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Guns

Brooklyn Grant, 13, from Spokane, Missouri, looks down range at the Student Air Rifle Program Tournament at Clever High School on Nov. 14, 2019. Brooklyn took first place in the middle school individuals girls category.
Daniel Shular | Missourian

While the sun is still up, gunshots ring out as Poplar Bluff High School's trapshooting team tries to get in a few extra rounds.

Head coach Sandy Pike gives advice as a new member prepares to aim his shotgun and attempt to shoot a clay target out of the air. She tells him to lift up his weapon, and, when he's ready, say the word to make the disc fly:

"Pull!"

The competitive trap season might be over, but that's not stopping the team on a Saturday evening in November.

Since starting in 2010, the trap team has grown from eight to about 30 members, and Pike said that's thanks to outside funding from the National Rifle Association. It's one of 80 K-12 and 4-H programs the NRA Foundation has supported over the years in Missouri.

The holiday shopping season is big business for most retailers in the United States, and the gun industry is no exception. The last three months of the year represent almost a third of annual sales for firearms retailers each year.

The Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could determine whether a person convicted of battery can still own a gun.


Depending upon whom you ask, there have been somewhere between eight and 350 mass shootings in America so far in 2019. That’s a pretty big range. So why don’t we know the exact number?

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 7, 2013 - On Jan. 30, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — known to her friends as Gabby — and her husband, retired astronaut Mark Kelly, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Several members of the upper chamber on Capitol Hill have apparently become concerned that there might be some sort of gun violence problem in our nation and decided to hold hearings to see whether Congress should try to do something about it. Well, you can’t fool these guys for too long…

Owners Of Revoked Illinois FOID Cards Must Give Up Their Guns. Fewer Than Half Do.

Sep 21, 2019
When a prospective gun buyer comes to Ron and Jo's Firearms and Sporting Supplies in O'Fallon, he or she has to show a FOID card to handle the weapon.
Joseph Bustos | Belleville News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE — In Illinois, when people have their firearms owners identification (FOID) cards revoked, they’re supposed to turn them in to law enforcement and surrender their guns. But that only happened less than half of the time in the Metro East and statewide during the last four years.

In St. Clair County, FOID cards were returned just under 36% of the time after they were revoked from 2015-18, according to Illinois State Police data obtained by the Belleville News-Democrat.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced plans for the state to help combat violent crime in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Sept. 19, 2019
Rachel Lippmann | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has pledged money and manpower to help St. Louis and St. Louis County address an increase in violent crime.

“We know that we have a serious problem with violent crime that must be addressed,” Parson said Thursday at a news conference in St. Louis. “As your governor, and a former law enforcement officer for more than 22 years, protecting the citizens of our state is one of the utmost importance to my administration.”

The announcement came after a day of meetings with local political, religious and law enforcement leaders.

Update, 6:20 p.m. ET: This story now includes additional language about the types of ammunition Walmart will no longer sell. 

Walmart announced Tuesday that it will discontinue sales of ammunition designed for handguns and military-style rifles such as the AR-15.

The company will also stop allowing customers to openly carry firearms inside its stores, and called on lawmakers to consider passing new gun control legislation.

Among the popular gun policy proposals raised in the aftermath of shootings like those in Sandy Hook, Parkland and now El Paso and Dayton, the call for “red flag” laws has become a common refrain.

But like universal background checks and closing the “gun show loophole”, “red flag” laws aren’t self-explanatory.

Here’s Where The 2020 Democratic Candidates Stand On Guns

Aug 2, 2019
Handgun illustration, guns, gun violence
Luis Melgar | Guns & America

Polling shows guns are among the top priorities for many Democratic voters and gun issues remain a big topic in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary.

The candidates spent precious minutes talking about their gun-related proposals during the first round of debates. Gun control groups spent big — and won big — in the 2018 midterms, including in a few key races that helped Democrats retake control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Courtesy of the University of Missouri-St. Louis

The Missouri Senate is considering a bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons at public universities. The House approved the measure on April 8.

HB 575 was initially meant to allow university faculty and staff to arm themselves as “campus protection officers.” But Rep. Jered Taylor, R-Nixa, added an amendment to require public universities to allow concealed carry on campus.

Two years after an explosion at a crucial Army factory that is the country’s largest producer of small-caliber ammunition, the underlying cause of Lawrence Bass Jr.’s death remains unclear.

Bass, a longtime employee, followed explosives-handling procedures later deemed to be poorly written. He worked for a defense contractor anxious to slash costs on a government contract it had underbid.

The day in 2012 that a gunman killed 27 people and then himself in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, he didn't just use a semi-automatic rifle. The shooter had an array of handguns, shotguns and rifles, along with hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting shocked the nation, spurring new conversations about banning so-called assault weapons and magazines that could hold dozens of rounds.

Note: This post has been updated to include comments from Sen. Bob Onder.

A bill that would allow people to bring guns onto public transit last week became the first of about 20 gun-related proposals to receive a hearing in the current Missouri legislative session.

Illinois Gun Dealer Licenses Get Pritzker's Pen

Jan 17, 2019

Illinois firearms dealers will now have to have state licenses. That’s part of a package of changes Governor JB Pritzker signed into law on Thursday.


Shooting your gun into the air on New Year's Eve -- or any celebratory gunfire, for that matter -- can have deadly consequences. That might seem obvious, but along with party poppers, fireworks and champagne, it remains a staple at some celebrations.

Pediatrician Ken Haller tries to get 3-year-old Azaya Clemons to laugh during a checkup at Danis Pediatrics in Midtown.
Sarah Fentem | St. Louis Public Radio

As a pediatric surgeon at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Dr. Bo Kennedy has seen firsthand how bullets can shatter tiny bodies.

He’s collected dozens of horror stories from his time in the hospital’s emergency department, including the time a 3-year-old boy stuck a loaded gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

“That’s what he did with his water pistol to get a drink out of it,” Kennedy said. “And obviously he didn’t survive.”

Because of their experience treating guns’ youngest victims, St. Louis pediatricians have increasingly considered it their responsibility to promote gun safety by talking to parents about how to keep guns away from children.

After a gunman opened fire at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, killing at least 11 and wounding others in what federal prosecutors are calling a hate crime, faith leaders around the country are re-examining security tactics while trying to ensure their religious institutions remain accessible community centers.

The St. Louis Street Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are working together to install barriers along North Broadway to reduce cruising.
Chad Davis | St. Louis Public Radio

On the evening of July 4 of this year, the Energy Express Travel Center on North Broadway Street looked like the scene of a neighborhood party. Video footage from that night released by the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department shows dozens of cars converging on the gas station lot. Soon, individuals carrying firearms and wearing ballistic vests appear. 

Video footage from that same location on July 29 shows a similar gathering, but this time people begin firing their weapons into the air before returning to their cars and racing off into the night.

Women meet at Sharpshooters Pit & Grill to learn about guns and practice shooting on the range.
Ashley Lisenby | St. Louis Public Radio

Tamyka Brown was perfecting her shot. Her target sheet, riddled with bullet holes, showed she knows what she’s doing. When asked about her time on the gun range, Brown responded with a smile.

“Great. It went great,” she said. “Like, I want to go again, but I think I’ma pass and come back next Thursday.”

Brown comes to the range with her husband often. But on a recent Thursday in July she was bonding with other women of color at Sharpshooter's Pit and Grill over guns and targets.

Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

In Emeara Burns’ north St. Louis neighborhood, gun violence is a way of life.

Mitali Sharma, center, marches with Clayton High School classmates in downtown St. Louis.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

 

Thousands of people marched in downtown St. Louis on Saturday morning to protest gun violence and advocate for stricter gun control.

Saturday’s March for Our Lives event was a culmination of a month-long effort to honor the 17 people killed during the Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Survivors of the shooting helped organize the rally in Washington, D.C., with sister marches occurring across the U.S. — including the one in St. Louis — and around the world.

 

As a light rain fell, demonstrators chanted and carried signs reading “enough is enough” and “make our schools safe again.”

Jeremy Meuser, 13, refects during the school walkout at Maplewood Richmond Heights.
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Students in St. Louis — and around the country — walked out of school Wednesday morning as part of a national call for improved school safety and tighter gun-control measures.

Hip-hop artists perform during a Story Stitchers event called Make Music on the Loop, June 2017.
The Sheldon

An exhibit at the Sheldon Art Gallery will display videos and photos of young St. Louisans working through their experiences with gun violence.

“Pick the City UP” is a presentation of the Saint Louis Story Stitchers Artists Collective. The exhibit, which opens Friday, documents work from the past several years.

Susan Colangelo and several other artists founded the nonprofit in 2013 with the idea to tell stories through embroidery. Now, the work encompasses written and spoken word, including hip-hop and poetry.

Erin Achenbach | St. Louis Public Radio

About 300 people poured into the hallways of the Missouri Capitol Tuesday, calling for lawmakers to avoid creating new laws that would loosen existing gun regulations.

Kim Westerman, who lives in St. Louis and volunteers with the group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, said they’re concerned that pro-gun lawmakers in Missouri remain unmoved by the recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida that claimed 17 lives.

A gun show in Houston, Texas, in 2007.
M Glasgow | Flickr

It’s been almost a week since a gunman killed 58 people and injured hundreds more in Las Vegas. The shooter used a device called a bump stock to modify his gun so that it could function as a machine gun. Politicians have unified around one thing: further regulations around the bump stock. But dealers at a gun show in St. Charles this weekend said the demand for the bump stock was up.

Today is the first day of summer and that means it’s the start of the busy season for Lise Bernstein. As the president of Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, Bernstein is working her organization’s campaign to distribute free gun locks all summer.

Since the Lock It For Love program began in the spring of 2015, more than 1,800 gun locks have been handed out across St. Louis and St. Louis County. Organizers try to pass out gun locks in St. Louis zip codes where the risk for youth violence is high. That’s according the St. Louis Regional Youth Violence Prevention Task Force Community Plan,  which was released in 2013.

File photo | Jo Mannies | St. Louis Public Radio

Republican lawmakers in Missouri are continuing their push for expanded gun rights by targeting businesses that operate as gun-free zones.

Legislation pre-filed in the Missouri House would allow people authorized to carry firearms to sue businesses that ban firearms on their properties if they're wounded in a robbery or assault while at that business. It's sponsored by Rep.-elect Nick Schroer, R-O'Fallon.

Missouri Speaker of the House Todd Richardson listens to representatives speak on the last day of the legislative session.
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies go guestless, so to speak, to analyze the lay of the land before the Missouri General Assembly’s veto session.

When lawmakers return to the Capitol for the Wednesday afternoon session, the two biggest bills will be a multi-faceted gun bill and legislation implementing a photo identification requirement to vote. But even though they haven’t attracted as much attention, nearly two dozen other bills could potentially receive veto override attempts.

State Rep. Stacey Newman
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest edition of the Politically Speaking podcast, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies are pleased to welcome back state Rep. Stacey Newman to talk about the legislature’s upcoming veto session – and the November election.

Newman is a Richmond Heights Democrat who entered the legislature in 2010 after a special election. With the exception of a zany Democratic primary in 2012, Newman’s subsequent elections have been relatively easy. For instance: She was completely unopposed this cycle, meaning she will return to the Missouri House for her final term.

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