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With threat of filibuster, does tougher gun control have a future? (+video)

Most Americans favor background checks for all gun sales, which would close a major loophole in current law. But 13 Republican senators say they'll filibuster any additional gun restrictions.

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The bills Oregon lawmakers began considering Friday would prohibit gun owners from openly carrying weapons in public buildings, require criminal background checks for private gun sales or transfers, and require concealed-handgun applicants to take a safety course and pass a proficiency test, reports The Associated Press. Another bill would ban guns in primary and secondary schools, but local school districts could opt out of the ban.

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Speaking on CNN Sunday, Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut – the state that’s home to major arms manufacturers – acknowledged the power of the gun lobby, especially the NRA, which receives much of its funding from the gun industry.

"The reality is that the gun that was used to kill 26 people on December 14th was legally purchased in the state of Connecticut, even though we had an assault weapons ban,” he said. “But there were loopholes in it that you could drive a truck through.”

Meanwhile, the gun battle continues on several fronts.

Some 750 Texas educators took a free daylong concealed-handgun licensing class Saturday at Kennedale High School in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Last week, the Texas Senate Education Committee approved a plan to train armed teachers for gunfights in classrooms or at campus sporting events or board meetings, reports Fox News. Texas already allows teachers and other school personnel who have previously been certified to carry concealed weapons to do so in classrooms with the permission of their local school districts. 

Former US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot and severely wounded in a mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011 urges a different path to preventing gun violence.

“We're all used to hearing people say that patience is a virtue,” she writes Sunday in a New York Daily News column. “But lately I’m not feeling too patient toward senators and representatives who are listening to the misinformation that’s out there about universal background checks instead of to their constituents, and saying they may not support common sense solutions to ending gun violence.”

“Right now, we have one system where responsible gun owners take a background check – my husband, Mark, took one just last month, and it took 5 minutes and 36 seconds,” she writes. “And then we have a second system for those who don’t want to take a background check. Those people – criminals, or people suffering from mental illness, like the young man who shot me – can buy as many guns as they want on the Internet or at a gun show, no questions asked. That doesn’t make sense.”


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