Facebook Killer Derek Medina Convicted

Two years after killing his wife then posting a picture of her dead body on facebook, 33 year-old Derek Medina of Miami faces life in prison after being convicted today in the August 8, 2013 murder of 26 year-old Jennifer Alfonso. Medina had been charged with second-degree murder, throwing a deadly missile, and child endangerment.

Derek Medina

Derek Medina

After a ten-day trial before Miami-Dade County Judge Yvonne Colodny a jury convicted Medina of second degree murder. Closing arguments took place on yesterday, the jury deliberated overnight, and returned a verdict of guilty about 1 P.M. today.

Medina’s case was rather unusual, in that he has insisted since he was arrested on the day of the crimes that he had been an abused husband and victim of domestic violence for years. He had claimed self-defense, asserting that Alfonso was mad because he had not woke her up in time to watch a movie, started throwing things at him, verbally threatened him, and that she had finally got a kitchen knife and tried to attack him.

He has said he posted messages and a photo of Alfonso’s dead body on each of their facebook pages to let both their families know what he had done, so they would be prepared to take care of Alfonso’s daughter, who was in the couple’s apartment during the incident but did not witness it. The shocking, grisly photo of Alfonso bent back at the knees, wearing black stretch pants and a black top, with bloody face and arms, immediately went viral on social media, but was later taken down.

medina's facebook post

medina’s facebook post

Medina declined a chance to testify during his trial, apparently with good cause. Earlier this year, during a pre-trial status hearing, Medina was thrown out of a courtroom after repeatedly addressing the judge, and had previously interrupted a status hearing to say he wanted a bench trial.

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Stand Your Ground and Jeb’s Missed Opportunity

Originally posted on The Souls of Half Black Folk:

Last month, Time Magazine wrote an article titled #BlackLivesMatter Is Winning The Democratic Primary, an ode to the hard work and resilience shown by grassroots activists combating the criminalization and stigmatization of Black Communities around the country. Last week, Presidential Candidate, Jeb Bush took the stage in front of the National Urban League in his home state of Florida with the opportunity to convey the message to people across the country that he and his fellow Republicans take the Movement for Black Lives seriously and are committed to polices that will truly help all Americans. However, he missed a tremendous opportunity to talk about a law that has disproportionately plagued the Black population his state, the Stand Your Ground law.

 Stand Your Ground effectively allows citizens to defend themselves, even outside of their own homes with deadly force if they deem necessary. Florida enacted the law in 2005…

View original 623 more words

August 2015 #StandYourGround Tweet Of The Month @endyourstand



When Dick Durbin, then Judiciary Committee Chairman, uttered these words at a U. S. Senate hearing on stand your ground laws in 2013, hopes were high that finally the nation would agree, and that the federal government would initiate steps to push state lawmakers to change stand your ground laws. It hasn’t happened yet. The danger is still real.

Summarizing stand your ground law, Durbin’s opening statement “It appears to me that stand your ground laws are an invitation to confrontation” deserve to be a tweet of the month.

Thanks to twitter user  for this response:



NRA Fired Up As Court Ruling Refuels Fight Over Stand Your Ground

A road rage incident involving an Indiana family on the way to DisneyWorld in 2011 has led to a major court ruling that is a severe setback for stand your ground laws and gun rights, leaving the NRA steaming mad. On July 9, 2015, Florida’s Supreme Court ruled 5-2 that defendants, not the prosecutors, has the burden of proof in a self-defense situation.

A ruling for the defense could have led to more pretrial acquittals, and made it easier to get immunity under the stand your ground law. Stand your ground gives a defendant two chances to go free. Pre-trial hearings are held in “stand your ground” cases, to determine whether defendants are immune from prosecution.

The court decision came in the case of defendant Jared Bretherick, who was 22 years-old when he was riding with his 13 year-old sister on the back seat of a Chevy Silverado truck as his parents Ron and Debbie Bretherick – both disabled veterans – were in the front. Ron was driving, as the vacationing Hossiers headed to Orlando for a stop at DisneyWorld on the way home to Avon, Indiana from a Christmas vacation.

Jared Bretherick

Jared Bretherick (Osceola County sheriff’s office booking photo)

On December 29, 2011 a Florida man, Derrick Dunning, driving a blue Cadillac Escalade, was reportedly driving recklessly through traffic in Osceola County at a high rate of speed. After Dunning almost collided with the Brethericks while swerving toward their truck, Ron instinctively responded with his horn, and continued driving. Dunning apparently didn’t like it.

According to a police report, Dunning at some point stopped the Escalade in the middle of a multi-lane highway – right in front of the Bretherick’s pickup. He got out of his vehicle, walking back toward the Indiana family – who later said they felt threatened. Jared got Ron’s gun from the glove compartment while Debbie called 911.

As Dunning approached, Ron held up his gun. Dunning backed up, returning to his vehicle saying “I got a gun, too”, while Jared grabbed the family gun and got out of the pickup. There ensued a brief standoff between Jared and Dunning, since no one knew Dunning’s intentions after he returned to his Escalade and sat there. The two females exited the pickup and ducked in a ditch on the side of the highway. Ron, the driver, was immobile due to the nature of his disability. The cops arrived just in time -10 minutes after the 911 call, according to reports.

Despite family and witness statements about the circumstances, Jared Bretherick was arrested for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Police found no weapon in Dunning’s vehicle. At a stand your ground hearing, Bretherick was denied immunity, yet the defense and his case centered more on Florida’s self-defense immunity statutes than on stand your ground law.

The Florida Prosecuting Attorneys Association had backed the state during the litigation, and Jared’s mother, Debbie Bretherick, started an organization, Mothers Against Wrongful Prosecution (MAWP), to “address the growing concerns of the policies and powers of the prosecutor’s office within the criminal justice system.”

The NRA, which had filed motions supporting Jared Bretherick, calls the court decision an attack on Second Amendment rights. Families Against Mandatory Minimums (FAMM), an organization fighting against Florida’s 10-20-life sentencing, says that due to this ruling, “law-abiding gun owners in Florida are now more vulnerable to prosecution and conviction for acting in self-defense.”

In the final Florida Supreme Court ruling, Justice Barbara Pariente said immunity in stand your ground law is not blanket immunity, but requires establishing that use of force was legally justified.

She was joined in the majority opinion by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Justices Peggy Quince and James E.C. Perry in stating, “We conclude that placing the burden of proof on the defendant to establish entitlement to stand your ground immunity by a preponderance of the evidence at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, rather than on the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant’s use of force was not justified, is consistent with this court’s precedent and gives effect to the legislative intent.”  Justice R. Fred Lewis concurred.

In his dissenting opinion, Justice J. Canady  said, “By imposing the burden of proof on the defendant at the pretrial evidentiary hearing, the majority substantially curtails the benefit of the immunity from trial conferred by the legislature under the stand your ground law.”

News4Jax.com reported that State Representative Alan Williams calls the ruling a chance for Florida lawmakers to scrap “stand your ground” and start over. “There are provisions of the law that allow aggressors to get away with murder, so I want us to repeal it and start over, so hopefully this is our opportunity,” Williams said.

[CORRECTION: This article has been modified from it’s original version. The sentence “Police found a weapon in Dunning’s vehicle” should have read “Police found no weapon in Dunning’s vehicle.”]

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Facebook Killer Derek Medina Gets Thrown Out Of Court



The Miami man who killed his wife – then posted a confession with a grisly picture of her dead body on facebook – was rebuked by a Miami judge last week during a pre-trial status hearing, and thrown out of a courtroom after repeatedly addressing the judge. He previously interrupted proceedings in a courtroom at a status hearing six months ago, asking for a bench trial.

"Facebook killer" Derek Medina

“Facebook killer” Derek Medina is escorted out of courtroom July 1, 2015 (screenshot credit: CBSMiami)

Derek Medina, now 36 years-old, is accused of murdering his wife, Jennifer Alfonso, 26, two years ago, on August 8, 2013, claiming it was self-defense. He reportedly told police that Alfonso had attacked him by throwing things at him and threatening him with a knife. His attorney at the time, Saam Zanganeh, said they were planning a “stand your ground” defense, alleging Medina had been the victim of  spousal abuse.

Medina reportedly said he posted the picture on the social networking site to let both their families know what he had done, so they would be ready to take care of her young daughter (who was in the couples’ apartment during the incident). He was arrested, and indicted on a first-degree murder charge. Medina entered a plea of not guilty, and has been held in jail since being denied bond after his arrest.


medina's facebook post

medina’s facebook post


Medina appeared disheveled, in a state of hypertrichosis, at a hearing in a Miami-Dade courthouse last week on July 1st, and addressed Judge Yvonne Colodny, claiming, “we have video evidence of Jennifer Alfonso attempting to murder me”. Although being repeatedly warned by Colodny not to speak, and with his attorney admonishing him, Medina was determined to make his point. After several warnings, the judge ordered him out of the courtroom.

Derek Medina

“Facebook killer” Derek Medina (screenshot credit: CBSMiami)

A surveillance video Medina may be referring to (below) appears to show the location of the crime, an off-camera scuffle, and the flash of gunshots, but does not show the actual murder.

Medina obviously can’t keep his mouth shut during court hearings. At a status hearing in January, he stood and requested a bench trial. His next status hearing is set for August 14. The case is scheduled to go to trial on October 12.

(Video courtesy: Miami-Dade Florida state attorney’s office/Miami Herald)

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ALEC: “No Stand On Gun Policy Whatsoever”

[UPDATED July 9, 2015]
A member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) said last week that the group – which collaborated with the National Rifle Association (NRA) to orchestrate stand your ground laws and ease restrictions on guns across America – presently has no plans to create any new policy or be involved in gun legislation. He also sidestepped a question on an ALEC-led push to repeal stand your ground laws. Perhaps they realize that they shot themselves in the foot on this controversial issue.

ALEC duck

ALEC is one of the most vilified organizations in the history of American politics. It has members who mingle in closed quarters around conservative policies affecting all of us, devising schemes called “model policies” designed to control state legislation, while exchanging clout and money in the process.

Every state in America has politicians affiliated with ALEC, a group which denies involvement in some controversial issues, and won’t admit it has anything to do with problems that arise from any policy. Yet, ALEC has everything to do with state policies, problems, and legislation. Issues like climate change and stand your ground law have caused many leading corporations to cut ties with ALEC.

In a blog piece titled “A Clear And Present Danger: The United State Of ALEC“, renowned journalist Michael Maynard compares ALEC to drug cartels.

In a recent op-ed in the Washington Post Apple CEO Tim Cook implicated ALEC when he wrote that a “wave of legislation” in the form of a Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) across dozens of states would allow discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) citizens.

When asked whether the organization was involved in supporting the RFRA, ALEC spokesperson recently told Christian Science Monitor: “We do not work on firearms, marriage equality, immigration, any of those things people frequently say are ours.” Yet, legislation that spreads across multiple states – as was the case after the success of stand your ground in Florida – is usually modeled by ALEC, and this template legislation causes problems, partly because what works in one state may not work in another.

In light of recent intense public debate on gun laws, ALEC claims to be taking a back seat, although they, along with their bedfellows over at the NRA, own the very policies at the center of the gun debate.

In a series of tweets Thursday (July 2nd), research analyst William Freeland, a member listed on ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force, engaged in a lively conversation with ALECExposed and myself. He avoided a direct answer to a question on any plans to repeal stand your ground laws, and denied that the organization is directly involved in gun policy this year, though he was not speaking on behalf of ALEC.

[CORRECTION/CLARIFICATION: Mr. Freeland has informed me that he is not a ‘senior staff member’, as described when this post was first published, nor was he speaking on behalf of ALEC on twitter. He is, however, listed as a member of the group’s Tax and Fiscal Ploicy Task Force. Also, there is no ALEC model policy on the RFRA listed on the ALEC website. However, the implications stand as quoted in this post.]

So, what do you think? Do you think ALEC is still working behind the scenes to influence gun laws across the country? Do you believe ALEC?
Leave your comments below.

Stand Your Ground Tweet Of The Month @endyourstand



I read the Declaration of Independence yesterday, just to refresh my memory, so tt seems fitting today to debut a new featured post called “Tweet of the Month“, which will present some of the most thought-provoking, engaging interactions from our twittersphere every month. Wishing wish you and yours a happy, safe, Fourth of July, also!

End Stand Your Ground July 4th

End Stand Your Ground July 4th

Stand Your Ground Frees Black Woman Charged In Killing White Man In Road Rage Incident


In what her attorney called a “perfect stand your ground case” an African-American Texas woman has been cleared in the shooting death of a white man who she claimed was a threat during a 2012 Harris County road rage incident. Crystal Scott, of Houston, had been charged with murder in the death of Jonathan Ables. Prosecutors dismissed the charge on Monday, June 29, 2015. The case drew widespread attention because of its racial undertones.

Crystal Scott

Crystal Scott

Scott was 23 years-old when she and 22 year-old Ables were involved in a minor morning rush hour traffic accident as they were each were driving to work on September 17, 2012. She reported they had cut each other off while driving, with Ables at one point even getting in front of her and slamming on his brakes as they hop-scotched on the highway.

When they both pulled over into a service station, after Ables had reportedly bumped her car, Scott and several witnesses said Ables got out of his pickup truck, approached her vehicle in a rage, then started cursing and banging on her car window while pulling on her car door. She was not injured, but said she feared for her life when she fired through her car window. Ables reportedly suffered two gunshot wounds in the upper torso.

Jonathan Ables

Jonathan Ables

Scott said she was acting in self-defense when she fired at Ables through her closed car window as he raged at her and tried to open her car door. Scott, who holds a concealed carry permit, was questioned for several hours and released without being arrested.

Ables’ family was furious, claiming he had his hands up and was backing away when Scott fired on him. His parents said he had no reason to harm Scott. It was only after his family called for justice that a grand jury indicted Scott on a murder charge – five months later – in February, 2013. And that’s when Scott’s family and supporters became angry. She surrendered, and was released on a $50,000 bond.

Now that the case is over, Scott’s attorney, Letitia Quinones said, “It’s a perfect ‘stand your ground’ case”. However, Ables’ family is angry again, feeling that justice has not been served.

Texas is a stand your ground state, requiring no duty to retreat from a threat before using deadly force. Self-defense “castle doctrine” laws in most American states include and extend to a person’s vehicle, therefore there was never a need for Scott to invoke stand your ground.

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New Orleans Homeowner Arrested For Shooting Burglar

New Orleans police arrested a 39 year-old New Orleans homeowner for aggravated battery on June 30, accusing him of shooting a man suspected of burglarizing a house the homeowner had under repair.

According to the Times-Picayune, the homeowner, Luiz Delmia, and his wife, were driving by a building that was being repaired due to a fire, when they saw an unidentified man enter the house. Delmia parked, got out of his car, went to the house, and encountered an unidentified man. Delmia allegedly shot the man several times, then stood over him and threatened to shoot again.

Luiz Delmia

Luiz Delmia

One witness reportedly said he heard nine shots, then two more, and heard the suspected burglar begging for his life, saying “Please don’t shoot me again”, and that witness told the New Orleans Advocate that Delmia kicked the wounded man as he lay on the ground. The witness said after Delmia emptied one clip of his gun, he asked his wife for another.

It’s not clear whether the shooting occurred inside or outside the house. Delmia’s wife told police that the house had been burglarized for copper pipe and wiring three times in the past week.

Louisiana is a “stand your ground” state. The state’s stand your ground law (La. Rev. Stat. 14:20) reads, “A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force as provided for in this Section, and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force”.

Louisiana self defense laws (La. Rev. Stat. 14:19) state, “Use of force which does not result in death is justifiable when committed to prevent forcible offense against the person; or forcible offense or trespass against property in a person’s lawful possession”.

Homeowners should always know the law before taking action pertaining to protection of property. Check out the stand your ground laws in your state.

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Ex-Prison Guard Not Charged In Shocking Chase, Killing In New York Subway [Video]

Where is the line separating self-defense from vigilantism?

New York is not a “stand your ground” state, meaning that a person has a duty to retreat from a threat if possible, before using deadly force. But this story proves you can still chase after and kill an unarmed person in a crowded subway station and get away with it, in a public shooting that is shocking, even by New York standards.

On Tuesday, March 10, 2015 electricians Gilbert Drogheo, 32 and Joscelyn Evering, 28, were headed home from work, strapping on a crowded subway to Brooklyn. As 69 year-old Willie Groomes, an ex-prison guard (who retired in 1993) with a gun permit, tried to walk between the pair to get on the subway, one of the younger men addressed him with the slang, “my nigger,” according to reports. Groomes replied, “I’m not your nigger.”

“They (Drogheo and Evering) were talking mad trash,” a witness reportedly said. “They must have been drunk.” Other witnesses said Drogheo raised his fist, threatening to “smoke” Groomes before Evering jumped Groomes (something Evering denied). Groomes pulled out a .380 Ruger handgun to try to fight him off. At least one witness reportedly saw Drogheo push Groomes back into the train as the two friends exited to get away. Neither Drogheo nor Evering is reported to have been armed.

Gilbert Drogheo

Gilbert Drogheo, 28, was shot and killed in a New York subway station on March 10, 2015

Groomes went after Drogheo, later claiming he wanted to make a “citizens’ arrest”. A three minute witness’ cellphone video shows the ensuing confrontation. Groomes is first seen on the video in the station, apparently after exiting the subway, walking swiftly down stairs, toward someone who is shouting at him on the lower stairs, and, as Groomes advances, he can be heard saying “Where you gonna go” to the younger man, who runs when Groomes gets to bottom of the stairs.

During the encounter, someone can be heard shouting repeatedly, “Don’t shoot him, O.G., don’t shoot him”. Groomes stops, looks up, turns, and heads back up the stairs, where, 25 seconds into the video, Groomes goes at Drogheo landing a left fist to the temple and holding a gun in the right hand. Drogheo reels from the blow, then struggles with Groomes over the gun before being shot. Witnesses scramble and a man who appears to be Evering approaches the wounded Drogheo, kneeling over and calling out mournfully to him as police arrive. Evering is arrested. Drogheo died later that evening at a hospital.

On May 4th, Brooklyn District Ken Thompson announced there wasn’t enough evidence to prove a crime was committed.

Thompson issued a statement that read, “Following a full and fair investigation…I have determined that criminal charges are not warranted in this matter. Based on interviews of multiple eyewitnesses to the events leading up to the shooting, our review of video tapes of the shooting itself and other evidence, I have decided not to put this case into the grand jury and will not bring criminal charges against Mr. Groomes. While the death of this young man was indeed tragic, we cannot prove any charge of homicide beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Prosecutors claim a second video shows that Groomes had given up trying to track down Drogheo, but they ran into each other again, when they claim Drogheo initiated a struggle that resulted in an “accidental discharge” of the weapon. This shocking cellphone video below seems to contradict that contention.

New York state self-defense laws allow a citizen to use physical force, “other than deadly physical force” when “he or she reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person” who may have committed a crime. A citizen can use deadly physical force only when defending against “imminent use of deadly physical force,” or when it is necessary to detain a person who was committed manslaughter, murder, robbery, forcible rape, or forcible criminal sexual act.

Gregg Pinto, a former Brooklyn assistant district attorney, told Gawker the reason Groomes was not arrested has little to do with self-defense or anything else about the conflict itself. “I can’t imagine that if this guy didn’t have a badge, he wouldn’t have been arrested,” Pinto. “In my opinion, NYPD is arrest first, ask questions later. The only time you don’t arrest is if the person is somehow connected to the police.”

In 1984, New Yorker Bernie Goetz made national headlines when he shot four black teenagers who were trying to mug him. He was arrested but later acquitted of attempted murder.

No one disputes the fact that Drogheo and his friend initiated the confrontation. Yet Groomes could have simply called the cops, or not followed the two younger men. He has not been charged or arrested. Evering was arrested at the scene, charged with menacing and felony assault. Drogheo’s family wants and deserves justice and have started a petition to get District Attorney Ken Thompson to charge Groomes with murder.

Was Groomes justified? What do you think he should have done? Leave your comments.

What’s your opinion of stand your ground law?

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Pooping By Dog Leads To Father’s Day Shooting

A Miami man, upset over a dog trying to poop on his son’s lawn, told police he shot the dog owner on Father’s Day because he felt threatened.

UPDATE: Knife found at scene contained no DNA from the victim

66-year-old Omar Rodriguez had a verbal altercation with Jose “Pepe” Rey, and Rodriguez claimed Rey had said he would return. Later, it’s reported that, as Rey was talking with other neighbors at a gathering, Rodriguez appeared. Rodriguez told police he saw Rey move toward him, with some type of “shiny object” in his hand, so he went to his car, got his gun, then opened fire, shooting Rey multiple times. He also threatened to shoot Rey’s wife, Lissy, when she ran to help her husband.

Jose "Pepe" Rey

Jose “Pepe” Rey was shot multiple times during a dispute over a dog trying to poop

Rey is last reported to be in critical condition, with severe abdominal and spinal injuries. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the Rey family with medical expenses.

Rodriguez was arrested and faces charges of second-degree attempted murder and aggravated assault. At his arraignment on June 23, a judge denied bond, citing police reports that state Rey had his hands out and was backing up when he was shot.

Omar Rodriguez

Omar Rodriguez appears for arraignment June 23, 2015

Neighbors of Rodriguez’ son and his own neighbors – miles away – all reportedly described Rodriguez as unstable, saying he has allegedly threatened people in his son’s neighborhood as well as his own. Several frightened people in his son’s neighborhood have reportedly filed restraining orders to keep him away, and police have released surveillance camera footage that shows Rodriguez engaged in some mischief and altercations involving neighbors.

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Mass Shootings Do Little to Change State Gun Laws

Following the mass shooting in Connecticut, the Obama administration and lawmakers around the country promised to re-examine gun control in America.

ProPublica decided to take a look at what’s happened legislatively in states where some of the worst shootings in recent U.S. history have occurred to see what effect, if any, those events had on gun laws. While legislators in Virginia, Alabama, Arizona, New York, Texas and Colorado sometimes contemplated tightening rules after rampage shootings, few measures gained passage. In fact, several states have made it easier to buy more guns and take them to more places.

Here’s a rundown of what’s happened in each of those states:

Vigil for victims of mass shooting at Virginia Tech (credit: vt.edu)

Vigil for victims of mass shooting at Virginia Tech (credit: vt.edu)

Virginia: After 23-year-old Virginia Tech student Seung Hui Cho killed 32 students and faculty members at the university in April 2007, then-Gov. Tim Kaine assigned a blue-ribbon task force to examine gun policies in the state. The task force made dozens of recommendations that, among other things, suggested that the state intensify background checks for gun purchasers, and ban firearm possession on college campuses. None of the recommendations became law.

The most significant change in Virginia came two weeks after the shooting when Kaine signed an executive order requiring the names of all people involuntarily committed to mental health facilities to be provided to a federal database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. Licensed gun dealers are supposed to check the database before they sell anyone a gun.

President George W. Bush subsequently signed federal legislation requiring all states to submit their mental health records to NICS, but to gain the support of the NRA, Congress agreed to two concessions. It made changes to the way the government defined who was “mentally defective,” excluding people, for example, who had been “fully released or discharged” from mandatory treatment. The law also gave mentally ill people an avenue for restoring their gun rights if they could prove to a court that they had been rehabilitated. After the law passed, the NRA pushed state lawmakers to limit roadblocks for people applying to regain their rights.

Virginia is particularly open to restoring peoples’ gun rights. A 2011 New York Times investigation found that the restoration process in the state allowed some people to regain access to guns simply by writing a letter to the state. Others were permitted to carry guns just weeks or months after being hospitalized for psychiatric treatment.

In 2012, the Virginia state legislature repealed a law that had barred people from buying more than one handgun per month , a law put in place because so many guns purchased in Virginia were later used in crimes committed in states with more restrictions.

The legislature also has made several changes to its gun permitting process. In March, 2012 the state eliminated municipalities’ ability to require fingerprints as part of a concealed weapon permit application. The state used to require gun owners to undergo training with a certified instructor in order to get permits, but in 2009 it adopted a law allowing people to take an hour-long online test instead. Since Virginia adopted the law, the number of concealed handgun permits the state has issued increased dramatically and many of the permits were issued to people who live in other states where Virginia permits are accepted.

In 2010, Virginia became one of five states to allow permit holders to carry concealed and loaded weapons into bars and restaurants.

Alabama: In Alabama, gun control advocates have won two small legislative victories since March 2009, when 28-year-old sausage plant worker Michael McLendon went on a three-town shooting spree, killing 10 people.

In 2011, the state made it illegal for people to buy weapons for someone else who doesn’t have permission to carry one or to provide false information about their identity to a licensed gun dealer. The law was intended to help crack down on gun trafficking. (According to data compiled by non-profit Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the state had the fifth highest rate of crime gun exports in 2009.)

After Florida teen Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman in February 2012, the Alabama state legislature made a slight revision to its version of a law known as the “castle doctrine,” which is meant to allow property owners to protect their homes against intruders. Alabama changed its law so that a shooter would only be entitled to civil immunity for shooting a trespasser if the property owner reacted “reasonably.”

Arizona: After former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., was shot in the head in a hail of bullets that killed six and wounded 13, a bill was introduced in the state legislature to limit gun magazines to 10 bullets, but the bill failed in the face of pressure from the gun lobby. A similar bill was proposed in Connecticut in 2012; it didn’t pass either.

In March 2012, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill with the opposite effect, forbidding the Arizona Game and Fish Commission from limiting magazine capacity for any gun approved for hunting.

According to rankings assembled by the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Arizona is “49th out of 50 2014 having enacted some of the weakest gun violence prevention laws in the country.”

Arizona doesn’t require a license to carry a concealed firearm in public, nor does it limit the number of firearms that someone can buy at once.

New York: After a mass shooting at an immigration services center in Binghamton, N.Y., where 13 people were killed and four were wounded, the state assembly entertained several bills on gun control. None passed. One bill would have given police more control over records related to firearm sales. Another would have banned 50-caliber weapons and allowed people to turn them into the state in exchange for fair market value.

Perhaps the most controversial bill in the package would have required the use of a technology called microstamping on all bullets sold in the state.

Using this technology, a serial number could be stamped on bullet casings so they could be traced back to a particular gun. The gun industry argued that the technology would be too expensive and was still unproven. Some gun manufacturers were so upset by it that they threatened to leave the state. The bill passed the Assembly in June, but the Senate did not vote on it.

In January 2012, the legislature repealed a law that previously required handgun manufacturers and dealers to share information about bullet casings and ballistics with the state. Critics of the law said the database used to maintain the information cost too much and didn’t help police.

Texas: There’s been no effort to tighten gun control in Texas since Army Maj. Nidal Hasan, 39, killed 13 and wounded 32 at a military processing center at Fort Hood in 2009.

In 2011, legislators passed two bills that gave gun carriers greater freedom to take their weapons to more places. One bill restricted employers from prohibiting guns from vehicles in parking areas and another allowed foster parents to carry handguns while transporting their foster children, as long as they are licensed carriers.

Colorado: Aurora graduate student James Eagan Holmes, 24, killed 12 and wounded 58 in a movie theater in July, 2012.

Century 16 theater in Aurora CO

Century 16 theater in Aurora CO

At the time, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper suggested that families of victims needed time to grieve before a discussion on gun control could begin in the state.

After the Connecticut shooting, Hickenlooper said that “the time is right” for the state to consider stronger gun control legislation. He introduced a measure to strengthen background checks for gun buyers.

This article, by Joaquin Sapien,  was originally published on ProPublica, Jan. 3, 2013. ProPublica is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative newsroom. Sign up for their newsletter.