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State Update: Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, Tennessee, and West Virginia Make Moves on Gun Laws

By: Teresa Mull

Here’s your weekly update on what pro and anti-gun legislation is percolating in state capitols across the nation:

Teachers with Guns in Indiana
A bill being debated in Indiana would enable school districts "to seek state money to provide gun training for teachers," reports 14News.

“The bill that advanced Monday joins other Republican-backed proposals regarding firearms moving in the Legislature,” the station reported last week. “Those include eliminating fees on five-year handgun licenses and providing more immunity from lawsuits to people who shot an attacker under the state’s “stand your ground” self-defense law.”

Social Media and Guns in Illinois GPM reported in November 2018 that New York State lawmakers had proposed a bill requiring people to make avaiable their social media postings available so officials can determine whether they're fit to own a gun. Lawmakers in Illinois are taking to the idea, too.

Fox News reports:

Illinois Democrats are introducing a bill forcing gun buyers to reveal their public social media accounts to police before they are given permission to get a firearm license.

The new legislation is sponsored by two state Democratic lawmakers, in an effort to block people from acquiring guns if they have made some troubling comments on social media

The proposal in Illinois facing … criticism, with Rebecca Glenberg of ACLU saying the bill doesn’t address what the police could do with the data, in addition to the First Amendment concerns.

“A person’s political beliefs, a person’s religious beliefs, things that should not play a part in whether someone gets a FOID (Firearm Owners Identification) card,” Glenberg told the station.

The Illinois State Rifle Association, meanwhile, said that everyone should be outraged by the intrusiveness of the bill. “When people look at this everyone who has a Facebook account or email account or Twitter account will be incensed or should be,” Richard Pearson.

Oregon Republicans Push Gun Control
Gun control is no longer a policy supported solely by Democrats.

“House Rep Cheri Helt, (R. District 54) rated ‘F’ by Oregon Firearms Federation, has demonstrated her predictable ignorance and introduced a ‘bump-stock’ ban,” Ammoland.com reports.

According to the bill:

‘Bump-fire stock’ means a buttstock designed to be attached to a semiautomatic firearm with the effect of increasing the rate of fire achievable by the semiautomatic firearm to that of a fully automatic firearm by using the energy from the recoil of the firearm to generate reciprocating action that facilitates repeated activation of the trigger.’

Red Flag Laws in Tennessee
Tennessee is the latest state to jump on the red flag gun confiscation bandwagon.

Fox17 reports:

A Tennessee bill would allow law enforcement officers and courts to remove firearms or force the sale of firearms from persons deemed and extreme risk.

HB1049/SB0943, also known as the "Families Know First Act," would allow for an "Extreme Risk Protection Order" to be presented by police then issued by a court for those deemed a risk to themselves or others if in possession of a firearm(s).

Under the bill, a law enforcement officer or agency could seek an extreme risk protection order if based on an investigation police find the individual poses an "immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to the subject or to another by having in the subject's custody or control, owning, purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm."

Campus Carry in WV
West Virginia’s legislature is considering a bill to legalize guns on college campuses.

WVMetroNews reports:

House Bill 2519, called The Campus Self Defense Act, would require colleges to allow those licensed to carry a concealed deadly weapon to do so on campus and in campus buildings.

The bill includes some exceptions from the requirement including events in campus sports arenas with more than 1,500 seats, campus daycare centers, campus police headquarters and private events.

Some states that have campus carry allow firearms in residence halls. House Bill 2519 doesn’t address the situation but that may change, according to House Judiciary Chairman John Shott.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at teresa@gunpowdermagazine.com.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Gunpowder Magazine.