By Suevon Lee

7 Striking Ways States Have Loosened Gun Laws

December 18, 2012 2:00 pm Category: Memo Pad 35 Comments A+ / A-
7 Striking Ways States Have Loosened Gun Laws

by Suevon Lee, ProPublica.

Friday’s deadly rampage at a Connecticut elementary school marked the 13th mass shooting in the United States this year. Among the 11 deadliest shootings in U.S. history, more than half took place in the last five years. During the same period, states have often relaxed their gun laws, making it easier for individuals to obtain guns, extending the places where concealed guns are permitted, or giving gun owners more robust protections.

We take a closer look at some of the more striking measures:

1. Five states allow students to carry concealed guns on college campuses     

A March 2012 Colorado Supreme Court decision held that the University of Colorado could not ban students and employees with state-issued concealed-weapon permits from carrying guns on campus. The decision overturned the university’s long-standing gun ban. While school policy prohibits guns at ticketed athletic and cultural events, Boulder and Colorado Springs’ campuses now designate dorms for permit-carrying students. (Guns are still banned in other dorms). “Not a single student has asked to live where guns are allowed,” the Denver Post reported last month.

In September 2011, the Oregon Court of Appeals issued a similar ruling, allowing guns on campuses throughout the Oregon University system.

Wisconsin passed legislation in 2011 allowing college students in the University of Wisconsin school system to bring a concealed weapon onto campus grounds, parking lots and “other spaces that aren’t enclosed,” according to the Wisconsin State Journal. The school can prohibit guns in buildings, but only if signs are posted at each entrance.

A law passed by the Mississippi State Legislature in 2011 broadly extended the places where concealed weapons are allowed, including college campuses, secondary schools, courthouses, polling locations, churches, bars and passenger terminals of an airport — places previously off limits. This year, the University of Mississippi, which previously required students to leave guns in their vehicles, began allowing students to bring concealed weapons on campus, provided they have a concealed-weapons permit and take an eight-hour training course.

Utah grants the least discretion: Since 2004, the state has prohibited any public college or university from banning concealed weapons, as campuses are considered state property.

2. Some states now allow you to bring guns into daycare centers, churches, and even “gun-free zones”

Last week, the Michigan Legislature passed a law that would allow concealed weapons in current “gun-free” zones such as schools, daycare centers, bars, churches, hospitals and stadiums. Gun owners are required to receive eight hours of extra training before bringing guns into these places. The bill, which has yet to be signed into law, gives private business owners discretion to ban firearms on their property.

While Michigan’s legislation has gained attention given its timing to Friday’s shooting, it’s far from the only law of its kind. As we’ve already noted, Mississippi has also expanded the list of permissible concealed-carry locations.

Elsewhere, loaded guns in bars are now allowed in Tennessee, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia and Ohio. Georgia lawmakers introduced legislation earlier this year that would expand the list of places where you can bring in a concealed weapon, proposing to allow them in colleges, places of worship and polling places.

Virginia, Louisiana and Maine allow firearms to be carried in state parks, state historic sites and state preservation areas. Recently passed federal legislation also allows the carrying of loaded guns in national parks, but only if state laws don’t interject.

3. You don’t have to be 18 years old or sober to lawfully use a gun in some states

In Missouri, it’s no longer a crime for an intoxicated person to handle or fire a gun, as long as they were acting in self-defense.

Federal law prohibits licensed firearms dealers from selling a shotgun or rifle to anyone under 18, or handguns to anyone under 21. Still, some states impose minimum age limits that go below these federal limits.

For instance, in Vermont, it’s legal to sell a handgun or rifle to 16-year-olds. It’s legal to sell a rifle to a 16-year-old in Maine, Alaska, Minnesota or New York. In Montana, the legal age is 14, according to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a non-profit organization that tracks state gun laws.

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7 Striking Ways States Have Loosened Gun Laws Reviewed by on . by Suevon Lee, ProPublica. Friday's deadly rampage at a Connecticut elementary school marked the 13th mass shooting in the United States this year. Among the 11 by Suevon Lee, ProPublica. Friday's deadly rampage at a Connecticut elementary school marked the 13th mass shooting in the United States this year. Among the 11 Rating:

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Comments

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_B6RROC4IUESHT322QS5VJVPYRM Lynda

    Is this really the America we want to pass down to our grandchildren? Pure madness cloaked as freedom and the American way. Maturity is long way off for our society.

  • driveswift

    I bet in some of those states it’s harder to get your right to vote back after committing a felony than your right to bear arms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Daniel-Jones/827014412 Daniel Jones

    Polling places.

    These ass munchers are so desperate to retain right wing support for their gun-flood, spilled-blood R.J. Reynolds of guns approach they are basically getting their beholden political flunkies to set it up so that guys with badly concealed weapons can loom about and hopefully intimidate voters.

    Given that the Repulsivecans accused blacks of intimidating looming at polling entrances and are known to practice the sins they preach their opponents commit, it’s only a matter of time until just that happens.

  • agnessue

    Thanks all to ALEC.

  • Robert Frump

    Stunningly out of context in terms of any statistical comparisons or academic studies. I am not pro gun. I am looking for decent journalism and expect a better context from Pro Publica.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dominick.vila.1 Dominick Vila

    And just in case our gun laws are not laxed enough, some states write laws like Florida’s Stand your Ground, which is nothing less than a license to kill.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

      No politician wrote the stand your ground law. They took the Law written by ALEC a lobbyist and shoved it in the hopper. Usually with no hearings.

    • foot814

      dominick – sir i’ve disagreed with you several times before but this time you got it right. if someone isn’t trying to or has entered your home who’s ground are you standing with a gun ?

  • http://www.facebook.com/sara.deleon.54 Sara Deleon

    We do not gun we had to educate our children to respect life love each others as people nand then why we no need gun . and made regulations to had hunter gun keeping then in special places no in the houses were the children live. but we as a citizen we had to somethig no moore lives take speciale in our school.

  • chisolm

    I believe that folks that are adamantly opposed to gun ownership would change their minds when some drug crazed lunatic breaks into their home in the middle of the night. Without a way to protect yourself and your property your only option is to dial 911, which in some areas may take significant time for responders to arrive. Perhaps semi-automatic weapons should have more stringent purchase requirements but regardless of what restrictions are placed on ownership those wanting weapons to be used for criminal purposes will always be able to get them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HKCTSVHCQJCJUU2VYCERLWWDE Richie T

      Your property vs all the other places they’re allowing concealed weapons are totally different things.

    • http://www.facebook.com/catherine.galietti Catherine Galietti

      You don’t neeed an assault weapon to protect yourself. This is not about having no rights to guns, this is about military syle assault weapons that fire off 80 plus rounds per second. I don’t care how many people you want to arm, the element of surprise in most instances +assault weapon gives you no chance. These guns belong to the military not the public. Remember it is not the second ammendment that the gun lobbyists care about, it is the gun manufacturers finacial gain. They lobbyists are paid by them.I am firm believer of citizens rights to carry guns, just don’t confuse the issue. It is not about that and no one is saying ban all guns.

    • johninPCFL

      “About 85 Americans are shot dead daily — 53 of them suicides. Every day, one of those killed by firearms is 14 or younger.”

      “In 2009, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, 66.9% of all homicides in the United States were perpetrated using a firearm.[4] There were 52,447 deliberate and 23,237 accidental non-fatal gunshot injuries in the United States during 2000.[5] The majority of gun-related deaths in the United States are suicides,[6] with 17,352 (55.6%) of the total 31,224 firearm-related deaths in 2007 due to suicide, while 12,632 (40.5%) were homicide deaths.[7]”

      “During the 1980s and early 1990s, there was a strong upward trend in adolescent suicides with a gun,[12] as well as a sharp overall increase in a suicides among those age 75 and over.[13] In the United States, firearms remain the most common method of suicide, accounting for 50.7% of all suicides committed during 2006.[14]”

      You don’t need a 30-round magazine to join the statistics.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HKCTSVHCQJCJUU2VYCERLWWDE Richie T

    Mississippi, concealed weapons in bars.
    They get drunk, they start shooting each other. In a couple of years Mississippi’s population will be close to zero. Idiot’s

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_KOPKDFAUQPIIRAFI3HEXNMSHLQ Ed

      That is a Darwinian idea!

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/N4JD2JFM7THOVK7U3PRXFD4NU4 Paul S

        Really, you think that is where gun crime comes from…drunk rednecks from Mississippi? Google, try it.

    • 1bythebrooks2

      I am a bartender and have been for many years, and believe you me, I don’t want any customer to be packing! As many people as I have had to cut off over the years, I would have been dead long ago! And many of my customers too, by someone with a grudge on another customer, or someone who gets into a fight with another customer (customers)!

  • nobsartist

    Our President needs to counter attack republiCON led states with weak gun laws by mandating single payer, fed run healthcare for those states.

    I believe it is the Federal governments duty to insure MY rights when I travel thru out the United States by insuring that I ill not be gunned down by some armed idiot advocated by republiCONs. I also believe that if the Federal government advocates arming citizens, they should be responsible for the carnage by offering single payer health care that eliminates the “for profit” aspect of health care.

    Our health care should be paid for by a $1000.00 per gun yearly tax on gun ownership.

    It may be said that we have a right to bear arms but it does not protect those arms from being taxed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/unitedprayer Darryl Fleming

    listen!!!!!!
    I KNOW THIS IS A BAD TIME WITH ALL THE SHOOTINGS BUT:
    if you allow the government to take your guns then you become a hand puppet the world is not perfect the world has never been perfect and the WORLD WILL NEVER BE PERFECT

    • johninPCFL

      That is true, but do we really need guns of this nature? The original intent of A2 was that the populace could defeat the tyranny of the federal government if necessary. That was in the days when the militia was the primary defense of the country, when a standing army did not exist. In most people’s minds, the civil war answered the question of “the people” rising against the federal government.

      Now, we have a standing army equipped with tanks, high powered rifles, aircraft carriers and men specifically trained to use them. Isn’t it about time we retired the fairy tale of resisting the federal government troops with our spitguns?

      And if so, shouldn’t the guns we own be for our use and pleasure, not designed to inflict maximum damage on our neighbors?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frederick-Galade/100000684994950 Frederick Galade

    Another problem with some gun laws is your right to deadly force if your life is in danger. Who distinguished what that is. As with law enforcement officers there has to be a weapon of some sort by the attacker. Years ago you had to have a major reason to carry. If you had a business or job that required you to have large sums of money on you or if you had threats on your life. Now just go to the local Sheriffs office and get a permit with no questions asked.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Frederick-Galade/100000684994950 Frederick Galade

    Another problem with gun laws is all you need to protect yourself is a small 32 semi-auto and with that you don’t need an AK47 assault rife or a 9 or 10mm pistol it does the same job.

  • http://www.facebook.com/louis.patyk Louis Patyk

    I am a gun owner again. I say again because when , as a young man I married and our first child came in to the world I disposed of all weapons in the house.
    To those like Chilsom I only have this to say.
    Very few people sleep with a sidearm of .223 rif or shoot gun. Most, like me prefer to coxy up to warm sot loving wife or freind, me wife and I will not let a cold piece of steel come between us.
    If in the middle of the night a drug crazed person enters my home I would have to get a weapon out of a gun safe and then check to make very sure that one of the children in the home are in their rooms and not sleep walking or just plain wandering the home.
    You see, it is a fact that more family members are shoot by mistake in a home than bad guys.

    Me I would gladly net a bad walk away with every thing in the house before I would mistake a loving child for a bad guy.
    Apperently that is not you it sounds as if you place for more value on your machoism than the safty of those around you.
    Let me sight a few examples og gun control laws (LOL) in the great state of IL.
    I have a firearm owners ID. It is used to purchase fire arms and amo. some times.
    In IL how does one get a ID?
    Sir you go on line and to the DNR and fill out a form, print it up, go to a mall and get a 50 cent photo. go to a pst office and get a money order and send the whole mess to springfield.
    In 3 or four weeks you have in your posseion a picture ID.
    You have talked to no one, you have taken no tests, you have seen no one and that ID is good for 12 years.
    Now sir, I live i North Central IL about a hundred mi from Chicago and I can tell you that I do not have to use that ID to make a purchase at any one of six or seven gun shows with in a hundred mile radius of my howe.
    Cash will get you an arssonal any time you want and there mor people sell guns across their kitchen table than most would beileve.
    Sir’s what laws are you talking about? LP

  • http://www.facebook.com/johnny.thomas.52035 Johnny Thomas

    Missouri law is the only one that make’s good sense that I have herd so far a long with Colorado .You republicans need to start to look at all that is going on not just what you want .The way you are going about the guns laws ,they will slip right past you .

  • howa4x

    Well let’s see. We already have more deaths from firearms than autos, up to 34,000 and climbing, so those states answer to that is to allow more guns. Autos are gettting safer but guns are getting more deadly, so we will see deaths rise. We just had a case of outright murder in Fla, based on right to carry laws. It shows that now if sombody dosen’t like your music, and dosen’t pay attention to your request to turn it down, then you can pull out you gun and kill them, just like that. He thought he could get away with it based on stand your ground. If he didn’t have that gun to give him a false bravado, he would have just ignored the loud music, and some 16 yr old wouldn’t have become a statistic. So the argument that guns make us safer is completely false, because the only one that is safer is the one with the gun, as long as the other person didn’t have one. Then both would have no saftey. So are we entering a world where arguments will be settled in a gunfight? Other countries think we are insane as a culture, and they are right

  • ARepublicanNorthlandGrad

    Don’t like most of them, but face it folks, none of these caused Sandy Hook. And yes I checked my guns today and they are still in the safe, except for the .22 I use to hunt rabbits that Clinton tried to ban.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    The cowards that pass laws allowing guns everywhere, NEARLY ALWAYS EXCLUDE ANY PLACE WHERE POLITICIANS GATHER TO CONDUCT THE BUSINESS OF GOVERNANCE AND LEGISLATION. ALSO, AT POLITICAL CONVENTIONS.

    If they are so concerned about the rights of gun owners, WHY NOT ALLOW CONCEALED CARRY IN THOSE LOCATIONS?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Myers/100001512942781 Jim Myers

    Lets be honest. The vast majority of people who want to carry heat are not as concerned about “personal protection” as they are about self image.

    REAL MEN DO NOT NEED FIREARMS TO PROVE THEIR MANHOOD. ONLY COWARDS AND BULLIES NEED THAT TYPE OF EGO BOOST.

    • lana ward

      If those teachers had had guns ,those 20 babies would be alive

      • MJRinPA

        Conjecture. Not fact.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/QJHCZ2ZRQRLMJNSMWJM7ME5D2M Thomas

    Well what about Kain and Able ? Did kain moe Able down with a Browning ? In Sweden where I live people do not easly own guns but the use knives instead ! It is also a fact that the countries in the United Kingdom where a person can get up to 10 years just for owning a gun, with very few exceptions there they kilol more people per captia than anywhere else ! Dominic Vila sounds like an idiot ! It is not a crime to defend yoursel ! Just how helples will YOU have women Dom ? Maybe in that home where that 12 year old girl saved her life by shooting the dude that broke into her home maybe Dom was pulling for the man ? Was you Dom ? You like free sex Ed ? No fear for rapist laws where guys maybe like you can go get himsel a little free sex ? What do you say Ed ?
    No gun laws makeing guns possiable to use or own will save lives . I am slow to write . While I wrote this a female was raped and or killed which happens every 17 seconds in the U.S . ! ” That is aDawinian idear ” ! My God how you sound like a fool Ed

  • flipsider

    OK then. How many, here,, believe in a democratic state? Any at all believe in a representitive democracy,, you know,, one in which we elect people to represent our interests in a congress where laws and regulations are made,, that we are ALL supposed to abide by??

    Doesn’t sound like it, here. Seems that a certain segment of the population would like to subvert the congress/congresses to their own will,, to make laws that are unpopular to the “ignorant” masses.

    I guess I must be one of the “ignorant”,, because I believe this is one of the reasons the 2nd ammendment was put in our constitution. If it ever becomes the case, that our country is to be run by the few,, and not the many,,, I will be quite happy that I am one of ther ones still able to help change that.

    Giving up freedoms to gain security will generally gain neither.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W6CMDMYSZXSFZAW54T3VVSG2VI Mem

    We need to consider that if someone had a gun other than the shooters in these incidents that the death counts may not have been so high. When the only person who has the gun, is the person who wants to shoot you, the odds of survival are not exactly in your favor. It seems that those who want to shoot others are very capable of obtaining guns, ammo and body armor. Perhaps I am way out on a limb with this. I really don’t see this country banning guns. I’mn not even sure the government can even do so according to the Constitution. No I am not a left wing liberal. I do in fact own a couple of guns, but I do believe we need to figure out a gun policy in America that reasonably protects the population. Also for those of you who continually whine about our high taxes[the lowest in the civilized world] the number of police officers continues to decline. For every officer we don’t have on the street, that is one less gun in our favor.

  • Pamby50

    Tennessee is crazy. They passed a law saying you can take your guns into a bar. The only objection is that you can’t drink. How silly is this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tommy.ryan.14473 Tommy Ryan

    Did any of the deadly perpetrators in any of these mass shootings have state issued concealed weapon permits ? Might have had a different outcome if a teacher had been armed or any good guy had been armed. Generally, to the best of my knowledge, gun crimes are not commited by legal concealed weapons permit holding, law abiding people. just a thought

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