WBEZ | gun laws http://www.wbez.org/tags/gun-laws Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Chicago gun violence high despite tough city laws http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/1110_chicago-vigil-624x417.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The death of a 9-year-old child, allegedly at the hands of Chicago gang members, has shocked the country and prompted many to call for tougher gun laws. But gun supporters say Chicago<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb" target="_blank"> already has tough laws</a>.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Mourners arrive to St. Sabina Catholic Church for funeral of 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. Chicago Mayor Emanuel here. <a href="https://t.co/vJcK96TaLL">pic.twitter.com/vJcK96TaLL</a></p>&mdash; Michael Puente (@MikePuenteNews) <a href="https://twitter.com/MikePuenteNews/status/664124283401187330">November 10, 2015</a></blockquote><p>&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/11/10/chicago-gun-violence-laws" target="_blank">Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s</a> Robin Young talks with a researcher and a Chicago journalist about where guns used in illegal activities come from, and how laws in surrounding communities may affect the availability of guns on Chicago streets.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="http://http://www.wbez.org/news/justice-tyshawn-mother-pleads-her-south-side-community-113645" target="_blank">RELATED:&nbsp;<font face="inherit"><span style="line-height: inherit; border-style: initial; border-color: initial; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit;">Justice for Tyshawn: Police launch &lsquo;Operation Wake-Up&rsquo;</span></font></a></strong></p></p> Tue, 10 Nov 2015 13:12:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-gun-violence-high-despite-tough-city-laws-113726 An evangelical leader's changing views on gun ownership http://www.wbez.org/news/evangelical-leaders-changing-views-gun-ownership-113323 <p><div style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/gettyimages-51950226_wide-88d6581ed15f2822f5d11812d9db2d554727497c-s600-c85.jpg" style="height: 348px; width: 620px;" title="The Rev. Rob Schenck, of the National Clergy Council, right, and the Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, pray in front of the J. Barrett Prettyman Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C., in 2005. Schenck is a pro-life activist who believes gun ownership and the use of guns is a decision best decided by community leaders, not the government. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)" /></div><div>As the debate over gun ownership and gun control is renewed following the shooting deaths of nine people, including the gunman, at an Oregon community college&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2015/10/01/445034424/active-shooter-reported-at-oregon-community-college">earlier this month</a>, there&#39;s the voice of an evangelical leader whose views might be different from what some would expect.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action, is an anti-abortion activist who believes gun ownership and the use of guns is a decision best decided by community leaders, and not the government.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Schenck is the subject of a soon-to-be-released documentary,&nbsp;The Armor of Light,&nbsp;which focuses on his changing stance on gun ownership. Those views were affected by the 2013 shooting at the D.C. Navy Yard,&nbsp;<a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/10/05/how-one-evangelical-activist-changed-his-mind-on-gun-violence/" target="_blank">according to The Washington Post</a>:</div><blockquote><p><em>&quot;For years, Rev. Rob Schenck led nonviolent protests as an anti-abortion activist, focusing on abortion as the primary &#39;sanctity of human life&#39; issue.&nbsp;</em><em>But everything changed after the 2013 D.C. Navy Yard shooting that left 13 people dead. A new documentary called &quot;The Armor of Light&quot; tracks Schenck as he decided that one cannot be both &#39;pro-life and also &#39;pro-guns.&#39;</em></p><p><em>&quot; &#39;I&#39;ll be very candid, I haven&#39;t felt that it&#39;s our issue, until we end up kneeling in prayer, outside the Navy Yard gates in my neighborhood where my apartment building was in lockdown,&#39; he says in the film that will be released on Oct. 30. &#39;So suddenly it goes from theoretical to very realistic.&#39; &quot;</em></p></blockquote><p>Schenck spoke with NPR&#39;s Scott Simon about his views and how they coalesce with his anti-abortion stance.</p><p>&quot;When you talk about aiming a weapon at another human being, no matter what the circumstances are, that&#39;s a question of paramount moral and ethical dimensions, so it&#39;s something that we should take very seriously, and I don&#39;t know that a lot of us are,&quot; he says.</p><div><hr /></div><p><strong><span style="font-size:18px;">Interview Highlights</span></strong></p><p><strong>On his calls for gun control on a personal level rather than a legal level</strong></p><p>Ultimately, we&#39;ll all make the decision what we will do, whether we&#39;ll own a lethal weapon and use it or not. We&#39;ve had a long discussion in this country &mdash; decades-long &mdash; on gun control, that is government gun control. For me, this is a question of self-control regardless of what the law may allow me to do. I appeal to a higher law. ... I&#39;ve said publicly, that in our respecting of the Second Amendment, we have to be very careful we don&#39;t break the second commandment, which is the commandment against idolatry. We can set up our own idolatry when we declare ourselves the arbiters of right and wrong, and especially, of the value of a human life.</p><p><strong>On how his views on guns relate to his views on abortion</strong></p><p>I&#39;ve been a pro-life advocate for 30 years. I see life as having value from the moment of conception, but there&#39;s a whole lot of life after conception. It&#39;s a pro-life question, and it&#39;s a deeply moral question, and it&#39;s, even for me, it&#39;s a theological question.<br /><br /><strong>On whether or not he owns a gun and why</strong></p><p>I do not ... on principle; I&#39;ve made the decision not to own a weapon. There&#39;s a lot of reasons for that. One is, I think it does create an ethical crisis for a Christian. Secondly, I don&#39;t necessarily trust myself, and maybe more of us would be better off to question what we will do in the heat of anger, fear, or God forbid, depression. My own family has a history of gun suicide due to depression. I know depression runs in families, and I don&#39;t want to take that risk.</p><div id="con447370085" previewtitle="Related NPR Stories"><p>I understand that impulse, and I respect it. I don&#39;t impugn people&#39;s motives on that. I think an awful lot of those people are sincere, and that&#39;s a noble inclination that we have. Now whether the handgun &mdash; a lethal weapon &mdash; is the best way to manage that security for yourself and your family is another question. Sometimes, a handgun can be a shortcut in the equation.</p></div><p><strong>On whether religious and ethical leaders can come to an agreement on gun ownership that politicians have missed</strong></p><p>Yes, I do. First of all, I don&#39;t want to sound too cynical, but I think politicians are, on the whole, eminently disqualified from really giving us good guidance on this question ... they&#39;re in the business of politics. That means winning elections. They&#39;re going to do what&#39;s in their best electoral interests on the question.</p><p>I hope that religious leaders are, for the most part, in a pursuit of the truth. So I&#39;ve decided I&#39;m going to shift to where my people are most comfortable, and that&#39;s the law of the heart, and of the mind, and of the conscious. And after that, I think we can probably get to some consensus on policy and legislation.</p><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/2015/10/10/447250761/an-evangelical-leaders-changing-views-on-gun-ownership?ft=nprml&amp;f=447250761" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 13 Oct 2015 16:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/evangelical-leaders-changing-views-gun-ownership-113323 Texas prof: I'm quitting now that state lets kids carry guns to class http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class-113302 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_821697735255.jpg" style="height: 385px; width: 610px;" title="In this Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, file photo, professor Ann Cvetkovich waits to speak during a public forum as a special committee studies how to implement a new law allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms into class and other campus buildings, which will take effect in August 2016, in Austin, Texas. Despite a federal law requiring them to have detailed emergency plans, colleges across the country vary widely in how they prepare for campus shootings and inform their staffs and students. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Daniel Hamermesh is an economics professor emeritus who has taught at the University of Texas at Austin&nbsp;since 1993. This week, he&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2015/10/07/citing-concerns-with-campus-carry-professor-emeritus-to-withdraw" target="_blank">announced</a>&nbsp;that he would withdraw from his position next fall after the state passed a &ldquo;campus carry&rdquo; law, which will allow concealed handguns in classrooms, dorms, and other campus buildings.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to bear the increased risk of facing a student in my office that gets disgruntled and pulls a gun out on me,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">Hamermesh, 72, says he will pursue teaching and academic opportunities at other institutions because his fear of being the target of on-campus gun violence has been &ldquo;enhanced&rdquo; with the new law, which goes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.legis.state.tx.us/BillLookup/History.aspx?LegSess=84R&amp;Bill=SB11" target="_blank">into effect in August 2016</a>&nbsp;&mdash; the 50th anniversary of a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/an-ex-marine-goes-on-a-killing-spree-at-the-university-of-texas" target="_blank">mass shooting at UT Austin</a>&nbsp;that left 14 dead and 31 wounded.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I worry about the feeling of tension this would engender because somebody might do something, and you&rsquo;re always going to be on alert,&rdquo; says Hamermesh. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t need to put up with that. Life is short, I don&rsquo;t need the money that much, so I&rsquo;d rather do other things.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">UT Austin currently educates about 51,000 students and boasts a teaching staff of about 3,000. Hamermesh says that the campus carry policy may deter both groups from pursuing educational and academic opportunities at the school, which was founded in 1881.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Why take even a slight risk with an opportunity at UT when you can go elsewhere?&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;That&rsquo;s going to cost the university.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/AP_907794901423.jpg" style="height: 417px; width: 600px;" title="Professor Ann Cvetkovich speaks during a public forum as a special committee studies how to implement a new law allowing students with concealed weapons permits to carry firearms into class and other campus buildings, Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015, in Austin, Texas. The law takes effect in August 2016. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)" /></p><p dir="ltr">Hamermesh isn&rsquo;t the only member of the University of Texas college system that is against this law. UT Chancellor Bill McRaven, a former Navy admiral, spoke out against the law before it was adopted last spring. And the president of UT Austin, Gregory L. Fenves, is also against the measure.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Right now, the [UT Austin] president is holding a bunch of forums and has a committee designed to decide what they can limit in terms of the places where you can&rsquo;t carry guns,&rdquo; says Hamermesh. &ldquo;But a general limit saying no guns in offices, I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s going to happen, and similarly, no guns in classes, I don&rsquo;t think that&rsquo;s going to happen. You can&rsquo;t do that politically given what the legislation was passed as. I&rsquo;m sure that President Fenves would like to do more limitations than what is in fact politically feasible.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Faculty members are concerned that the new campus carry law may have an impact on course curriculum and learning environment, says Hamermesh.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;A lot of people, especially in the Humanities department, are terribly concerned &mdash; why express something that might be controversial [and may make] a student really, really upset when there&rsquo;s an increased of having a student pull a gun on you?&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;It makes it a less desirable place for learning and it makes it less of a learning environment.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Furthermore, Hamermesh argues that professors should be able to set the terms of their classrooms &mdash; not lawmakers.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It impinges upon my freedom to operate my classroom exactly as I want,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I view my classroom and my office as my castle, and I don&rsquo;t like the legislature telling me what can go on in my castle.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">While some faculty members and students are &ldquo;pro-gun,&rdquo; Hamermesh dismisses those who argue that the campus carry law will empower educators.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to have a gun,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to be involved in shooting at someone who happens to draw first. I&rsquo;m probably too old to draw fast anyway &mdash; my reactions are slow &mdash; and having a gun would just make my life worse in so many ways.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Others in the community have similar feelings. A Takeaway listener named Victoria from Austin called in with this message:</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&#39;m very much against young men having guns on a college campus. The overwhelming perpetrators of gun violence is young men ages 18 to 30. Putting guns in the hands of immature, emotional, stressed out young men is just a bunch of bad decisions waiting to happen.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&mdash; <a href="http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class" target="_blank"><em>via The Takeaway</em></a></p></p> Mon, 12 Oct 2015 16:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/takeaway/2015-10-12/texas-prof-im-quitting-now-state-lets-kids-carry-guns-class-113302 Superintendent Garry McCarthy discusses strategies to curb gun violence http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Superintendent Garry McCarthy.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Earlier this week, members of the City Council&rsquo;s black caucus called for Superintendent Garry McCarthy to be fired. Murders in Chicago are up 20% compared to the same period last year. That&rsquo;s put additional pressure on McCarthy.</p><p>All Things Considered host Melba Lara spoke with the Superintendent from police headquarters and asked if pressure for an immediate fix ever gets in the way of long-term strategies.</p><hr /><p><span style="font-size:18px;"><strong>INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS</strong></span></p><p><strong>On what the public should do about gun violence</strong></p><p>I want to see a well-educated public that understands what&rsquo;s going on in this city and why it&rsquo;s going on. And I want the public to be as outraged about gun violence across the city of Chicago &ndash; not just the people in those neighborhoods that are suffering through it. And this concept of not in my backyard is just not good enough quite frankly and we&rsquo;ve been saying that the whole time also.</p><p>But until such time, as we get something done where people go to jail for possession of an illegal loaded firearm, they&rsquo;re incentivized to carry those guns. When the sanction from a gang is greater for losing the gun, than the sanction from the criminal justice system if we catch them with it, I mean the question is why don&rsquo;t you carry a gun?</p><p><strong>On whether or not immediate fixes to reduce the 20% increase in city&rsquo;s murder rate hinder long-term strategies</strong></p><p>I think that the problem is many people don&rsquo;t get the issue, and the political fix, many times, is not the medicine for the thing that ails us. It&rsquo;s like taking an Aspirin for a broken leg. There are ways to improve our performance that come from outside. For instance, we&rsquo;re looking at initiatives with City Hall about tree-trimming and lighting, and all of those things that we know contribute to crime&hellip;</p><p>But what needs to be fixed are the gun laws. It&rsquo;s that simple Melba, and I&rsquo;m not gonna let it go.</p><p><strong>On<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-aldermen-demand-firing-police-superintendent-mccarthy-113191" target="_blank"> recent criticism</a> and communication between his department and City Council</strong></p><p>We&rsquo;ve set up a system here where you don&rsquo;t have to speak to the police superintendent to get something done. The district commanders should be acting as partners with the aldermen in the field to get things done. If as in the past, you have to call the police superintendent to get things done here, we have a totally dysfunctional method of addressing things &ndash; and that&rsquo;s why we changed it. I can&rsquo;t deal with 50 individuals on a daily basis. It&rsquo;s just impossible. And I have great relationships with most of the aldermen in this city. Some of them, unfortunately, I just don&rsquo;t get along with. You know maybe it&rsquo;s my fault, maybe it&rsquo;s not my fault. It takes two to tango as we all know and I do the best I can to accommodate everybody.</p><p><strong>On IPRA&rsquo;s recommended discipline for <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/ipra-fails-pursue-potential-crime-cops-caught-video-113018" target="_blank">police misconduct in salon raid video</a></strong></p><p>First of all, I think you need to watch the whole tape. She very clearly resisted arrest &hellip;and quite frankly the officer made a mistake.</p><p>The officer made a mistake and he&rsquo;s going to be punished for it.</p><p>If everybody lost their job every time someone said something stupid most of us would be out of business right now. Taking somebody&rsquo;s job is really, really serious. What&rsquo;s the cost of taking 25 vacation days from somebody? Means that you have to work 25 days for free, which is probably somewhere around eight- to ten-thousand dollars out of that officer&rsquo;s pocket. That&rsquo;s a pretty stiff penalty and you know, for language, um, it&rsquo;s probably appropriate in my mind.</p><p>The problem is they only recommended, and they actually negotiated a one-day suspension with the sergeant which in my book is unacceptable because the sergeant has more accountability than the detective. And if they did not take control of the situation, and if they allowed those behaviors to continue, he deserves a stiffer penalty. And the only penalty that I can give to him besides the one-day [suspension] that was negotiated with him is to move to fire him. It&rsquo;s not a good system quite frankly.</p></p> Thu, 08 Oct 2015 10:37:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/all-things-considered/2015-10-09/superintendent-garry-mccarthy-discusses-strategies-curb FACT CHECK: Are gun-makers 'totally free of liability for their behavior'? http://www.wbez.org/news/fact-check-are-gun-makers-totally-free-liability-their-behavior-113210 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/HClinton.jpg" alt="" /><p><div id="res446351509" previewtitle="Clinton wants gun manufacturers to be held more liable for crimes committed with their weapons."><div data-crop-type="" style="text-align: center;"><img alt="Clinton wants gun manufacturers to be held more liable for crimes committed with their weapons." src="http://media.npr.org/assets/img/2015/10/06/gettyimages-491432442-7e74440f9dcb742e7877d42644dbb8ebd17952bf-s800-c85.jpg" style="height: 449px; width: 600px;" title="Clinton wants gun manufacturers to be held more liable for crimes committed with their weapons. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)" /></div><div><p>We want to cut through the spin with a new feature we&#39;re calling &quot;Break It Down.&quot;</p></div></div><p>Break It Down is going to be a regular part of our campaign coverage. We&#39;re going to try some new things. It might read a little differently from time to time. But our goal is to zoom in on what the candidates are saying, and give you the factual breakdown you need to make a sound judgment.</p><div><hr /></div><p>Hillary Clinton seemed to be barely holding back tears at a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.c-span.org/video/?328577-1/hillary-clinton-remarks-gun-violence">town hall in New Hampshire on Monday</a>. Speaking in the aftermath of another tragic mass shooting, this time at an Oregon community college, the Democratic presidential candidate pitched her gun control proposals.</p><p>In the middle of her remarks, she made a big claim: She said that gun-makers and sellers are &quot;the only business in America that is totally free of liability for their behavior.&quot; We decided to see what she was talking about &mdash; and whether she&#39;s right.</p><p><span style="font-size:20px;"><strong>Let&#39;s Break It Down.</strong></span></p><p><strong>The Claim:</strong></p><blockquote><div><p><em>&quot;So far as I know, the gun industry and gun sellers are the only business in America that is totally free of liability for their behavior. Nobody else is given that immunity. And that just illustrates the extremism that has taken over this debate.&quot;</em></p></div></blockquote><p><strong>The Big Question:</strong></p><p>Is Clinton right that the gun industry enjoys legal protections that other industries don&#39;t?</p><p><strong>The Long Answer:</strong></p><p>Clinton is wrong that gun companies have zero liability for their goods, but they do have special legal protections against liability that very few other industries enjoy.</p><p>To see what she&#39;s getting at, you have to back up 10 years. Clinton is talking about a 2005 law called the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA &mdash; a law she wants to repeal as part of her gun control proposals.</p><p>Lawmakers passed that law in response to a spate of lawsuits that cities filed against the gun industry in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Those lawsuits often claimed gun-makers or sellers were engaging in &quot;negligent marketing&quot; or creating a &quot;public nuisance.&quot;</p><p>In 2000, for example,&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/20/news/mn-42954">New York City joined 30 counties and cities</a>in suing gun manufacturers, saying manufacturers should have been making their products safer and also better tracking where their products were sold. Manufacturers, one argument at the time went, should stop supplying stores that sell a lot of guns that end up being used in crimes.</p><p>In response to these lawsuits, the NRA pushed for the law, which passed in 2005 with support from both Republicans and Democrats. Then-Sen. Clinton&nbsp;<a href="https://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/109-2005/s219">voted against it</a>; her current Democratic opponent,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2015/05/bernie_sanders_on_guns_vermont_independent_voted_against_gun_control_for.html">Bernie Sanders</a>, voted for it.</p><p>The law, however, allows for&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42871.pdf">specific cases</a>&nbsp;in which dealers and manufacturers can be held responsible. So that makes Clinton&#39;s statement technically incorrect.</p><p>&quot;[Clinton&#39;s statement] doesn&#39;t appear to be completely accurate,&quot; said Adam Winkler, professor of law at UCLA and author ofGunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America,&nbsp;in an email to NPR. &quot;The 2005 law does not prevent gun makers from being held liable for defects in their design. Like car makers, gun makers can be sued for selling a defective product. The problem is that gun violence victims often want to hold gun makers liable for the criminal misuse of a properly functioning product.&quot;</p><p>In other words: If you aim and fire a gun at an attacker, it&#39;s doing what it was intended to do. If it explodes while you shoot and hurts you, though, then you can sue the manufacturer. Likewise, if you had told the gun-store owner you planned to commit a crime with that gun, your victim could potentially sue.</p><p>However, Clinton &quot;is not totally off base,&quot; said John Goldberg, a professor at Harvard Law School and specialist in tort law. He said Congress was particularly &quot;aggressive&quot; in granting the gun industry this legal shield.</p><p>&quot;Congress has rarely acted to bar the adoption by courts of particular theories of liability against a particular class of potential defendants, especially when that form of liability has not yet been recognized by the courts,&quot; he said.</p><p>At the time that the law passed, the NRA argued that the industry needed the protection, because &mdash; unlike carmakers, for example &mdash; it did not have the &quot;deep pockets&quot; necessary to fight a slew of lawsuits, as the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/21/politics/congress-passes-new-legal-shield-for-gun-industry.html?_r=0">New York Times reported</a>.</p><p>Gun-rights advocates&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/nra-backed-federal-limits-on-gun-lawsuits-frustrate-victims-their-attorneys/2013/01/31/a4f101da-69b3-11e2-95b3-272d604a10a3_story.html">have also argued</a>&nbsp;that suing a gun company for crimes committed with its products is akin to suing a car company for drunken-driving fatalities.</p><p>But the issues at hand are more complex, say some legal scholars.</p><p>&quot;It&#39;s more like &mdash; are you a bartender and do you keep on pouring drinks for someone?&quot; as Fordham University law professor Saul Cornell told NPR. That might be a better way to think about whether manufacturers shouldn&#39;t supply certain stores, he says.</p><p>For an example of how this plays out, look at&nbsp;Adames v. Beretta. In this case, a 13-year-old boy removed the clip from his father&#39;s Beretta handgun, believing that made the gun safe, and then accidentally shot his 13-year-old friend. The victim&#39;s family sued Beretta, saying the company could have made the pistol safer and provided more warnings, according to SCOTUSBlog. Citing the PLCAA, the Illinois Supreme Court&nbsp;<a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/2009/08/tracking-new-cases-suing-gun-makers/">dismissed Adames&#39; claims</a>, and the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.law360.com/articles/139230/supreme-court-rejects-gun-liability-case">U.S. Supreme Court</a>&nbsp;ultimately refused to hear the case.</p><p>Victims of gun crimes like the Adames family may or may not have good cases, but&nbsp;<a href="http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/12/one-quick-answer-to-sandy-hook-repeal-the-2005-arms-act/266371/">PLCAA opponents</a>&nbsp;say plaintiffs should at least be heard in court.</p><p><strong>The Broader Context:</strong></p><p>Clinton wants to repeal PLCAA as part of her broader gun control agenda, which also includes proposals to close the &quot;gun-show loophole&quot; and prevent domestic abusers from obtaining guns.</p><p>The law is one of several recent NRA legislative victories that gun control advocates would like to roll back. Recent laws have also stopped Centers for Disease Control and Prevention research on firearms, and they&#39;ve also stopped researchers from accessing gun trace information, as NPR&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2013/01/14/169164414/lack-of-up-to-date-research-complicates-gun-debate">Carrie Johnson</a>&nbsp;has reported. Gun-rights advocates say withholding that trace information is about maintaining gun owners&#39; privacy.</p><p>At first glance, taking a stand one way or the other on gun control means alienating a big chunk of voters. Democrats have steadily, overwhelmingly, favored gun control over the years, while Republicans have grown increasingly in favor of gun rights in the past decade or so, according to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/01/09/a-public-opinion-trend-that-matters-priorities-for-gun-policy/">Pew Research Center</a>.</p><p>But then again, getting specific on gun policy might be good for Clinton in two ways. One is that it could endear her to pro-gun-control Democrats (this is one of the few areas where she is to the left of Sanders, her closest Democratic competition), particularly as calls for tougher gun control have grown louder after a long string of mass shootings.</p><p>Two,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/06/03/support-for-gun-control-isnt-dead-new-poll-shows-it-just-matters-how-you-frame-the-question/">research has also shown</a>&nbsp;that while Americans tend to be in favor of &quot;gun rights&quot; broadly, they also tend to favor specific potential gun control regulations, like background checks or assault weapon bans.</p><p><strong>The Short Answer:</strong></p><p>Clinton is wrong that gun manufacturers have&nbsp;no&nbsp;liability for their products, but she&#39;s right that they have unique protections from lawsuits that most other businesses &mdash; and particularly consumer product-makers &mdash; do not.</p><p>Sources:</p><ul><li><a href="http://www.c-span.org/video/?328577-1/hillary-clinton-remarks-gun-violence">C-SPAN video</a>: Clinton&#39;s remarks on gun violence</li><li><a href="https://www.nraila.org/articles/20100401/protection-of-lawful-commerce-in-arms">NRA Fact Sheet</a>&nbsp;on PLCAA</li><li>Email interview with John Goldberg, professor of law, Harvard Law School</li><li>Phone interview with Saul Cornell, professor of law, Fordham University Law School</li><li>Email interview with Adam Winkler, professor of law, UCLA Law School</li><li>Phone interview with Nelson Lund, law professor at George Mason University</li><li>Carrie Johnson&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2013/01/14/169164414/lack-of-up-to-date-research-complicates-gun-debate">2013 NPR article</a>&nbsp;on gun research restrictions</li><li><a href="http://www.scotusblog.com/2009/08/tracking-new-cases-suing-gun-makers/">SCOTUSBlog summary</a>&nbsp;of&nbsp;Adames v. Beretta</li><li><a href="http://www.law360.com/articles/139230/supreme-court-rejects-gun-liability-case">Law360 summary</a>&nbsp;of&nbsp;Adames v. Beretta</li><li>Congressional Research Service&nbsp;<a href="https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R42871.pdf">2012 report</a>&nbsp;on PLCAA</li><li><a href="http://articles.latimes.com/2000/jun/20/news/mn-42954">LA Times article</a>&nbsp;on New York City&#39;s 2000 suit against gun manufacturers</li><li><a href="https://www.press.umich.edu/pdf/0472115103-intro.pdf">Suing the Gun Industry</a>&nbsp;by Timothy Lytton (Introduction)</li></ul><p>&mdash;<a href="http://www.npr.org/sections/itsallpolitics/2015/10/06/446348616/fact-check-are-gun-makers-totally-free-of-liability-for-their-behavior" target="_blank"><em> via NPR</em></a></p></p> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 16:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/fact-check-are-gun-makers-totally-free-liability-their-behavior-113210 Illinois lawmakers override Quinn, enact concealed carry law http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-override-quinn-enact-concealed-carry-law-107994 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP301765859799_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Illinois became the last state in the nation to allow public possession of concealed guns as lawmakers rushed Tuesday to finalize a proposal ahead of a federal court&#39;s deadline.</p><p>Both chambers of the Legislature voted to override changes Gov. Pat Quinn made to the bill they approved more than a month ago. Even some critics of the law argued it was better to approve something rather than risk the courts allowing virtually unregulated concealed weapons in Chicago, which has endured severe gun violence in recent months.</p><p>The Senate voted 41-17 in favor of the override Tuesday afternoon after the House voted 77-31, margins that met the three-fifths threshold needed to set aside the amendatory veto. Quinn had used his veto authority to suggest changes such as prohibiting guns in restaurants that serve alcohol and limiting gun-toting citizens to one firearm at a time.</p><p>Quinn had predicted a &quot;showdown in Springfield&quot; after a week of Chicago appearances to drum up support for the changes he made in the amendatory veto. The Chicago Democrat faces a tough re-election fight next year and has already drawn a primary challenge from former White House chief of state Bill Daley, who has criticized the governor&#39;s handling of the debate over guns and other issues.</p><p>Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Democrat from southern Illinois, predicted a history-making day in which lawmakers would dismiss Quinn&#39;s changes as politically motivated.</p><p>&quot;He&#39;s trying to cater to, pander to Cook County,&quot; Phelps said, referring to the nation&#39;s second most-populous county, which encompasses Chicago. &quot;And I don&#39;t blame him ... because that&#39;s where his votes are.&quot;</p><p>The law as approved by the Legislature permits anyone with a Firearm Owner&#39;s Identification card who has passed a background check and undergone gun-safety training of 16 hours &mdash; longest of any state &mdash; to obtain a concealed-carry permit for $150.</p><p>The Illinois State Police would have six months to set up a system to start accepting applications. Spokeswoman Monique Bond said police expect 300,000 applications in the first year.</p><p>The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December that it&#39;s unconstitutional for Illinois to ban concealed carry. The court gave state officials until June 9 to rectify the shortfall, and later extended that by a month.</p><p>Opinions varied about what would have happened had a law not taken effect. Gun supporters said it would have meant with no law governing gun possession, any type of firearm could be carried anywhere, at any time. Those supporting stricter gun control said local communities would have been able to set up tough restrictions.</p><p>With the negotiated law, gun-rights advocates got the permissive law they wanted, instead of a New York-style plan that gives law enforcement authorities wide discretion over who gets permits. In exchange, Chicago Democrats repulsed by gun violence got a long list of places deemed off limits to guns, including schools, libraries, parks and mass transit buses and trains.</p><p>But one part of the compromise had to do with establishments that serve alcohol. The law will allow diners to carry weapons into restaurants and other establishments where liquor comprises no more than 50 percent of gross sales. One of the main provisions of Quinn&#39;s amendatory veto was to nix guns in businesses that serve any alcohol.</p><p>He also wants to limit citizens to carrying one gun at a time, a gun that is completely concealed, not &quot;mostly concealed&quot; as the initiative decrees. He prefers banning guns from private property unless an owner puts up a sign allowing guns &mdash; the reverse of what&#39;s in the proposal &mdash; and would give employers more power to prohibit guns at work.</p><p>Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, gave a nod to Quinn&#39;s wishes by putting before his caucus new legislation that incorporated the changes Quinn prefers. But Democrats had not said by early Tuesday whether they would vote on the bill. Phelps said he didn&#39;t know whether the House would consider it, although House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, kept the chamber in session in case a new bill arrived from the Senate.</p><p>Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont said it&#39;s clear the issue would be addressed again in the future but the Senate should focus Tuesday on meeting the court deadline.</p><p>&quot;For today, we should stick with the agreement that was in place,&quot; Radogno said. &quot;It&#39;s important to follow through.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-lawmakers-override-quinn-enact-concealed-carry-law-107994 Special Chicago City Council session called on gun laws http://www.wbez.org/news/special-chicago-city-council-session-called-gun-laws-107993 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/guns_gill (2).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is calling a special session of the City Council to consider measures he says will strengthen the city&#39;s assault weapons ban.</p><p>The <a href="http://bit.ly/14Z7Niw" target="_blank">Chicago Sun-Times reports</a> the July 17 meeting will also deal with legislation imposing stiffer penalties for gun crimes committed near schools, on buses and along routes children walk to schools.</p><p>Chicago&#39;s existing ordinance prohibits the import, sale, transfer and possession of assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.</p><p>The special session is a reaction to the concealed carry bill passed by the Illinois Legislature that gives Chicago and other municipalities 10 days upon signage to pass new or updated assault weapons legislation.</p><p>The Sun-Times reports Emanuel&#39;s ordinance would ban a list of specifically named weapons and their equivalents.</p></p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 09:31:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/special-chicago-city-council-session-called-gun-laws-107993 Quinn ready for Springfield 'showdown' on gun bill http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-ready-springfield-showdown-gun-bill-107976 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP301765859799.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn says he&#39;s ready for a &quot;showdown&quot; in Springfield over concealed carry legislation.</p><p>The Chicago Democrat has spent days making appearances talking up his sweeping changes to a bill that&#39;d make Illinois the last state to allow concealed weapons.</p><p>But lawmakers are expected to override Quinn&#39;s changes when they meet Tuesday in Springfield. The bill&#39;s sponsor, among others, says the original measure came out of months of negotiations.</p><p>Quinn wouldn&#39;t say if he has the votes, but says he&#39;s working on it. He says the bill was influenced heavily by the National Rifle Association.</p><p>He spoke to reporters Monday in Chicago after signing legislation dealing with gang crimes.</p><p>Illinois has until Tuesday to legalize concealed carry after a federal appeals court ruled the state&#39;s ban unconstitutional.<br />&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 11:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-ready-springfield-showdown-gun-bill-107976 Highland Park bans assault weapons http://www.wbez.org/news/highland-park-bans-assault-weapons-107838 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/AP040908020437.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>HIGHLAND PARK, Ill.&nbsp; &mdash; The northern Chicago suburb of Highland Park has banned assault weapons.</p><p>The Highland Park City Council enacted the ban Monday night after nearly two hours of public comments in a standing-room only chamber. One councilman, David Naftzger, voted against the ban. He said it could cost Highland Park thousands of dollars in litigation. Councilman Paul Frank voted for the ban, <a href="http://bit.ly/1477z9K" target="_blank">telling The News-Sun</a> he&#39;s &quot;proud we will not permit assault weapons.&quot;</p><p>Illinois Rifle Association second vice president Mike Weisman promised a lawsuit, saying one would &quot;be filed without a doubt.&quot;</p></p> Tue, 25 Jun 2013 13:03:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/highland-park-bans-assault-weapons-107838 Illinois legislature passes concealed carry bill, awaits Quinn's signature http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-legislature-passes-concealed-carry-bill-awaits-quinns-signature-107417 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/RS4474_Springfield-scr.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Illinois is one step closer to allowing its residents to carry concealed weapons, even though several state lawmakers who voted in favor of the proposal actually oppose the idea of concealed carry.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The State Senate approved a new concealed carry plan Friday by a vote of 45-12. The House approved it 89-28. It still needs the governor&#39;s approval.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>A December ruling from a federal court in Chicago ruled that Illinois&rsquo; ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional. It is the only state in the country to not allow its residents to carry a concealed gun.</div><p>The court ruling prompted months of debate over where guns should or should not be allowed, pitting representatives from Chicago against those from rural parts of the state. A bill approved by the senate on Friday would ban concealed guns in schools, large arenas and buses and trains.</p><p>It also would allow certain cities and counties around Illinois to keep their own gun regulations. Chicago, for instance, bans so-called assault weapons and shops that sell guns to civilians. A rival concealed carry bill had sought to wipe individual cities&rsquo; gun laws off the books, in favor of statewide regulations on guns. It passed the House of Representatives last week, but failed in a Senate committee earlier this week.</p><p>&ldquo;Understand what you&rsquo;re doing if you vote against this bill. Be very clear what you&rsquo;re doing. You&rsquo;re endorsing the risk of guns in schools being legal in non-home rule communities,&rdquo; said Republican State Sen. Matt Murphy. Several lawmakers thought that if no gun regulation was approved by a court-mandated June 9th deadline, then anybody could carry any gun anywhere.</p><p>&ldquo;I am not happy with the end result,&rdquo; said State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, who helped negotiate the bill. &ldquo;But my journey and my assignment was not to achieve my own personal happiness. My assignment was to negotiate a bill.&rdquo;</p><p>Those involved in negotiations had worried about various gun regulations around the state, pitting one city&rsquo;s gun regulations against the next. The bill approved by senators allows residents to transport their guns through the state, so long as it&rsquo;s packed appropriately.</p><p>The debate over concealed carry has pitted the National Rifle Association against the City of Chicago. Both are neutral on the bill.</p><p>Meantime, some Illinois lawmakers have also tried to ban ammunition magazines from holding more than 10 rounds across the entire state. Parents of children killed in December&rsquo;s mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., recently went to Springfield to testify in favor of the legislation. The measure failed in the Senate on Friday.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him <a href="http://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank">@tonyjarnold</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 31 May 2013 12:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-legislature-passes-concealed-carry-bill-awaits-quinns-signature-107417