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Gun control debate

The 113th Congress hotly debated gun control bills and legislation in 2013. Nationwide, states are also considering various gun control legislative measures.

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gunsWashington (CNN) — Behind-the-scenes dealing over reviving stalled gun control legislation will get a push next week when Sen. Joe Manchin, a strong proponent of expanding background checks, plans to meet individually with lawmakers, a Senate source tells CNN.

The key question the conservative West Virginia Democrat wants answered is whether a “minimal change” to a compromise background check proposal that he co-authored but which failed to gain enough support in a vote last month would entice more senators to support it, the source said.

Since the proposal he negotiated with Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania faltered, senators who voted against it have been hounded in their states during the current recess by outside proponents of expanding background checks.

For the complete CNN story, go here.

SEATTLE — On July 28, 2006, Cheryl Stumbo was in her office at the Jewish Federation of Seattle when an armed Naveed Haq walked in and opened fire.

“I was critically wounded. Five of my colleagues were also shot. My friend Pam was killed. The gunman shot her in the chest then chased her into a stairwell and fired the fatal bullet into her head,” Stumbo said.

Stumbo, members of the faith community and the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility, have had enough with gun violence. They announced Monday a plan to bring a universal background check initiative to the November 2014 ballot.

“We will not wait for another Café Racer or Sandy Hook. The time has come for sensible violence protection measures. We can no longer wait,” said Rabbi Daniel Weiner of Temple De Hirsch Sinai.

gunsThe group said if the Legislature doesn’t vote on gun control legislation by the end of the special session this year, they will gather enough signatures to put the initiative before voters.

“We want to make this incredibly straightforward for voters so they understand that if they vote yes on this, it will close all loopholes and make sure everyone follows the law,” said Zach Silk with Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Dave Workman with the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms feels that background checks don’t prevent gun crimes.

“Adam Lanza didn’t pass a background check because he murdered his mother and took her guns down to Sandy Hook Elementary. The guy that shot up the Clackamas Mall in Oregon stole a rifle he used in that event. Naveed Haq who shot up the Jewish Federation passed two background checks,” Workman said.

Workman said he opposes universal background checks because he thinks it would create a gun registry.

Silk said his group has a fundraising event planned for late May and if the legislature doesn’t act, they will begin collecting signatures this summer.

photo%201SEATTLE — The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility is launching a statewide campaign to promote new legislation that would include a universal background check for gun purchases.

The group is in process of drafting legislation and plans to gather signatures throughout the summer and fall. When those steps are complete, the alliance will bring it before state legislature in the 2014 session.

If the bill doesn’t pass, the alliance said they will take the issue voters in a fall ballot measure in 2014.

“We are confident that the vast majority of Washingtonians will stand with us and pass this measure,” said Zach Silk, of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility.

Silk said the gun lobby is strong, but he believes this common sense legislation will go through.

“We put together an extraordinary team that is ready to run, win and fight and we believe that we will win and prevail and we will prove to the legislature and to the country that the people are on the right side and the time to act is now and we are ready to win and prevent gun violence in our communities,” he said.

The alliance plans to complete its legislation in May.

WASHINGTON – An amendment to expand background check requirements to include most commercial sales failed Wednesday in the Senate, a significant setback to gun legislation developed in response to the Newtown, Conn., school shootings.

The measure, negotiated by Sens. Joe Manchin III (D-W. Va.) and Patrick J. Toomey (R-Pa.), fell short of the 60 votes that it needed to be adopted under an agreement between the Senate’s leaders.

The defeat came despite intensive lobbying by Manchin and Toomey and a four-month campaign for stricter gun laws by the White House and activists, including family members of Newtown victims.

Manchin speaking to a near-empty chamber before the vote, criticized what he called a misinformation campaign from opponents, including the National Rifle Assn., the nation’s main gun lobby.

“I remember when the NRA used to feel a lot different about background checks, and it wasn’t all that long ago,” he said, calling their statement against his plan “a lie.” Manchin, who owns four guns and likes to hunt, had an “A” rating from the organization.

“I’ve never seen a perfect bill. I’m sure we can improve on this,” he said, but he added, “We made sure that the culture that we grew up with is protected and enhanced upon.”

The vote jeopardizes the larger gun package, which also includes measures to increase penalties for gun traffickers and spending on school safety measures. The existing bill includes a more stringent background check plan that Manchin and others have said they do not support.

OregonchildOREGON CITY, Ore. – A 9-year-old girl accidentally shot in the head has died, according to police.

Oregon City police said the child was accidentally shot by someone inside her home while she was playing in her backyard.

Police and medics responded to the 2000 block of 12th Street in Oregon City just before 5 p.m.

The little girl was taken by helicopter to OHSU, where she died.

Police said the initial call was that the mother’s boyfriend was possibly cleaning his handgun inside the house when it went off.

The suspected shooter is cooperating with police and was being interviewed by detectives.

At this time, police haven’t said whether or not the suspected shooter will be charged with any crimes.

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