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GunsThe most apt descriptors are “painstaking” and “incremental” but Congress appears to be making some progress on the move to enact new background check legislation and some other modest improvements to federal gun laws.

Meanwhile, if you’ve been too frustrated or disgusted to keep up with the details — especially around the background check debate, Igor Volsky at Think Progress has everything you need to know – click here for “Your essential guide to the background check debate.”

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From crack child advocate Rob Thompson at the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children:

House members introduce bipartisan school safety bill
Bill includes needed funding for mental health support staff

RALEIGH – Representatives Glazier (D), Faircloth (R), Holloway (R) and Lucas (D) introduced legislation (H452) Wednesday aimed at making North Carolina schools safer and preventing tragedies like Newtown. Specifically, the bill provides funding for local school districts to add School Resource Officers (SROs) and support staff, including school counselors, social workers and psychologists. The bill also requires school districts to take specific steps to respond effectively to a future crisis.

“This legislation provides what resource-starved school districts need more than anything – money for staff,” stated Rob Thompson, Executive Director of the Covenant with North Carolina’s Children. “We’re particularly pleased to see legislators take concrete steps to address the mental health issues that are at the root of school violence.”

The bill allocates $5 million Read More

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Independent mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg announced a group that he co-chairs will spend $12 million in a gun control ad campaign that will begin next week.   Mayors Against Illegal Guns is targeting vulnerable US Senators in advance of a likely floor vote in April.  The group is focusing on states where it believes it can have the most impact on the upcoming vote.   US Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), is among a group of 15 targeted  by the campaign.

The Mayors group has a three point legislative platform:

  1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America
  2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines
  3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with real penalties for “straw purchasers”

In a radio interview with Chris Fitzsimon in February, Senator Hagan said she was “looking at all of the proposals” on gun control.  She was non-committal on  policy options that Fitzsimon asked her about and she stressed the need to protect 2nd Amendment rights and use common sense.  Hagan ended by saying the focus had to be on policy that could “realistically become law.”

The ad campaign will rightfully pressure Senator Hagan to clarify her stated position on her website:

“Obtaining a lifetime hunting license is a Hagan family tradition, and her husband is qualified to teach hunter safety. Not only is responsible gun ownership a part of the fabric of North Carolina, but it is also a fundamental constitutional right. Senator Hagan is a strong supporter of Second Amendment rights, and will fight to ensure law-abiding citizens are not restricted in their right to bear arms.”

Her constituents deserve to know her position on criminal background checks and assault weapons and magazines, now, not when the vote comes to the US Senate floor.

 

 

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In case you missed it yesterday, the Charlotte Observer had a good editorial that offered: a) tempered praise for the McCrory administration’s plan to ditch the pink stripes on licenses for immigrants, and b) a big thumbs down on a legislative proposal to make it easier for people with mental health issues to obtain handguns.

Read the entire editorial by clicking here.