A chain of U.S. cinemas has started checking customers’ bags before they enter movie theatres. The Regal Entertainment Group, the largest cinema chain in the country, has tightened security measures after two unrelated shootings at cinemas in America this summer. 

Amy SchumerTrainwreck actress Amy Schumer has called for stricter gun control after a shooting in Lafayette.

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“Security issues have become a daily part of our lives in America,” Regal Entertainment Group said in a statement on their website

“Regal Entertainment Group wants our customers and staff to feel comfortable and safe when visiting or working in our theatres. To ensure the safety of our guests and employees, backpacks and bags of any kind are subject to inspection prior to admission. We acknowledge that this procedure can cause some inconvenience and that it is not without flaws, but hope these are minor in comparison to increased safety.”

It is uncertain if ticket prices will increase in order to subsidise additional security in the cinema or of existing employees will be required to perform the security checks.

Regal’s decision comes in the wake of two shootings at separate cinemas in the U.S. The first took place in July in Lafayette, Louisiana when a lone gunman killed two members of the audience and injured another nine people. The gunman, John Russell Houser (59), was found dead at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The second, unrelated attack occurred in Nashville, Tennessee on 5th August. The suspect, Vincente Montano (29), attacked cinema goers with a gun, a hatchet and pepper spray, as the AP reports. Montano was shot dead by police at the scene. 

One of the shootings, at a screening of Trainwreck in Lafayette, prompted the film’s star, Amy Schumer, to come out in support of gun control. The 34-year-old comedian responded to an open letter from one of the victim’s mothers, who requested she use her celebrity to make a stand against gun violence. Schumer called a press conference, alongside her cousin Senator Charles Schumer, and made an impassioned speech advocating for “tougher” background checks on people wishing to purchase a gun. 

“Unless something is done and done soon, dangerous people will continue to get their hands on guns,” Schumer said at the conference. 

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