Assault weapons

House Judiciary panel to dive into gun debate upon return
Background checks, assault weapons ban, ‘red flag’ laws and more could be on the table

People hold candles at the end of the prayer vigil in Odessa, Texas, for victims of a mass shooting there Saturday in which seven people were killed. (Cengiz Yar/Getty Images)

The House Judiciary Committee will meet next week to jump-start legislation addressing firearm ownership, an issue that has languished before Congress for more than two decades but faces new urgency in the wake of recent mass shootings that rattled the country.

Supporters of the legislation have scrambled over the summer recess to cobble together support and advance various proposals before the political will withers after recent shootings in Gilroy, California; Dayton, Ohio; and El Paso, Texas. A rampage in the West Texas community of Odessa over Labor Day weekend added to the concern. House Democrats have struggled with how far to push in the face of a GOP-controlled Senate and White House.

Supreme Court Stays on the Sidelines in Gun Debate
Assault weapons bans allowed to stand in New York and Connecticut

The Supreme Court has declined to take up a challenge to assault weapons bans in two states. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

As the debate over gun control laws continues to roil the nation and Congress, the Supreme Court on Monday again decided to stay on the sidelines.  

The justices announced they won’t hear a major challenge to state gun control laws enacted in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, continuing a five-year trend of avoiding such cases.  

#Filibuster Reaction Reflects Passionate Division Over Guns
Murphy inspires and incites, depending on which way you look at the debate

Demonstrators supporting Sen. Christopher S. Murphy's filibuster on gun laws march onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Well-known writers, media personalities and relatives of gun violence victims posted passionate dispatches on both sides of the gun debate during Sen. Christopher S. Murphy's filibuster Wednesday and early Thursday.

“Heard about @ChrisMurphyCT and his #filibuster and I feel like, for the first time in days, I am breathing,” Jared Frieder, a Los Angeles-based comedy writer, posted at 2:06 p.m., three hours after Murphy took the floor.

Hassan Says She Supports Assault Weapons Ban
Ayotte challenger says some weapons can be banned while protecting hunting rights

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who is running against Republican incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte, didn't say whether she'd vote to reinstate the assault weapons ban. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, who's running against incumbent Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, said Wednesday she would support an "appropriate, fair assault weapons ban."  

Hassan's comments come in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla., on Sunday, in which a gunman, armed with an AR-15 rifle and a handgun, killed 49 people before police killed him.