Shooting of policemen again brings issue of Gun Control in US to the fore

Washington : With sharply increasing gun related violence over the past years in US, the issue of easy availability of guns to civilians cannot be ignored. The recent targeted shooting of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge has ignited the ‘gun control’ debate again. War weapons such as the high powered assault rifles capable of large scale destruction are freely being sold like toys. 

The talk of ‘gun control’ brought forth the sharp differences between political leaders and the police officials on the matter. The senior police officials from several major American cities have raised strong objections on easy civilian access to rifles and guns. 

US gun control policyUS police officers, on the front lines of gun violence every day, have particular reason to be on edge in the presence of civilians carrying guns, after 11 days in which eight officers were killed in two planned shootings, in the two major cities.  Police officers are armed but the snipers shot the police officers using high end weapons.  Senior police authorities from major cities are now demanding stricter gun control measures to combat the prevailing ‘gun culture’. Although, while police chiefs and major city forces tend to favor more stringent gun laws, elected sheriffs and smaller departments are likely to lean the other way. 

As US prepares to hold its ‘58th quadrennial Presidential election’ in the fall this  year, the freely available guns and weapons to civilians is bound to be a major issue in contention. 

The issue of gun-control flared up after the terrorist attack at Orlando in the past month causing a fuming conflict amidst the two prevailing political parties. President Ohama and ‘The Democratic Party’ want to bring in stricter gun control measures. On the other hand, ‘The Republican Party and its presumptive GOP presidential nominee ‘Donald Trump’ favor legal ownership of guns among civilians on grounds of self-defense.

The 2016 Republican National Convention is being held at Cleveland from July 18- 21. The ‘Open Carry Law’ or the ‘practice of openly carrying firearm in public,’ has become a contentious issue. The Cleveland police union has urged the Governor of Ohio to suspend ‘Open Carry Law’ as an emergency action.  The supporters of the law however have been demonstrating and demanding to be allowed to carry weapons around Convention area. 

Presently 27 US States allow the practice of public carriage of firearms under the ‘Open Carry Law’.  17 States require a permit or license to openly carry firearms. In 4 States it is legal in some counties and rural areas.  Only 8 States do not permit, or have many restrictions on how when or where you are allowed to do so.

 Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants the targeted killing of the police officers to be deemed as a hate crime and urged lawmakers to send him such a bill to sign during next year’s legislative session. Governor Greg Abbott had announced on Monday his plans to lobby for adding such a ‘Police Protection Act’ to Texas law.

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