Gabby Giffords & Capt. Mark Kelly Statement on Last Night’s Shootings in Tyrone, Missouri

Gabby Giffords & Capt. Mark Kelly Statement on Last Night’s Shootings in Tyrone, Missouri

TUCSON, AZ – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the below statement following the tragic shootings in Tyrone, Missouri last night:

”Americans woke up today to some sadly familiar news: a senseless act of gun violence has destroyed innocent lives and shaken an entire community. While we still don’t know all the details on how this tragedy came to be, we know that no family or community should ever have to experience this heartache – and that no young girl should ever have to call 911 to say she heard gun shots in her own home, as apparently happened in the midst of this tragedy. Like so many Americans, we mourn for the families of those who were lost and are holding the entire Tyrone community in our thoughts and prayers.”

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly Statement on the Tragic Shooting in Douglasville, Georgia

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and Capt. Mark Kelly Statement on the Tragic Shooting in Douglasville, Georgia

TUCSON, AZ – Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founders of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the following statement after the tragic shooting yesterday in Douglasville, Georgia:

“Once again, a tragic act of gun violence has destroyed a family and ripped a community apart. And once again, an apparent family dispute combined with a gun in the wrong hands meant that innocent people died. As Gabby and I know all too well, there are no words that can ease the grief for the families of those who were lost. Our hearts, prayers, and thoughts are in Douglasville.”

Facts on Gun Violence and Domestic Violence:

  • A gun is the most commonly used weapon in domestic homicides.
  • Access to firearms increases the risk of intimate partner homicide upwards of five times more than in instances where there are no weapons.
  • Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be killed by a gun than are women in other high-income countries.
  • From 2001 through 2012, 6,410 women were murdered in the U.S. by an intimate partner using a gun—more than the total number of U.S. troops killed in action during the entirety of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.

 

 

Statement By Americans for Responsible Solutions Co-Founder Capt. Mark Kelly in Response to Death Threats By Texas Gun Activist Against Texas Legislators

Statement By Americans for Responsible Solutions Co-Founder Capt. Mark Kelly in Response to Death Threats By Texas Gun Activist Against Texas Legislators

Head of Texas-Tarrant County Open Carry Group Posts Video Threatening Gun Violence Against Texas Legislators

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the leader of Open Carry-Tarrant County, Kory Watkins, posted a video to his Facebook page in which he threatened Texas state legislators with “death” for their allegedly insufficient support of open carry laws in Texas. In the video, Watkins says (3:50), “…We should be demanding these people give us our rights back, or it’s punishable by death… do you understand how serious this is?” In response to those threats, retired Navy combat veteran and NASA astronaut Capt. Mark Kelly, the Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, issued the following statement:

“There is absolutely no room in our country for this kind of disgusting threat against our elected leaders. It’s an insult to responsible gun owners all around our country – Gabby and me included. No matter where you stand on an issue, no elected leader should be the target of death threats and intimidation. This is a sad, dangerous perversion of what it means to debate laws in our great country.”

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New Research Shows Oregon Gun Owners Support Closing Loopholes in the Background Check System

New Research Shows Oregon Gun Owners Support Closing Loopholes in the Background Check System

83 Percent of Oregon Gun Owners and 87 Percent of Oregon Voters Surveyed Support Closing Existing Loopholes in State’s Background Check System

Oregon Law Does Not Require Private Sellers to Do A Background Check Before A Gun Sale

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A recent survey of registered Oregon voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention and responsible gun ownership advocacy organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired Navy combat veteran and astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, finds that a broad majority of Oregonians – including gun owners – support expanded background checks for gun sales.

Among the survey’s findings:

  • 87 percent of Oregon voters support expanded background checks on gun sales, with 70 percent saying they strongly support them;

  • 83 percent of Oregon gun owners support expanded background checks on gun sales; and,

  • 73 percent of voters say they don’t believe laws like expanded background checks threaten their Second Amendment rights.

A memo on the new research can be found here.

The research also found that 69 percent of Oregon voters agree that modest changes to gun laws might not prevent every criminal from getting a gun, but they will prevent many, and that is worth it.

Under current Oregon law, individuals must pass a background check before they can buy a gun from a licensed firearm dealer and at gun shows. While individuals can request a state background check before selling a gun to another person, Oregon does not require private sellers to conduct a background check when transferring a gun to another person.

“Oregonians want commonsense gun laws that make our communities safer. This new research is yet another sign of just how strongly voters support closing the loophole that allows criminals and the dangerously mentally ill in Oregon to get guns over the internet,” said Peter Ambler, Founder, 501(c)(4) Director at Americans for Responsible Solutions. “And once again, we see that huge majorities of gun owners also believe in sensible solutions to gun violence. As Oregon’s elected leaders debate how to make their communities safer, let’s hope they keep in mind the strong, broad support among their constituents for expanded background checks.”

The survey was conducted by Benenson Strategy Group and surveyed 1,000 registered Oregon voters who said they are likely to vote in the 2016 presidential election. The survey, which included an oversample of households with gun owners, was conducted by live professional interviewers between January 12-15, 2015. The margin of error is +/- 3.02 percentage points.

Ten Commonsense Solutions Democrats and Republicans in Congress Can Agree on to Reduce Gun Violence

Ten Commonsense Solutions Democrats and Republicans in Congress Can Agree on to Reduce Gun Violence

2015 will be a year of divided government -and it will also likely be the year when, for the first time in decades, young Americans will be more likely to die from gun violence than from car accidents.

Democrats and Republicans both want to show the American people they can still get things done. Here are ten things Democrats and Republicans can work together on that would protect both our communities’ safety and our Second Amendment rights:

1. Close the Stalker Gap: One in six American women experience stalking in her lifetime, and there’s a strong link between stalking and future escalating violence against women: one study of female murder victims in ten cities found that 76 percent of women murdered by an intimate partner were stalked in the year before their murder. But under current federal law, people convicted of misdemeanor stalking can still pass a background check and buy a gun. Congress can close the stalker gap by prohibiting those convicted of misdemeanor stalking from accessing firearms – just like we already do for those convicted of misdemeanor domestic abuse.

2. Protect Victims of Dating Violence from Homicide: With the risk of death for an abused woman increasing by 500 percent when the abuser has access to a gun, firearms are a primary driver of mortality in domestic violence, which is why domestic abusers are barred from gun access. But almost half of all intimate partner homicides are committed by a dating partner. While our laws prohibit domestic abusers from accessing guns if they live with, are married to, or have a child in common with the victim, far too many abusive dating partners can still get guns just because they don’t meet the current federal definition of domestic partner. With more Americans waiting till later in life to marry, Congress should update our 20-year-old laws to include abusive dating partners on the list of people who can’t legally buy or own guns.

3. Make it Harder for Suspected Terrorists to Get Guns: People in the United States who are in the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List might be stopped from boarding an airplane, but they can still pass a background check and get a gun. With this huge gap in our gun laws, between 2004 and 2010, 1,119 individuals on the Terrorist Watch List passed a background check and succeeded in buying guns or explosives. Congress can close the terror gap by giving federal national security officials the authority to stop the sale of firearms or explosives to individuals on a terrorist watch list.

4. Crack Down on Gun Trafficking: The United States lacks a strong, clear federal statute against gun trafficking (diverting firearms from legitimate commerce to criminals and criminal networks). That’s why Congress should make gun trafficking a serious federal criminal offense and stiffen penalties at every point of the trafficking chain to prevent straw purchasers and shady gun dealers from trafficking illegal weapons to dangerous people.

5. Invest in Dedicated Funding for Research About The Causes & Impact of Gun Violence: In 1996, believe it or not, Congress banned federal research into the causes and effects of gun violence. While the Administration cleared the way for public health research about gun violence to take place, Congress refuses to seriously invest in research to understand the connection between gun violence and public health. Congress should allocate dedicated funding to firearms injury prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control.

6. Trace All Crime Guns: Crime gun tracing is a powerful tool available to law enforcement as they investigate crimes and seek to answer the sadly common question: “Where did the gun come from?” Yet only one-third of law enforcement agencies take advantage of this important federal resources for crime gun tracing. Congress can act now by providing incentives for law enforcement to report all crime guns they recover to the ATF National Tracing Center. This practice will help us better solve crimes and understand how guns end up in the hands of dangerous people.

7. Strengthen Records Reporting to the Background Check System: Since its inception in 1998, the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) has conducted over 100 million background checks on gun sales, leading to more than 700,000 denials of prohibited purchasers – including convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill. But our background check system is only as strong as the records that it contains. Millions of records are still missing from the background check system and twelve states have submitted fewer than 100 mental health records. Congress must continue to work to ensure that all records of prohibited purchasers are submitted to the background check system.

8. Require Gun Dealers to Do Inventory Checks – Like The Bush Administration Wanted To. Every year, tens of thousands of firearms are lost or stolen from gun dealers – and often ultimately trafficked to criminals and used to perpetrate violent crimes. Requiring gun dealers to conduct basic retail business practices, like inventory, can make sure guns end up in the hands of responsible citizens instead of in the hands of violent criminals. But since 2004, a rider attached to annual appropriations bills prevents law enforcement from implementing a Bush administration era proposal requiring gun dealers to perform annual inventories. Congress should require guns dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to detect missing or stolen guns.

9. Require Gun Dealers to Do Background Checks on Their Employees. While federal law prohibits felons, domestic violence misdemeanants, and other persons from owning a gun, there is no federal requirement that gun dealers perform criminal background checks on their own employees to determine if they are prohibited from owning guns. That’s why Congress should require the same background check on the people who sell guns as on the people who buy the guns.

10. Close the Gun Show & Internet Loopholes. Ninety percent of Americans want to expand background checks on gun sales. And expanded background checks work: In states with background checks on all handgun sales, women are 46 percent less likely to be shot to death by their intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer suicides and law enforcement are 48 percent less likely to be killed. Congress should close the loopholes in our background check system that let felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill get guns.

 

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