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Wildfires burn through Colorado causing thousands to evacuate, and protests in Turkey are in 13th day. Tune in at 7am ET.
May 2nd, 2013
10:09 AM ET

Newtown victim's daughter on challenging Sen. Ayotte: 'I just want to make my mom a human to them'

Erin Lafferty lost her mother Dawn Hochsprung on Dec. 14th in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Hochsprung was the principal and she died trying to protect her students. In her memory, Erica has fought for gun reform.

At a town hall event Tuesday, Erica confronted Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) who voted against a recent gun control measure. She questioned why the Senator believes background checks are a burden on gun owners.

"I'm just wondering why the burden of my mother being gunned down in the halls of her elementary school is not as important," Erin asks Sen. Ayotte.

The senator went on to explain she thinks the problem lies in the mental health reform, but that wasn't good enough for Erica. She joins John and Christine on "Starting Point" to explain how she is keeping the memory of her mother alive through her work on gun control.

April 11th, 2013
11:41 AM ET

Sen. Manchin: Bipartisan background check bill is 'common sense'

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) on proposed bipartisan legislation requiring background checks for gun purchases.

Filed under: Background checks • Gun control
April 10th, 2013
10:41 AM ET

VIDEO: Are background checks for gun purchases enough? Baltimore police chief and Newtown victim family member weigh in

Baltimore Co. police chief Jim Johnson and Newtown victim family member Jillian Soto on proposed gun control laws.

Filed under: Background checks • Gun control
April 10th, 2013
08:48 AM ET

Could new background check laws change how you buy a gun? Chris Cuomo tests out the current system


Washington (CNN) - A central part of the gun legislation Congress is expected to take up this week is the idea of expanded background checks on gun purchases. But few Americans understand how background checks actually work.

Leaders from both sides of the aisle - and an overwhelming number of Americans in national opinion polls - support expanded background checks before the purchase of guns. But when it comes to specifics, the divide shows.

Meanwhile, some congressional Democrats are pushing not only for expanded background checks, but also for broadening the requirement for records of sale transactions.

Newtown victim's mom fights for gun laws Coburn: Gun vote won't be filibustered Biden: Gun control opponents in time warp Background checks 'kneejerk reaction'?

For some Republicans and gun rights activists, the idea of any type of national gun registry is a deal-breaker.

This morning on "Starting Point," CNN's Chris Cuomo goes to a store to buy a gun to see firsthand how the background check process works now, and how new background check laws could change the process in the future.

READ MORE: Background checks on gun sales: How do they work?

Filed under: Background checks • Gun control
April 8th, 2013
01:05 PM ET

CT Sen. Blumenthal: 'Common ground is feasible' on background check deal

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) on President Obama's visit to the state today and the push for federal gun control laws.

Filed under: Gun control
April 3rd, 2013
12:58 PM ET

Rep. Cummings: Gun control isn't trying to take away Second Amendment, but should protect society

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) on a renewed push by President Obama to pass new gun control legislation.

Filed under: Gun control
April 3rd, 2013
11:00 AM ET

Law enforcement struggles to enforce current gun laws – Jake Tapper previews his ride along with L.A. officers

President Obama heads to Colorado today to make his case for Congress to take action on gun control. He's going to meet with law enforcement and community leaders at the Denver Police Academy, not far from the site of the Aurora movie theater massacre.

The president is pushing for universal background checks for gun buyers, and he's calling on Congress to at least vote on an assault weapons ban and limits on large-capacity magazines.

Colorado just expanded background checks and placed restrictions on magazines.

How are the gun laws that are already on the books enforced? Jake Tapper, host of "The Lead" and CNN chief Washington correspondent, talks with John Berman and Brooke Baldwin on "Starting Point" this morning to share a preview of his ride along with Los Angeles law enforcement to see how difficult it is to abide by current gun laws.

Don't miss Jake Tapper's full report on "The Lead" today at 4:00pm Eastern on CNN.

READ MORE: Enforcing gun laws on the books is easier said than done, By Jake Tapper

Filed under: Gun control • President Obama
April 2nd, 2013
11:10 AM ET

Fmr. Sen. Snowe: Gun control legislation possible, public needs to demand bipartisanship in politics

News this morning that Connecticut lawmakers are reaching a deal on sweeping new legislation strengthening gun laws. This is the first measure in this state since the Newtown school massacre back in December. It strengthens background checks and expands an assault weapons ban, among several other items.

This comes as gun control legislation struggles in the national level with no compromise in sight for the proposals that Vice President Biden's gun task force suggested.

This morning on "Starting Point," fmr. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who retired in 2012 to join the Bipartisan Policy Center as a senior fellow, weighs in on the chances of national gun control legislation, and shares what she thinks will help encourage bipartisanship in Congress.

Filed under: Bipartisanship • Gun control
March 29th, 2013
11:07 AM ET

President Obama, Newtown families reiterate call to action on stricter gun control

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama tried to shame the nation and Congress into action against gun violence Thursday, saying it is time to pass new laws after the tears and grief of tragedies like the Newtown massacre in December that killed 20 first-graders.

"We need everybody to remember how we felt 100 days ago and make sure that what we said at that time wasn't just a bunch of platitudes, that we meant it," Obama said at a White House event on a national day of action by supporters of tougher gun laws.

Victoria Soto was among the teachers who lost their lives in the Sandy Hook massacre. Her younger sister Jillian appeared in a new ad from Mayors Against Illegal Guns. She talks with Soledad on "Starting Point" this morning about the push for stricter gun control laws.

Filed under: Gun control • Newtown
March 22nd, 2013
12:02 PM ET

'The truth is, people with guns kill people' Aurora shooting survivor Stephen Barton on NRA suit against NY gun bill

The New York affiliate of the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit this week to contest the new strict gun control laws passed in the state. The law limits magazine size, bans assault weapons, and expands background checks. The NRA affiliate sites in its suit that the new “safe act” law violates the second amendment.

Aurora theater shooting survivor Stephen Barton joins the "Starting Point" to weigh in on the lawsuit, and the struggles passing gun control legislation in Congress. He is currently working with families affected by the Newtown shooting as part of his work with Mayors Against Illegal Guns.

“Gun laws have always been a patchwork of state laws that don't cover everything," Barton says. "But this is a national problem that applies to a national solution."

Barton says these new state laws can serve as a way for the country to see “what works” so that ultimately federal legislation can be passed. He feels we need to cut through our ideological differences on gun control, and find middle ground because new gun legislation “will save lives.”

He was present in New York City yesterday during Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Vice President Joe Biden’s speeches urging a vote on an assault weapons ban that is currently failing in Congress.

Barton says it is “not a surprise” that the assault weapons ban lacks support. He is still hopeful that the “people who have been affected most personally by gun violence at least deserve a vote on the floor of the Senate." He hopes this vote can be achieved by Senator Feinstein’s amendment being added to existing legislation.

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