gun control

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, R-Pa., speaks with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America
Anne Danahy / WPSU

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey said Monday he hopes Congress can pass legislation to expand background checks. 

“I’m not promising or guaranteeing an outcome here, but I am promising to continue the effort. And I do think we are in a somewhat different environment where maybe we can build the momentum," Toomey said as he headed into a forum with business and civic leaders in Lewisburg.

Toomey was greeted outside the meeting by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

He said he spoke with President Trump Monday morning.

In this file photo, a device called a "bump stock" is attached to a semi-automatic rifle at the Gun Vault store and shooting range in South Jordan, Utah.
Rick Rowmer / AP Photo

As a nationwide ban took effect this week, gun owners must immediately destroy or turn over their bump stocks after President Trump pushed the Justice Department to classify the controversial gun add-on as a type of illegal machine gun.

The gun accessory attaches to the butt of a semi-automatic rifle, allowing the weapon to reload and fire more rapidly.

The device became a focal point in the country's debate about gun violence in the months after law enforcement officials said a shooter used one to kill 58 people in Las Vegas in October 2017.

Parkland Shooting Survivor Draws Protestors

Jan 18, 2019
Gun rights activists held signs and waved flags.
David Tilli / WPSU

A group of about 18 Penn State students protested a talk by Parkland shooting survivor and “March for Our Lives” co-founder David Hogg. The gun control activist visited the University Park campus on Friday.

The protestors marched across downtown State College carrying both American and “Don’t Tread on Me” flags.

Aidan Mattis said he organized the event to protest both Hogg’s rhetoric and the lack of gun rights speakers in the Student Programming Association line up.

Tamaqua parent Rebecca Kowalski criticizes the school board's new policy that would authorize the training and arming of some teachers and staff.
Matt Smith for Keystone Crossroads

Nearly three hours into a special meeting about a policy that would ask some staff at the Tamaqua Area School District to carry guns, parent Liz Pinkey read aloud a letter from educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

They had written to the Pennsylvania State Senate last year, when lawmakers were debating a bill to allow personnel with concealed carry permits to be armed on school property.

On April 20th, 1999, 12 students and one teacher were killed at the Columbine High School in Colorado. On this day 19 years later, a school walkout in protest against gun violence spread across the nation. 

“We’re all post-Columbine kids,” said State College Area High School senior Kayla Fatemi. “I think, for us, [school shooting] is just something that we have to grow up with.”

Seated crowd
Anne Danahy / WPSU

A 2nd Amendment rally drew several hundred people to the Grice Gun Shop in Clearfield Saturday. 

“Good morning 2nd Amendment supporters.”

That was Tom Grice greeting the crowd. Grice has been holding the 2nd Amendment rally for at least five or six years. He said this year was the largest turnout yet.

“I think people understand now that it’s really under attack, more than ever, and they want to know what to do, they want to come get information, they want to learn,” Grice said.

State High students organized the local March For Our Lives to protest against gun violence and demanded action for gun control policy.
Min Xian / WPSU

Hundreds of people attended “March for Our Lives” in State College on Saturday, in conjunction with the national march taking place in Washington D.C. The march started in the courtyard in front of the State College Area High School and made its way to Penn State’s Old Main Building.

State High students organized this sister march to protest against gun violence and demanded action for gun control policy.

Susan Collins
Evan Vucci / AP Photo

After four failed gun control votes in the Senate on Monday, a new proposal to prevent gun sales to those on the federal “no-fly” list will go up for a vote as soon as this week. WPSU intern Min Xian visited a local gun shop to get reaction to potential restrictions.

Sam Vitullo is the store manager of Belding and Mull, a gun shop in Philipsburg. Vitullo says he’s not sure whether new legislation might affect business, but he says it may have spurred a customer to buy a gun earlier that day.