso and Dayton.

The South Florida Republican said universal background checks would become law. And, he said, restrictions on assault weapons could pass also.

“One of the changes is that you see a lot more [Republican] representatives from across the country ... that are stepping out in ways they didn’t previously step out,” Mast said. “I’m glad to see them doing that.”

Earlier this month the state’s financial impact estimating group struggled to define certain portions of a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban assault weapons. Friday the group met again, and this time they invited the petition sponsor to help clarify portions of the proposal.  

At his first campaign rally after mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump appeared to back away from supporting a possible expansion of background checks in favor of a push for more attention to mental illness.

"There is a mental illness problem that has to be dealt with. It's not the gun that pulls the trigger — it's the person holding the gun," Trump said to roars and a standing ovation from the Manchester, N.H., crowd.

Updated at 1:57 p.m. ET

On the presidential campaign trail in Iowa and on the op-ed page of The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden has made the case for going back to a nationwide ban on assault weapons and making it "even stronger."

Some have reacted with quizzical expressions: "Back?" "Stronger?"

Gun Laws Languish In Broward County, But That Could Change

Aug 13, 2019
Michele Eve Sandberg / South Florida Sun Sentinel

It could become harder to buy a gun at a gun show in Broward County.

Some county leaders want to tighten regulations that have allowed people to buy guns without background checks or waiting periods.

Twenty years ago, Broward County implemented background checks and a five-day waiting period for people to buy guns, but the regulations haven’t been enforced at gun shows because of a state law that kept the power to make gun laws out of city and county hands.

Sophia Cai / WLRN News

Republicans working to re-elect President Donald Trump sent volunteers to a voter drive at a gun show in Pembroke Pines over the weekend. 

After the mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, gun control is again at the forefront of the political conversation.

President Trump has expressed openness to a federal red flag law and for "meaningful" background checks.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate will discuss measures aimed at addressing gun violence in September. He said he expects background checks, assault weapons and "red flag" laws to be part of the debate.

"What we can't do is fail to pass something," McConnell told WHAS radio in Kentucky, adding, "the urgency of this is not lost on any of us."

DeSantis Cites 'Recesses Of The Internet' In Attacks

Aug 7, 2019
ANDRES LEIGHTON / AP

Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to “recesses of the internet” where people can share “vile” views and a need to look at white nationalism --- along with other causes --- when asked Wednesday about tackling mass violence.

But he also said, after a Purple Heart dedication ceremony at Tallahassee National Cemetery, that it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.

Some died trying to protect a loved one or newborn baby from a hail of bullets. Others were killed alongside their spouse as they made routine weekend purchases. Parents were slaughtered while doing back-to-school shopping.

Stories of self-sacrifice, heroism and devastating loss are emerging following the gun massacre on Saturday that killed at least 22 people who came from both sides of the border to a Walmart store in the predominantly Hispanic city of El Paso, Texas.

Updated at 7:15 p.m. ET

President Trump visited survivors of the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday before heading to El Paso, Texas, the site of the weekend's other deadly violence. Trump remained out of public view during the Dayton stop.

On the ground in El Paso, Trump said, "We had an amazing day."

"The love, the respect, for the office of the presidency, it was — I wish you could have been in there to see it," he told reporters.

Updated at 4:48 p.m. ET

The FBI has opened a domestic terrorism investigation into last month's mass shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California, after discovering that the shooter had a list that may have indicated potential targets of violence.

Joe Raedle / Getty

At the top of hour two of the first Democratic debate, the questions turned to guns, an especially wrenching issue for voters in Florida, who experienced the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Julian Castro, former secretary of housing and urban development and former mayor of San Antonio, praised “the activists of Parkland, the folks from Moms Demand [Action], who have risen up across the United States.”

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.

There's a countdown clock on the website for RW Arms, a Texas-based seller of firearms accessories. It tracks the days, hours, minutes and seconds until they're no longer permitted to sell bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic rifles to fire almost as fast as illegal machine guns.

Promotional emails from RW Arms also include the countdown clock, urging customers to "order now" to "enjoy this unique firing experience" while they can.

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