The second-highest-ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has written a proposal to reduce gun regulations, including examining a possible end to the ban on importing assault weapons into the United States, reports The Washington Post. The 11-page “white paper” by Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the ATF, calls for removing restrictions on the sale of gun silencers; allowing gun dealers to have more guns used in crimes traced to their stores before the federal government requires additional information from the dealer; and initiating a study on lifting the ban on imported assault weapons.
Just as the sugary beverage industry supports initiatives to increase physical activity, the gun industry has found a new cause: suicide prevention. The Associated Press reports that a new initiative by the National Sports Shooting Foundation, the trade association of gun manufacturers, and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, seeks to use gun stores and shooting ranges to reach people at risk of suicide. “As with most relationships, we had to get to know one another a bit. We had to see that they were serious, and I’m sure that they had to see that we were not going to be gun control activists,” said Robert Gebbia, CEO of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. “We’re interested in not taking guns away, but in limiting access by those who have serious mental health problems and are at risk.” It’s all about practicing safe storage, he said.
A new gun control strategy proposes more legal action to add to demonstrations like the 2013 March on Washington. credit.
In Congress and in the Supreme Court, the gun lobby has racked up some crucial victories in recent years, writes the New York Times. It won again last month when Donald J. Trump, buoyed by the lobby’s money and support, secured an upset victory in the presidential election. On the defensive, gun control advocates are now quietly developing a plan to chip away at the gun lobby’s growing clout: Team up with corporate law firms. This effort is highly unusual in its scale. Although law firms often donate time to individual causes, and some firms have worked on gun control on a piecemeal basis, the number and the prominence of the firms involved in the new coalition are unheard-of for modern-day big law. Other firms are expected to join in the coming months.
The uptick in mass shootings over the past few years has led to widespread calls for gun reform and the defeat of pro-gun lobbyist groups opposing it. Since the gun lobby currently employs many of the same tactics used by the powerful tobacco lobby, some have reasoned that the same blueprint used to weaken the big tobacco lobby could work for guns. Though the two lobbying groups—tobacco and guns—use similar strategies, the issues they represent are fundamentally different and require different game plans to defeat. An article in The Harvard Political Review, a journal published by Harvard undergraduates, explains the rationale for taking different approaches.
It’s no secret that Donald Trump campaigned as a champion of gun rights, but a Trump administration poses both welcome relief and an immediate problem for the gun industry, reports NPR’s Morning Edition. For Larry Cavener, who recently visited a new gun shop Tactical Advantage in Overland Park, Kan., this election means he can breathe easier. “This means that we’re not gonna be under siege for a few years, and it seems like it has been,” Cavener says. But the Obama years have actually been awesome for the U.S. gun industry. It’s roughly doubled in size, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trade group.
National Rifle Association committees making independent campaign expenditures to oppose Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton have spent more than $14 million on the race, surpassing the spending of the most active pro-Trump Super PAC. According to FEC filings collected by ProPublica covering spending through October 20, the NRA Institute for Legislative Action has spent $7,057,970 opposing Clinton and the NRA Political Victory Fund has spent $7,127,423.
Almost 200 leading music industry figures have signed an open letter demanding Congress to pass bills for stricter gun control laws, including legislation that will prevent potentially dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms, reports The Wrap. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Paul McCartney, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Demi Lovato were just a few of the names on the list. “As leading artists and executives in the music industry, we are adding our voices to the chorus of Americans demanding change,” the letter published by Billboard reads.