Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasilogambros

Matt Vasilogambros covers voting rights, gun laws and Western climate policy for Stateline. He lives in San Diego, California.

Court Victories Deliver Cautious Hope for Voters With Disabilities

By: - September 14, 2022

Editor’s note: The story has been updated to say a federal judge limited a state court’s decision. Paralyzed from the neck down, downtown Milwaukee resident Martha Chambers has difficulty voting. She can use a mouth stick to mark her ballot and sign her name on an absentee ballot, but she has no way of folding […]

Gun Buybacks Are Popular. But Are They Effective?

By: - August 30, 2022

Two weeks ago, more than 160 gun owners in Richmond, Virginia, turned in 474 firearms in the city’s first-ever gun buyback event. City officials offered Walmart, Amazon and Kroger gift cards in various amounts for different unwanted firearms: for assault-style weapons, for handguns, for rifles and for non-functioning guns. No questions asked. The event’s organizer, […]

California Just Banned Gun Shows on State Property. Will Other States Follow?

By: - August 18, 2022

Last month, California became the first state to prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition on state property, a move that will put an end to gun shows on county fairgrounds, where they are often held. Gun safety activists have long argued that the shows perpetuate gun violence and lead to illegal firearm sales. While […]

Westerners Struggle to Manage Booming Wild Horse Populations

By: - July 20, 2022

Wild horses hold a special place in the mythos of the American West, with images of free-roaming herds of mustangs grazing on vast public rangelands. But for some communities in New Mexico, the reality tragically differs. Dehydrated and emaciated horses wander into towns such as Placitas, just north of Albuquerque, looking for food and water, […]

Supreme Court’s Gun Rights Decision Upends State Restrictions

By: - July 8, 2022

Shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling last month that expanded the right to carry firearms outside the home, gun rights activist Andrew Namiki Roberts rushed to the Honolulu Police Department to apply for four permits to carry handguns in public. He was fourth in line, surrounded by excited Hawaii gun owners who felt vindicated […]

Judge Strikes Down New York City Law Allowing Noncitizen Voters

By: - June 28, 2022

A New York state judge this week struck down a New York City ordinance that would have allowed around 800,000 noncitizens to vote in local elections. The law, which the City Council passed in December, would have allowed legal residents who are not U.S. citizens—including green card holders and those with Deferred Action for Childhood […]

States Want to Make it Easier to Use Red Flag Laws

By: - June 27, 2022

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with news that President Biden has signed a gun safety package into law. With President Joe Biden signing legislation that will incentivize states to enact red flag laws, some states already are trying to find ways to make their current red flag laws more effective in preventing gun […]

US Supreme Court Strikes Down New York Law Banning Handguns in Public

By: - June 23, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York state law that banned people from carrying handguns outside their homes—a major victory for gun rights advocates that could reshape state laws throughout the country. As the nation considers new gun restrictions in the wake of recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and […]

Rhode Island Raises Rifle-Purchasing Minimum Age to 21

By: - June 22, 2022

Rhode Island has joined a growing list of states that have increased the minimum age to buy rifles, shotguns and semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21. Democratic Gov. Dan McKee this week signed a package of gun measures passed after recent high-profile mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas. The package includes bills […]

New York Enacts Historic Voting Rights Protections

By: - June 21, 2022

New York enacted landmark voting rights legislation this week that advocates say is the strongest in the country. In response to dwindling federal protections and a wave of ballot restrictions in states across the nation, Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the measure into law the day the state observed Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the end […]

Feds Will Cut States’ Access to Colorado River Water

By: - June 15, 2022

Top federal water officials are warning Western states that there will be cuts to their access to Colorado River water next year. With most of the West in severe drought, Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Calimlim Touton told a U.S. Senate panel this week that cuts are going to be necessary for the water system […]

Few States Seem Ready to Raise Age to Buy Semi-Automatic Rifles

By: - June 14, 2022

Many people have noted a common thread between the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas: In both cases, the attackers were 18 years old and bought AR-style, semi-automatic rifles legally. The perpetrators in two other mass shootings in the past four years also were younger than 21 when they purchased the […]