Gun control debate heating up in statehouses

ATLANTA (AP) -- State lawmakers and governors have wasted little time proposing new laws or offering opinions about existing gun regulations in the days after the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

Many Democratic legislators want to tighten gun restrictions, from requiring background checks for all sales to limiting the kinds of weapons and ammunition that can be manufactured.

Many Republicans are taking a wait-and-see approach, while others want to arm teachers and school authorities.

Officials from both sides say the best policy solutions must involve conversations about mental health.

Whatever the outcome, a key political question is whether the current public outcry carries over into genuine pressure for lawmakers to act.

The National Rifle Association, meanwhile, has remained mostly silent since the shooting. The group has promised a Friday news conference.


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