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
Rifles line a wall above in front of people standing in a gun shop Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

(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.

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nancy953
Dec 27, 2012 2:15 PM CST
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JustMakeSense14
Dec 26, 2012 7:02 PM CST
The law of the land with respect to the Second Amendment is that the States and Feds cannot, generally, prohibit law-abiding citizens from owning firearms that are commonly used. Since self defense is unquestionably the most legitimate purpose for owning a firearm and a criminal is not going to abide by laws in any event, shouldn't we be looking at what "criminals are carrying" to determine appropriate magazine size and the like for law-abiding citizens? To the extent that one might argue that outlawing high capacity magazines will make them harder for criminals to secure, let us hope that one making such an argument does not, at the same time, argue that the "war on drugs" has failed. Those who argue the failures of the "drug war" point to the fact that we cannot possibty stop importation of drugs so long as there is a demand for drugs. Ditto for high-capacity magazines and the criminals who want them. Mexico has some of the strictest gun laws in the Western Hemisphere...those laws have sure cut down on gun violence in Mexico! In Mexico, criminals are armed to the teeth and they are running rough-shod over everyone..unfortunately, criminals don't care much about the gun laws. Also, it is worth noting that while gun deaths are, indeed, higher in the US than Europe, the murder rates (by knife, strangulation, etc...) are, likewise, much higher in the US. While I am not pleased to report this, the fact is we kill at much higher rates than Europe when guns are taken out of the analysis. It would appear that we have a more violent culture that will "kill" at much higher rates than Europe by whatever means available. To those who would argue that by outlawing guns, at least, we would avoid "gun deaths" (assumes that criminals would not continue to kill using guns), and think "well, it would be better if the bad and violent just had clubs and knives," I would have to disagree. So long as we live in a violent culture where murder rates are much higher than other places even when we take guns out of the equation, there is a big problem with disarming or "under powering" law abiding citizens. If a small person (woman or man) carrying a "club" or knife is confronted by a big criminal or criminals with a club(s) or knife(s), they will probably end up on the losing end of that confrontation. On the other hand---same scenario---a small man or women with a firearm may, not only, survive the confrontation but might have an advantage (the "big" criminal is easier target to hit). You limit everyone to clubs without changing the underlying cultural issues, you have done nothing but sentenced the "small guy" to death. For those totally unpersuaded by these arguments who would, nevertheless, repeal the 2nd Amendment and outlaw guns, I have a challenge for you. I may not agree with you but I will respect you if you can look me in the eye and say that if we terminate or substantially infringe on gun ownership rights, you will stand by the proposition that anyone caught carrying an illegal firearm (including a 12 year old kid from the ghetto who claims that he is scared to be unarmed in his neighborhood) will get "life without parole" for carrying the gun. If you cannot agree to this sort of sanction, then you are telling me that the primary target of your legislation is lawful gun owners. If you are not prepared to take that step, you should not be arguing in favor of restrictions that will,mostly, impact people who will never commit a crime with the guns they own. If you are not prepared to go to these lengths to keep me safe from unlawful possessors of guns, then your gun restriction arguments are largely illegitimate.
Cob
Dec 26, 2012 3:52 PM CST
One major problem surrounding the whole issue is misinformation, I could pick this article to pieces including how any of the ACTUAL law changes gave rise to NO correlation of said horrific events. Just so you readers don't take this mess of an article as gospel, a 14 y/o CANNOT purchase a gun in Montana..........so now you can go and find the rest of the misinformation given in this poorly written piece.