The U.S. Supreme Court delivered a major victory to gun control advocates on Monday. The 5-4 ruling allows strict enforcement of the federal ban on gun "straw purchases," or one person buying a gun for another.
The federal law on background checks requires federally licensed gun dealers to verify the identity of buyers and submit their names to a federal database to weed out felons, those with a history of mental illness and others barred from gun ownership.
As part of the open carry movement, some gun rights activists in Texas have been carrying loaded rifles into restaurants to assert their second amendment rights. A growing list of national chains has pushed back, though, instituting no-guns policies in response. Even the National Rifle Association has publicly rebuked the Texas long-gun enthusiasts. NPR's John Burnett covers a street demonstration by a particularly aggressive chapter of the open carry movement in Fort Worth, Texas.
For gun control advocates hoping to see federal gun laws tighten after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., 2013 was a disheartening year. A narrow provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate.
For gun rights activists, the death of that legislation proved once more their single-issue intensity and decades-long grass-roots organizing were enough to prevail. Those are also valuable lessons for their opponents.
One bill seeks to circumvent federal restrictions on semi-automatic firearms, despite several members questioning how it would stand up to the Supremacy Clause, which establishes federal law as the law of the land.
Defend Louisiana has filed two bills for the upcoming session. One would protect the identities of concealed and carry permit holders. Another would nullify future federal laws that infringe on gun rights.