gun rights

The recent targeted attacks on police in Dallas and Baton Rouge have law enforcement on edge. Some departments are telling officers to patrol in pairs when possible, and to be extra vigilant about possible ambush.

Complicating matters is the question of how to interpret and react to the presence of a gun. With more Americans now exercising their legal right to carry firearms, police find themselves having to make rapid judgments about whether an armed citizen is a threat.

The deaths last week of three African-American men in encounters with police, along with the killing of five Dallas officers by a black shooter, have left many African-American gun owners with conflicting feelings; those range from shock to anger and defiance. As the debate over gun control heats up, some African-Americans see firearms as critical to their safety, especially in times of racial tension.

There's an all-too familiar fight that takes place after horrible events like those in Dallas and Orlando, centered around firearms and how — or even whether — to regulate them.

Gun-control advocates and Democrats call for tighter regulations. Gun-rights groups and Republicans argue that blame shouldn't be put on inanimate objects, but on the people pulling the trigger. Both sides dig in. And it seems that nothing changes.

The list of items banned from downtown Cleveland during this month's upcoming Republican National Convention includes tennis balls, grappling hooks and canned goods.

But not guns.

The city of Cleveland has spent more than a year planning for security around the RNC, but it has very little say on the subject of firearms.

"We'll follow the law. The state has a law, we follow the law. Whatever that law is we'll follow it," said Mayor Frank Jackson.

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed new gun control legislation for California, enacting bills that limit magazine capacity to 10 bullets; require a background check for those purchasing ammunition; and restrict the lending of firearms, among other effects.

In signing the bills, Brown said he wants "to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners."

By refusing to hear an appeals, the Supreme Court on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that left in place assault weapons bans in New York and Connecticut.

The high court declined to hear an appeal of a case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Updated at 7:40 p.m. ET with Senate votes

To virtually no one's surprise, the Senate failed to advance any of the four gun control proposals — two offered by Democrats, and two by Republicans — that came in response to last week's mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Here are the results:

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The Senate is set to vote on four gun control measures Monday evening — and none of them is expected to pass.

Getting these votes scheduled was the singular goal of a 15-hour talking marathon Senate Democrats mounted on the Senate floor Wednesday. But because the outcome of the votes is already a foregone conclusion, some senators are wondering out loud: "What's the point?"

"This is unfortunately about politics on Monday night, not about finding a solution that will work for our country," said Republican Bob Corker of Tennessee.

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