The national gun debate swelled Tuesday as Arizona and the nation commemorated the shooting rampage in Tucson, Ariz., two years ago that killed six people and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords injured — an anniversary that comes on the heels of the mass killing at a Connecticut school. Following is a look at how some state and local leaders are taking action:
ARIZONA — Giffords and her husband on Tuesday launched a political action committee aimed at curbing gun violence as Tucson residents paused to mark the anniversary of the shooting rampage there.
Also Tuesday, two politicians on opposite ends of the gun debate held dueling weapons buybacks outside a Tucson police station.
ILLINOIS — The state’s attorney general on Tuesday asked a federal appeals court to review a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban on concealed carry in an effort to salvage the only law in the nation that makes the practice entirely illegal.
Last month, a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Illinois ban as unconstitutional and gave lawmakers 180 days to write a law legalizing it. But Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking that all 10 judges on the court rehear the case.
CONNECTICUT — U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal announced Tuesday he plans to introduce federal legislation that would require instant background checks for purchasers of ammunition.
It is now illegal to sell firearms and ammunition to certain groups, including felons and the mentally ill. But background checks, Blumenthal said, are only required for the sale of firearms, not the bullets.
WASHINGTON — Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and other city leaders on Tuesday announced a new gun buyback program being sponsored by Amazon.com and other businesses to reduce firearms in the community.
Under the program, people who turn in a handgun can pick up a $100 gift card for the online retailer.
VERMONT — The Burlington City Council is supporting a proposed ban on assault rifles and multiple ammunition clips in the city.
The resolution passed the council on a 10-3 vote Monday night. It would need to go before a committee, eventually be voted on by the public and then sent to the Legislature before it could be approved.
UTAH — A councilman Spring City wants all residents in the small town to be armed against possible aggressors.
Councilman Neil Sorensen says he’s drafting a measure that would recommend that a gun be in every household in the town of 1,000, about 90 miles south of Salt Lake City. The measure will go before the full council in February.
Sorensen also wants the town to pay for concealed-weapons training for every elementary school teacher.
COLORADO — Following last summer’s Aurora theater shooting, a vigorous debate on gun control is expected during the 2013 lawmaking session that starts Wednesday.
Democrats now control both chambers of the Legislature so Colorado could see a flurry of measures to curb access to firearms — including a possible assault-weapons ban.
“I want to find a way to eliminate assault weapons, but I’m still trying to figure out how to do that,” said Senate President John Morse, a former police chief.
RHODE ISLAND — Providence Mayor Angel Taveras wants to hold a statewide gun buyback event.
Taveras, a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, is also talking with other mayors in the Ocean State about legislative proposals to strengthen state gun laws.
NEBRASKA — A Lincoln city councilman wants police officers assigned to more schools.
School resource officers already are assigned to each public high school. Councilman Gene Carroll wants the city and school district to consider adding them to middle schools.
CALIFORNIA — A one-day gun buyback program in Los Angeles brought in 2,037 firearms.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s office said the weapons collected Dec. 26 included 901 handguns, 698 rifles, 363 shotguns and 75 assault weapons. The buyback is usually held in May but was moved up in response to the Connecticut shooting.
In San Diego, gun owners traded more than 350 weapons for grocery vouchers Dec. 21 as authorities vowed to step up firearms exchanges.
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