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When U.S. officials feared an outbreak of the Zika virus last year, the Department of Health and Human Services and state officials kicked into high gear.

They tested mosquitoes neighborhood by neighborhood in Miami and other hot Gulf Coast communities where the virus was likely to flourish. They launched outreach campaigns to encourage people to use bug spray. And they pushed the development of a vaccine.

Devin Kelley, the man we now know killed more than two dozen people at a Texas church on Sunday, escaped a mental health facility before the Air Force could try him on charges that he beat his wife and baby stepson back in 2012.

And President Trump, like many people before him, is pointing to mental health — not guns — as the cause of the church massacre.

In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans — regardless of party — favor tightening restrictions on firearms, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

But significant partisan divides remain — and perhaps relatedly, they exist alongside divides in knowledge about guns in America.

Eight-in-10 Americans told the pollsters they favor bans on assault weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and "bump stocks," an accessory used by the Las Vegas shooter that allows a semi-automatic rifle to fire like an automatic weapon.

Two weeks ago, bump stocks were just an odd-sounding firearm attachment largely unknown outside gun enthusiast circles.

That all changed early last week with the deadly shooting in Las Vegas, where police discovered a dozen of the devices in the shooter's hotel room overlooking the city's neon-lit Strip. Now, Republicans and Democrats in Congress, the National Rifle Association and other pro-gun groups are asking for a fresh look at the legality of bump stocks.

Like many Americans, Chris Michel woke up Monday morning to the horrific news of the massacre in Las Vegas, which left 58 people dead as well as the shooter Stephen Paddock and nearly 500 injured.

KUOW PHOTO/ Kara McDermott

This week one man killed 58 and wounded hundreds of people in Las Vegas using legal weapons — semiautomatic rifles modified with devises that make them act more like machine guns. Will this shooting change our gun laws? 

Last weekend's massacre in Las Vegas is only the latest reminder of the persistent gun violence in the United States. And a new set of statistics on the rates of gun violence unrelated to conflict underscores just how outsize U.S. rates of gun deaths are compared with those in much of the rest of the world.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

The National Rifle Association says it is open to new regulations on bump stocks, devices possessed by the mass shooter in Las Vegas that can be used to fire rifles similarly to automatic weapons. This comes as top Republicans in Congress appear open to the idea of a federal law banning the devices.

In the wake of the horrific shooting in Las Vegas this week, the White House faced questions about whether President Trump would support stricter gun legislation.

Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders didn't give a definite response to these questions, but her statement showed a White House hesitant to create new regulations.

In 2014, Washington voters approved Initiative 594 to require background checks for person-to-person gun sales. But the law has only resulted in two prosecutions.

Guns line the walls of the firearms reference collection at the Washington Metropolitan Police Department headquarters in Washington, D.C.
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

The mass shooting in Las Vegas has us asking – yet again – what we should do about gun violence.

The polarizing refrain “now is not the time to talk about gun control” comes up a lot in the wake of the attack. And Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat said that’s code for “we’re not going to do anything.”

In this Dec. 9, 2015, photo, a sales associate walks past semiautomatic rifles at Bullseye Sport gun shop in Riverside, Calif.
AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

There are renewed calls for gun reform in Washington state this week in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting in which 58 people were killed and hundreds more were injured.

Authorities say among the gunman’s weapons were bump-stocks, devices to make semi-automatic guns shoot more rapidly.


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A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals will hear a challenge Monday to Washington’s voter-approved background check law for person-to-person gun transfers.

A photo of Charleena Lyles stands in memorial.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

A wrongful death lawsuit was filed Friday against the two Seattle police officers who shot Charleena Lyles.

Guns and domestic violence are a deadly combination. Now domestic violence survivors in Washington can find out if their abusers illegally attempt to buy a gun through a licensed dealer.

That’s because of a first-in-the-nation law that took effect this summer.

Tommy Le's family and attorneys announce their decision to file a $20 million wrongful death and civil rights violation lawsuit against King County, the King County Sheriff's Office and Sheriff John Urquhart.
KUOW Photo/Ann Dornfeld

The family of a 20-year-old Burien man shot dead by police in June is suing King County, the county Sheriff's Office and Sheriff John Urquhart alleging wrongful death and civil rights violations.

They're seeking $20 million in damages.


Seattle's gun tax needs to be higher, according to City Council candidates Jon Grant and Teresa Mosqueda.

Grant announced today that if elected he would propose doubling the tax to $50 per firearm.


Washington's Supreme Court has ruled that Seattle's gun tax is constitutionally valid and can continue.

Gun rights advocates have argued Seattle's firearms tax is effectively a regulation on gun sales. They called the tax unconstitutional due to a Washington law that gives the state, not a city, the authority to regulate firearms.

African-Americans are disproportionately more likely to be the victims of gun violence, but new research shows that more black women are becoming gun owners.

Here & Now‘s Robin Young speaks with firearm instructor Marchelle Tigner, assistant director of training for the National African American Gun Association.

Updated at 10:15 p.m. ET

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has undergone surgery and will need further operations, after being shot by a man who opened fire with a rifle on an early morning baseball practice for Republican members of Congress in Alexandria, Va. Scalise was the most seriously injured of four victims of the shootings.

Bishop Scott Hayashi: 'Three men entered. One jumped behind the counter where I was standing, put a gun to my side and pulled the trigger. Pffft! It was that fast.'
Courtesy of Kathy Shorr

To say the least, the statistics surrounding gun violence in the United States are disturbing. On an average day, 93 Americans are killed with guns. Seven of those are children.

For every person killed with guns, two more are injured.

Number of shots fired in Seattle in 2017 is at a five-year high. Despite this, police officials say the violent crime rate is lower than it was a few years ago.
Seattle Police Department

Seattle Police said the number of shots fired in the city in 2017 is at a five-year high. Department officials briefed the City Council this week about gun violence.

Gun dealers in Washington state will soon be required to report when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check. Gov. Jay Inslee signed that requirement into law Wednesday as part of a crackdown on prohibited gun buyers. 


KUOW host Bill Radke visits a gun range and learns how to shoot a sem-automatic weapon.
KUOW Photo/Shane Mehling

Bill Radke visits a gun range with journalist and gun advocate Dave Workman. Workman teaches Radke how to fire a semi-automatic weapon and explains why he supports second amendment rights. Workman also discusses why it's so important for him to carry a firearm. 

Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET.

President Trump spoke to the National Rifle Association's annual leadership forum on Friday, the first sitting president since Ronald Reagan to do so.

"We have news that you've been waiting for ... a long time," Trump told the crowd in Atlanta. "The eight-year assault on your Second Amendment freedoms has come to a crashing end."

Much of his speech echoed the rhetoric he used on the campaign, and has continued at rallies during his first 100 days in office.

A bullet fired at a Seattle police officer is removed from her bulletproof vest.
Seattle Police Department

Dramatic Seattle Police dash-cam video shows a robbery suspect running into a loading dock followed closely by two police officers – and then a series of shots.

The suspect was killed, and the officers hit with bullets.

A measure to crack down on prohibited gun buyers in Washington has unexpectedly died in the Republican-led state Senate. The bipartisan proposal failed to get a vote before a key deadline this week.

Police, prosecutors and victims say it’s time for the state of Washington to crack down on prohibited gun buyers. Lawmakers heard testimony Thursday on a proposal to require gun dealers to alert authorities when someone tries to buy a gun and fails a background check.

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