The influential US gun lobby the National Rifle Association (NRA) has elected a former aide to President Ronald Reagan as its new president. Oliver North, a retired US Marine Colonel, played a major role in the so-called Iran-Contra scandal.
Two major US retailers have announced new restrictions on gun sales following the shooting at a Florida school where 17 people died. Dick's Sporting Goods, which has more than 600 shops, said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles, and backed “common sense gun reform”. Walmart later said it was raising the minimum age for anyone buying guns or ammunition to 21 years.
The US gun lobby, which has seldom embraced new firearms-control measures, voiced a readiness on Thursday to restrict a rifle accessory that enabled a Las Vegas gunman to strafe a crowd with bursts of sustained fire as if from an automatic weapon.
The US Senate has rejected plans to tighten gun controls, including the restriction of weapons sales to people on terrorism watch lists. Four proposals were brought before the Senate after 49 people died in an attack on a gay nightclub in Florida.