Mar 22, 2013

JCCPA: A package of new gun violence laws are making their way to the Senate floor. We're at a critical point!

We are making progress: a package of new gun laws are making their way to the Senate floor. At this critical point, we need your help to urge Senators to support a comprehensive approach to ending gun violence!

As we know, no one measure will solve our country's gun violence problem. A comprehensive approach must include provisions to stop gun trafficking, require universal background checks, increase access to high-quality mental health services, ensure school safety, and a ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines. Each of these is important to the comprehensive approach we have called for, but already one of these pieces – the assault weapons ban – is facing serious challenges.  Senator Feinstein plans to offer her assault weapons ban as amendment to the larger gun violence legislative package that is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate next month. This is an extra hurdle that will make the ban less likely to pass and weaken our comprehensive approach. Still, there are so many loud voices for an assault weapons ban.  Vice President Biden, who joined us by video at the JCPA Plenum, recently explained that the White House  has not " given up" on the ban.

Together, we can be heard and make a difference.

Another piece of a comprehensive approach is requiring universal background checks. Recent public opinion polls show broad support (80% and up) for universal background checks on firearms purchases.  Currently, if guns are sold at gun shows or through private sales, no background check is required.  That is approximately 40% of all guns purchased in the United States.  Criminal and mental health reviews are a straight forward way to help prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.

In speaking to the JCPA Plenum last week, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) warned of the uphill battle comprehensive gun violence legislation will face and encouraged each of us to take the lead in building support for this legislation in our states. Join us and take action by encouraging your Senators to support comprehensive gun prevention legislation!

When we come together and raise our voices, Washington will listen. Share this with your friends and family and encourage your Senators today to show your support for comprehensive legislation!