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Why US gun laws get looser after mass shootings

Congress has rarely acted. But gun laws have been changing.

Ranjani Chakraborty is a lead video producer on the Vox video team and the creator behind Vox’s history series, Missing Chapter.

For decades, the US Congress failed to make meaningful movement on gun reform in the aftermath of mass shootings. But that weak federal response has obscured another story: that state gun laws change after mass shootings. And a study found that, in Republican-controlled state legislatures, a mass shooting roughly doubles the number of laws loosening gun restrictions in the following year.

In this video, we look at Texas, where years of mass shootings in the US have been met with laws that expand gun access. We spoke with Flo Rice, a survivor of the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting, where a gunman killed 10 people. Flo was shot six times. She and her husband, Scot, became advocates for gun safety, and tried to get tighter gun laws passed in Texas. Watch the piece above to see what happened, and what their story reveals about who has power when it comes to gun policy in the US.

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