7 Ways States Have Eased Gun Laws

Some states allow guns in schools, churches, or hospitals

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 25, 2012 4:57 PM CST

(Newser) – Americans have seen mass shootings take place within their borders for decades, but five of the deadliest 11 occurred in the past five years—a time when several states have eased their gun laws, ProPublica reports. A few examples of how gun laws have loosened:

  • Packing heat on campus. In 2012, Colorado allowed students and workers with permits to carry guns at the University of Colorado, and Oregon made a similar ruling for its university system in 2011. Wisconsin, Mississippi, and Utah have issued similar versions of campus gun laws.

  • Guns in "gun-free zones." Michigan passed a law last week allowing concealed weapons in various "gun-free zones," including hospitals, churches, day care centers, and bars. Guns are already allowed in bars in Ohio, Virginia, Georgia, Arizona, and Tennessee. Virginia, Louisiana, and Maine allow them in state parks.
  • You can be drunk or under 18 and carry a weapon. Missouri allows a drunk person to handle or fire a weapon in cases of self-defense. And some states buck a federal law requiring a gun purchaser to be 18, including Vermont, Maine, Alaska, Minnesota, and New York. In Montana, you can buy one at 14.
  • Your gun, your business. Florida made it illegal in 2011 for a health care professional to ask patients about their guns, but a federal judge struck down the law. Alabama and North Carolina have followed suit by introducing similar legislation.
  • Gun rights for felons. Eleven states allow nonviolent felons to have their gun rights restored, and a few other states do the same for violent felons, according to New York Times story last year.
Click for more at ProPublica.

Rifles line a wall above in front of people standing in a gun shop Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Seattle.
Rifles line a wall above in front of people standing in a gun shop Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
A customer examines a firearm at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008.
A customer examines a firearm at a gun shop in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 6, 2008.   (AP Photo/LM Otero)
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