Women Leaders Call on MI Gov. Rick Snyder to Veto Dangerous Bill

Local, National Women Leaders Call on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to Veto Bill That Would Allow Some Domestic Abusers & Stalkers to Carry Guns

Bill on Gov. Snyder’s Desk Would Weaken Current Protections For Domestic Violence Victims, Allow Some Individuals Subject to Domestic Violence and Stalking Restraining Orders to Get Concealed Pistol Permit

Concealed Carry Permits Would Also Be Valid in 39 Other States Through Reciprocity Agreements

From 2003-2012, More Than Half of Michigan’s Female Domestic Violence Homicides Victims Killed With A Gun

January 12, 2015 - Local and national women leaders, including former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, are calling on Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to veto a bill before him that would weaken current protections for victims of domestic violence and stalking in Michigan by allowing some individuals subject to domestic abuse and stalking protection orders to obtain a concealed pistol license. If enacted, the bill, S.B., 789, would also allow those individuals subject to restraining orders in Michigan to legally carry a concealed weapon in 39 other states due to reciprocity agreements.

Under current Michigan law, all individuals subject to domestic violence and stalking protection orders are prohibited from receiving a concealed carry license.

In a letter delivered to Gov. Snyder on Friday, January 9th, the women leaders urged him to veto the irresponsible bill.

“As women who are advocates for the safety and security of women and families, we have grave concerns over SB 789, a bill recently passed by the Michigan legislature that would allow your state to issue gun carry permits to domestic abusers. Domestic violence and access to firearms are a lethal combination, and this policy undermines the safety of American women. We urge you to veto this bill. Allowing dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain firearms needlessly puts the lives of women and their families at risk.”

Click here to read the full letter.

The group of local and national women leaders join a chorus of Michigan voices urging Gov. Snyder to veto the legislation, including the editorial boards of The Detroit Free PressThe Times Herald, and The Battle Creek Enquirer.Domestic violence, stalking, and access to guns are a lethal mix in the United States and Michigan. One in four women experiences domestic abuse in her lifetime, and one in six women experiences stalking. Meanwhile, the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk a woman will die by five times.

From 2003 to 2012, 53.5 percent of female domestic violence homicide victims in Michigan were killed with guns.

The full letter follows:

Governor Rick Snyder

P.O. Box 30013

Lansing, Michigan 48909

January 9, 2015

Dear Governor Snyder,

As women who are advocates for the safety and security of women and families, we have grave concerns over SB 789, a bill recently passed by the Michigan legislature that would allow your state to issue gun carry permits to domestic abusers. Domestic violence and access to firearms are a lethal combination, and this policy undermines the safety of American women. We urge you to veto this bill.

Gun violence against women is an American epidemic. One in 4 women experiences domestic abuse in her lifetime and 1 in 6 women experiences stalking. Meanwhile, the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk a woman will die by five times. American women are 11 times more likely to die by a gun than women in other similarly developed countries. Between 2001 and 2012 alone, 6,410 women were murdered throughout the country by an intimate partner with a gun. In Michigan, from 2003 to 2012, 53.5 percent of female domestic violence homicide victims were killed with guns.

SB 789 would weaken current protections for victims of domestic abuse and stalking in Michigan- actually allowing some individuals subject to domestic violence and stalking protection orders to obtain a concealed pistol license, when under current law, they would be prohibited. For over 20 years, federal protections have been in place through the Violence Against Women Act that recognize the importance of keeping guns out of the hands of those who perpetrate domestic violence. Federal law, however, must be complemented by state laws, policies and procedures to provide complete protection to victims of abuse. If SB 789 were to be enacted, some women in Michigan would be left in danger, as the protections they have relied on would be removed. In addition, the concealed weapons permits would be valid in 39 other states through reciprocity agreements.

Allowing dangerous domestic abusers and stalkers to obtain firearms needlessly puts the lives of women and their families at risk. We respectfully request that you veto SB 789.

Sincerely,

Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Co-Founder, Americans for Responsible Solutions

Carol Robles-Roman, President and CEO, Legal Momentum

Deborah D. Tucker, Executive Director, National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

Katie Ray-Jones, President and CEO, National Domestic Violence Hotline

Kiersten Stewart, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Futures Without Violence

Lanae Erickson Hatalsky, Director of Social Policy & Politics, Third Way

Lisalyn Jacobs, Vice President for Government Relations, Legal Momentum

Lori Haas, Virginia State Director, The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence

Lori Weinstein, CEO/Executive Director, Jewish Women International

Mai Fernandez, Executive Diretor, National Center for Victims of Crime

Margot Bennett, Executive Director, Women Against Gun Violence

Michelle M. Garcia, Director, Stalking Resource Center, National Center for Victims of Crime

Neera Tanden, President, Center for American Progress

Robyn Thomas, Executive Director, Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Ruth Glenn, Exeuctive Director, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Sue Hornik, Exeuctive Director, States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Winnie Stachelberg, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Center for American Progress

Michigan State Leaders:

Barbara Niess-May, MPA, MSW, Executive Director, SafeHouse Center

Beth L. Morrison, President/CEO, HAVEN

Jenny Kinne, President, National Organization for Women (NOW) Grand Rapids Chapter

Penny Wulff, Board Member, Turning Point, Inc.

Valentina Djelaj, Coordinator, Connect to Protect-Detroit Coalition

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Mark Kelly Statement on the Confirmation of Dr. Vivek Murthy as U.S. Surgeon General

December 15, 2014 –

”Tonight, the United States Senate did the responsible thing: It stood up to the gun lobby, stood up for common sense, and voted to ensure that the United States has a qualified medical professional as its top doctor.

”While it’s great to the Senate has finally acted, this vote was long overdue. It’s a shame that Dr. Murthy’s nomination was held up for so many months simply because he had evaluated the data and stated the obvious: gun violence is a public health risk.

”We are grateful to the thousands of Americans for Responsible Solutions supporters who contacted their Senator to say how important it is that our nation has a Surgeon General in place, and to urge their Senator to stand up to the gun lobby and vote to confirm Dr. Murthy.”

Mark Kelly & Virginia Veterans Applaud Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s Proposal to Make Virginians Safer from Gun Violence

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions, and Virginia members of Veterans for Responsible Solutions today applauded Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s new proposal to make Virginians safer from gun violence.

“While Congress fails to act to reduce gun violence, leaders at the state level are working hard to help make their communities safer. These commonsense proposals are just the latest example of efforts by legislators and governors to keep guns out of the hands of the most dangerous people. These proposals, were they to become law, would save lives,”said Captain Mark Kelly, Co-Founder of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“As someone who became experienced with firearms and defended the Constitution in the U.S. military, I believe that our rights must be exercised with great responsibility. That responsibility means we make sure guns do not end up in the hands of dangerous people. That’s why I applaud Governor McAuliffe for his proposal to make Virginians safer from gun violence,” said Rear Admiral James Barnett – United States Navy (Ret.).

“There is a line that cannot be crossed, and it’s when our most vulnerable populations are confronted by people who really should not have a firearm in their hands due to their inability to make appropriate judgments and to their history of demonstrated violence. Governor McAuliffe took a bold step today when he announced his effort to get responsible pieces of gun legislation on the books in Virginia. As an instructor on workplace violence prevention and a retired Captain in the United States Coast Guard, I know that keeping guns away from dangerous people can make our communities safer,” said Captain Gail Kulisch – United States Coast Guard (Ret.).

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Gabby and Mark’s Statement on the Second Anniversary of the Tragedy at Sandy Hook

”Two years ago, Americans began to hear the news: 20 children and six of their teachers had been brutally gunned down in their classrooms at Sandy Hook Elementary School. In an instant, the lives of 26 families were changed forever. In the ensuing days, we heard stories of courage and bravery, but mostly, there was a lot of unspeakable heartbreak.

”Some days later, we had the opportunity to spend time with some parents of the victims. It is impossible to describe the enormity of their grief and pain. And we know it will never really go away.

”After the tragedy, many politicians in Washington said how outraged they were, how sorry they were, and how they would honor those 20 beautiful children by making everyone else’s safer. But then Congress did something truly remarkable: nothing.

”While states around the country from Connecticut to Washington have made great strides in protecting our communities from the threats of gun violence, Congress has refused to act. We have seen dysfunction drown out common sense – and we have seen that Congress remains in the gun lobby’s grip. We are deeply disappointed, but remain as determined as ever.

”We founded Americans for Responsible Solutions because Americans deserve better than words and broken promises – they deserve action. Americans deserve common sense and elected leaders who will stand up to the powerful special interests fighting to make it easier for criminals, stalkers and the dangerously mentally ill to access guns.

”While we know the hearts of the families of the 26 people who died in Newtown will never be fully repaired, we must continue to honor those who were lost on that clear December day by building the lasting legacy that they were never given the opportunity to create. We will never forget Sandy Hook.”

Mark Kelly’s Statement on the Need for the Senate to Confirm Surgeon General Nominee Vivek Murthy

December 13, 2014 –

”It is time for the United States Senate to do the responsible thing and vote to ensure our country has a Surgeon General. The main reason we have gone so long without one is that nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy – an experienced medical professional – evaluated the data and stated the obvious: gun violence poses a significant threat to the public health.

”Acknowledging that gun violence is a public health threat is neither controversial nor an affront to the rights of those of us who responsibly own guns; it is simply an observation based on abundantly available and overwhelming evidence. It is a shame that the Surgeon General nomination has been held up by nothing more than willful misinformation. We hope that the United States Senate will stand up to the gun lobby, stand up for common sense, and vote to confirm Dr. Vivek Murthy as our nation’s next Surgeon General.”

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