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March 8th, 2013
07:15 AM ET

Georgia town wants guns in every household – Shannon Travis reports


A small Georgia town may soon require every household to own a firearm - a law that, if passed, would make it the second town in the state to mandate gun ownership.

City council members in Nelson, a town of 1,300 people north of Atlanta, unanimously approved the proposal at a meeting this week. Citizens now have a chance to review the proposal before the council takes it up again in April.

The law would give every family the right to protect themselves and their property "without worrying about prosecution for protecting themselves," Cronic told the meeting. He said the proposal was modeled on a similar law in nearby Kennesaw, Georgia, that has been on the books since 1982.

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Shannon Travis reports on this controversial proposed law.

READ MORE: Georgia town mulls mandatory gun ownership

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Filed under: Crime • Guns • Law • Law enforcement
February 13th, 2013
10:49 AM ET

Rep. Janice Hahn, Rev. Bell on Obama call for gun control: It's encouraging

Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) & State of the Union guest Rev. Winford Bell on President Obama's call to action on guns.

Filed under: Gun control • Guns • State of the Union
February 11th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

Two men questioned in murder of Hadiya Pendleton – Ted Rowlands reports

CNN's Ted Rowlands reports on two men questioned in connection with the shooting of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton.

Filed under: Gun control • Guns
February 1st, 2013
09:02 AM ET

Manhunt underway for Texas courthouse shooter – Drew Griffin reports

An intense manhunt is underway for one, or possibly two suspects, after an assistant district attorney was gunned down outside a courthouse in Texas. Mark Hasse, a prosecutor in Kaufman County, located about 30 miles outside Dallas, was killed after being shot several times as he got out of his car in the courthouse parking lot yesterday.

Authorities are pleading for leads. The FBI is now helping in the case. Drew Griffin is live in Kaufman, Texas this morning with more.

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Filed under: Crime • FBI • Guns
January 31st, 2013
10:18 AM ET

Family mourns for teen shot after inauguration performance, suggest changes to gun laws


Chicago (CNN) - A teen who performed at events around President Barack Obama's inauguration was shot to death in Chicago this week, and now her story has become part of the debate in Washington over gun violence nationwide.

The shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton came up in a U.S. Senate hearing and a White House press briefing Wednesday.

"She was an honor student and a majorette," said Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Illinois. Performing at inaugural events last week "was the highlight of her young, 15-year-old life," he said.

Speaking at Wednesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on gun violence, Durbin mentioned Pendleton's death as he argued that more must be done to stop gun crimes.

"Yesterday, in a rainstorm after school, she raced to a shelter. A gunman came in and shot her dead," he said. "Just a matter of days after the happiest day of her life, she's gone."

The park shelter where she was shot is just a mile from Obama's home in Chicago.

This morning on "Early Start," Hadiya's dad Nathaniel and godfather Damon Stewart talk about her legacy, and changes they hope to see in gun control laws.

READ MORE: Teen who performed at Obama inaugural events shot dead in Chicago

Filed under: Gun control • Guns • Presidential Inauguration
January 31st, 2013
08:30 AM ET

VIDEO: Baltimore Co. Police Chief Johnson: Background checks most important element of gun control

Baltimore Co. Police Chief James Johnson on what he thinks is the most important element of gun control reform.

Filed under: Gun control • Guns
January 29th, 2013
10:00 AM ET

'The Story of a Gun' – crime reporter Ed Komenda on how he tracked the journey of a Glock

A .40-caliber Glock gun ordered for a Palm Beach sheriff's deputy winds up in the hands of criminals. The gun then moved from place to place, from criminal to criminal. And a crime reporter set out to find out how, and why.

Reporter Ed Komenda traced the history of the Glock and recounted its journey in "The story of a gun: Serial number MPX753"  for the South Florida Sun Sentinel. He explains his reporting on “Early Start” this morning.

Over four years, the gun traveled more than 5,000 miles and was involved in four shootings. Komenda says he daily looks for “interesting charges” in police reports when this story presented itself.

“It was much more dramatic than a typical gun story is,” he says. While the gun has passed from criminal to criminal, “nobody has really been convicted in any case tied to this gun.”

Concerning an issue of heated debate, Komenda’s story received a mixed response. While one person commented it was one of the best stories he's read, another said he didn’t like it. “Another guy says I have no business in the business,” he says. “They claim that it’s politically driven.” But Komenda just saw a story worth pursuing and that’s what he did. “I wasn't looking at either side.”

Read Komenda's story here: The story of a gun: Serial number MPX753

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Filed under: Crime • Guns
January 29th, 2013
06:01 AM ET

MYB: Gun sales 'way up' after Sandy Hook shooting

Christine Romans is minding your business with the latest on gun sales. Gun sales are way up since the Sandy Hook shooting. "Background checks have been just skyrocketing," Romans reports.

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Filed under: Guns • Markets • Minding Your Business • Stocks
January 25th, 2013
06:20 AM ET

Sen. Feinstein proposes assault weapons ban – Paul Steinhauser reports


Washington (CNN) - On one side were pegboard panels mounted with various assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons - including a Bushmaster similar to the one used in last month's Newtown school massacre.

Behind the stage stood police officers supporting a renewed ban on such firepower. One by one, victims of gun violence told their brief stories and expressed support for a new federal ban being proposed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein on some assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

Almost six weeks after the Connecticut shooting rampage that killed 20 first graders, Feinstein said she planned to introduce her measure later Thursday, with Reps. Carolyn McCarthy of New York and Ed Perlmutter of Colorado doing the same in the House.

Feinstein's proposal would upgrade an assault weapons ban that expired in 2004 and also outlaw ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

She said the goal is to "dry up the supply of these weapons over time."

This morning on "Early Start," CNN's Paul Steinhauser looks at the details of Sen. Feinstein's plan and the public support for this type of assault weapons ban.

READ MORE: 'Enough is enough,' Feinstein says in proposing new gun ban

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Filed under: Congress • Gun control • Guns
January 17th, 2013
09:21 AM ET

Aurora shooting victim family member boycotts theater opening, argues theater using shooting as momentum for opening

Six months after the massacre in Aurora, the Century 16 movie theater where 12 people were killed and nearly 60 wounded is scheduled to roll its screens again. The Colorado theater will reopen to the public tommorrow, remodeled and renamed.

The newly renovated theater was opened this week for private visits from family members. A formal reopening dedicated to the remembrance of the tragedy will be held tonight. Aurora's mayor and Colorado's governor are expected to speak. But many families have decided not to attend tonight. Jessica Watts, whose cousin Jonathan Blunk was a victim of the shooting at Aurora, is one those boycotting the reopening. She joins us live from Denver this morning.

Watts says she has no interest in attending the theater’s reopening because she feels families are “being used as pawns” and as “momentum for their public ticket sales.” However, some families did visit the theater and said it was therapeutic for them. Watts believes “it depends on the healing process” whether some find it helpful or not. “All of us are at different stages of healing and grief and…different levels of trauma,” she says. “I know of a few family members that are going back, but I choose not to, just because I would rather focus my energy on…how we can make a change…in policies, kind of according to what President Obama wanted to do yesterday.”

The president proposed measures to curb gun violence yesterday, but it looks unlikely that the Senate will pass an assault weapons ban. Still, Watts feels hopeful. “Our pleas are being heard,” she says.

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