ARS Statement on Governor Chris Christie’s Conditional Veto of Bipartisan Bill to Help Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Domestic Abusers By Closing Gaps in New Jersey’s Gun Laws

May 23, 2016 – Americans for Responsible Solutions, the gun violence prevention  organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, issued the below statement following Governor Chris Christie’s conditional veto of a bipartisan, commonsense bill (S805/A1211) that would have helped limit domestic abusers’ access to guns by establishing effective procedures and providing guidance and assurance to law enforcement, victims, and advocates.

“It’s disappointing Governor Christie put the interests of the gun lobby and his own political ambitions ahead of New Jersey families. It’s a real shame to see politics get in the way of this bipartisan bill being signed into law,” said Robin Lloyd, State Legislative Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions. “We want to thank all of the Americans for Responsible Solutions supporters, advocates and public safety officials who urged their elected officials to support this responsible proposal and help close the loopholes in New Jersey law to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and protect vulnerable women and their families. This fight is far from over, and we look forward to the key provisions of this bill eventually becoming law.”

A4218 / S2786 would strengthen New Jersey’s laws and help protect domestic violence survivors by:

Requiring domestic abusers to surrender all of their guns if a domestic violence restraining order is in effect, or if they’re convicted of a domestic violence offense;

  • Suspending the gun purchaser ID cards and permits of abusers;
  • Revoking such cards if an abuser is convicted of a domestic violence crime; and,
  • Requiring the cross-checking of records to determine if an abuser owns a firearm.

In March 2015, Congresswoman Giffords joined Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg, Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera and leaders in New Jersey’s domestic violence prevention community at an event at the New Jersey State House to urge legislators to pass laws like this one that protect women and families from gun violence.

BACKGROUND ON THE NEXUS OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DATING PARTNER ABUSE, STALKING, AND ACCESS TO FIREARMS

Women in the United States Are Eleven Times More Likely to be Murdered with a Gun Than Women in Other Developed Countries. More than half of all murders of America’s women are committed with a gun. [Centers for Disease Control, 2012] More than two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims between 1980 and 2008 were killed with firearms. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011] In 2013, a gun was the most commonly used weapon in a murder of a woman by a man. [Violence Policy Center, 2015]

Guns and Domestic Abuse Are A Deadly Mix: Abused women in the United States are five times more likely to be killed by their abusers if that individual has access to a gun. [Centers for Disease Control, 2012]

Nearly Half of Murders by an Intimate Partner Are Committed by a Dating Partner – But the “Boyfriend Gap” in Federal Law Lets Abusive Dating Partners Access Guns: From 2009 to 2010, 48.6 percent of all intimate partner homicides were committed by a dating partner. [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2011] Current federal law prohibits individuals convicted of domestic violence offenses from accessing firearms, including individuals who are a current or former spouse, parent, parent of a child in common, current or former cohabitant, or a personal similarly situated to a spouse, parent or guardian of the victim. But federal law does not include perpetrators who abused current or former dating partners from accessing guns. With more women choosing to marry later in life and live in non-cohabitating dating relationships, this gap leaves a significant number of abusers free to access firearms. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

Stalking Is A Strong Predictor of Future Violence – But the “Stalker Gap” in Federal Law Lets Some Convicted Stalkers Access Guns: Stalking is a strong precursor to escalating violence. One study of female murder victims in ten cities found that 76 percent of women murdered and 85 percent who survived a murder attempt by a current or former intimate partner experienced stalking in the year preceding the murder. [Homicide Studies, 1999] Under current federal law, individuals convicted of felony stalking offenses are prohibited from accessing guns. But individuals convicted of misdemeanor stalking offenses are not prohibited from accessing guns. Closing the “stalker gap” in federal law would help ensure that all individuals convicted of stalking offenses are prohibited from accessing firearms. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

In the Face of Inaction in Congress, Blue, Purple and Red States Are Enacting Laws to Close These Loopholes and Limit Abusers’ and Stalkers’ Access to Guns. While each state has taken a distinct approach to strengthening laws that address gun violence against women, state leaders are addressing major gaps in federal law to help protect vulnerable women and families. At least 12 states have updated their laws to prohibit people convicted of violent misdemeanors against dating partners from possessing firearms. And 25 states prohibit gun possession by at least some people subject to protective orders for dating partners. In the last two years, leaders from both parties have enacted legislation addressing the often lethal mix of domestic violence and access to firearms in a number of states, including Alabama, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and Delaware.
Americans from Both Parties Support Legislation Limiting Abusers’ and Stalkers’ Access to Guns. According to research conducted in June 2015, 82 percent of Americans – including 82 percent of Republicans – say they would support legislation that helps keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers. [Public Policy Polling]

New Research Shows 85 Percent of Illinois Voters Support Requiring Gun Dealers to Be Licensed by the State, Giving State Authorities and Law Enforcement Tools to Ensure Better Gun Dealer Business Practices

May 23, 2016 – Recent research conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, found that 85 percent of Illinois voters support the proposed changes to state law in the “Gun Dealer Licensing Act” now before the legislature, including requiring Illinois gun dealers to be licensed by the state and giving state authorities and law enforcement the tools to encourage better business practices among gun dealers.

The survey also found that large majorities of voters in suburban Cook County and the Collar counties, gun owners, and recent Republican voters support the changes called for in the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. Among the survey’s key findings:

  • Over 90 percent of voters in suburban Cook County, over 85 percent of voters in the Collar counties, and over 77 percent of downstate voters support requiring firearms dealers to be licensed by the state.
  • Nearly 86 percent of self-identified independents and more than 82 percent of voters who supported a Republican in the previous election also said they support giving the state the authority to license gun dealers and ensure better business practices.
  • More than 77 percent of Illinois gun owners said they support requiring gun dealers to be licensed by the state.

More than 79% of the state’s voters also said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports licensing gun dealers in the state and measures to improve their business practices.

For a memo with additional details on the results of the new research, please click here.

“Responsible changes to Illinois’ laws that can help keep guns out of the wrong hands simply aren’t controversial. As this new research shows, voters from across the state – including gun owners, Democrats, Republicans and Independents – agree that state authorities and law enforcement need the tools to hold negligent dealers accountable and crack down on the illegal gun trade,” said Robin Lloyd, State Legislative Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions. “As leaders in the legislature debate this commonsense legislation to reduce gun violence, we hope they keep in mind the broad, bipartisan support among their constituents for responsible changes to Illinois’ laws proposed in the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. We urge the leaders in the Illinois legislature to support these changes and act to make communities in Illinois safer.”

The new research comes on the heels of Congresswoman Giffords’ visit to Illinois last month to help launch the new Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition and urge legislators to support the Gun Dealer Licensing Act. The coalition, which includes gun violence prevention groups, community advocates, and faith groups, has helped lead the fight in support of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act, which aims to hold corrupt dealers accountable to slow the flow of illegal gun trafficking in Illinois and help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Read more about the Gun Dealer Licensing Act here.

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act will help slow the the flow of illegal guns through a number of small changes to the state’s laws, including:

  • Requiring Criminal Background Checks for Gun Dealer Employees: Gun store employees often have access to huge inventories of guns and it is just common sense to make sure that the dealer and employees are just as responsible as the buyers.
  • Ensuring Our Background Check System Can Work Better By Training Employees:  The bill would ensure that dealers and their employees know how to conduct background checks, identify and stop straw purchases, and properly store guns to prevent thefts.
  • Ensuring Gun Dealers Are Held Accountable: IDFPR and law enforcement would have the ability to inspect licensed gun dealers, so we can make sure all gun dealers are adhering to the same set of minimum business standards.

Negligent gun dealers within Illinois fuel the illegal gun trade. From 2009 to 2013, 40 percent of the guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers within Illinois. But thanks to loopholes in federal law and a lack of federal resources for enforcement, Illinois lacks the tools and authority it needs to combat illegal or negligent business practices that threaten Illinois families.

Between 2002 – 2014, 14,273 people were killed with guns in Illinois, nearly three times the number of all U.S. combat troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. A person is killed with a gun in Illinois every eight hours. In 2014, 1,179 people were killed by guns in Illinois. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

Groups represented in the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition include:

ABJ Community Services

All Saints Episcopal—Chicago

Americans for Responsible Solutions

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Catholic Charities

Center for American Progress

Chicago Area Peace Action

Chicago Board of Rabbis

Chicago Survivors

Chicagoland Brady Chapter

Community of Congregations

Community Renewal Society

Countryside Unitarian Church

Emanuel Congregation

Emanuel Lutheran Church, Rockford

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Faith Community of St. Sabina Greater Institutional AME Church Gun Responsibility Advocates

Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)

Howard Area Community Center

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Illinois Conference of Churches

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV)

Increase the Peace Englewood Jewish Council on Urban A airs

Joint Action Committee for Political A airs (JAC PAC)

Lake Street Church of Evanston

League of Women Voters of Illinois

Moms Rising

National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore

National Gun Victims Action Council

National Youth Advocate Program

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for Action

Open Communities

Organizing Catholics for Justice

Organizing for Action Chicago North Chapter

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Parents for Peace and Justice

Peace & Justice Committee Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Peace & Justice Committee of St. Giles, Oak Park

Peaceful Communities

People for a Safer Society Presbyterian Church USA Progressive Community Church Purpose Over Pain

Quinn Chapel AME Church

Saint Joseph Anglican—Spring eld

Strengthening Chicago’s Youth

Seabury Western Theological Seminary

St. Felicitas Catholic Church

St. Francis Xavier Parish

St. Joseph Anglican

The Peace & Justice Committee of St. Edmunds

United Church of Christ United Church of Rogers Park United Methodist Church

ARS Applauds Delaware Legislators for Advancing Bill to Give Law Enforcement More Tools to Combat Gun Crimes and Prosecute Criminals

May 18, 2016 – Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, today applauded leaders in the Delaware State Senate for advancing a bipartisan proposal to strengthen the state’s reporting requirements for guns and ammunition, give law enforcement more tools to track crime guns and ballistics, and make it easier to enforce current law and bring perpetrators to justice.

The legislation, HB 217, strengthen Delaware’s tracing laws and make it easier to prosecute criminal justice by:

  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover crime guns to enter all related information into the National Crime Information Center System and the the ATF’s e-Trace system;
  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover crime guns to quickly test-fire each weapon and submit their results to the NIBIN to determine whether the firearm is associated or related to a crime; and,
  • Requiring law enforcement agencies that recover shell casings at a crime scene to submit all related ballistics information to the NIBIN.

The vote comes on the heels of Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly’s visit to Wilmington in March and launch of the new bipartisan Delaware Coalition for Common Sense.

“We applaud leaders in the Delaware Senate for doing the responsible thing and voting to give law enforcement more tools to combat gun crimes and prosecute criminals,” said Amber Goodwin, National Advocacy Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions. “We urge Governor Markell to sign this bipartisan bill into law and help make Delaware a safer place to live.”

ABOUT FIREARMS & BALLISTICS TRACING

Tracing Helps Law Enforcement Bring Perpetrators To Justice. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ National Tracing Center (NTC) and the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network (NIBIN) are two of the most effective resources for domestic and international law enforcement agencies to gain investigative leads in firearm related crimes. The ATF’s e-Trace system helps law enforcement track crime guns back to the original customer and dealer. The NIBIN system provides law enforcement the tools to link crime guns to an established database. Since 1999, NIBIN partners have captured approximately 2.8 billion ballistic images and have confirmed more than 74,000 hits with the database. [Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms]

Loopholes In Delaware Law Does Not Require Law Enforcement Officers To Submit Ballistics Information Into Federal Ballistics Database. Under current Delaware law, ballistics information that is taken from a crime scene does not have to be entered into the NIBIN, unnecessarily prolonging criminal investigations and requiring additional labor hours.

 

Americans for Responsible Solutions Applauds the Illinois House Judiciary – Criminal Committee for Advancing Bill To Help Slow The Flow Of Illegal Guns In Illinois

May 17, 2016 –  Americans for Responsible Solutions, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, and the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition today applauded the Illinois House Judiciary – Criminal Committee for advancing a new proposal, the Gun Dealer Licensing Act (HB 1016), to help slow the flow of illegal guns in Illinois, and urged legislators to act to save lives.

The bill, which was introduced earlier this month, would give state authorities and law enforcement the tools to encourage better business practices among federally licensed gun dealers and hold corrupt dealers accountable to slow the flow of illegal gun trafficking in Illinois and help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Read more about the Gun Dealer Licensing Act here.

Negligent gun dealers within Illinois fuel the illegal gun trade. From 2009 to 2013, 40 percent of the guns used in crimes in Chicago came from gun dealers within Illinois. But thanks to loopholes in federal law and a lack of federal resources for enforcement, Illinois doesn’t have the tools and authority it needs to combat illegal or negligent business practices that threaten Illinois families.

The vote in favor of the bill comes on the heels of Congresswoman Giffords’ visit to Illinois last month to help launch the new Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition and urge legislators to support the bill. The coalition, which includes gun violence prevention groups, community advocates, and faith groups, has helped lead the fight in support of the Gun Dealer Licensing Act.

“This bill will help level the playing field for gun dealers throughout Illinois by promoting commonsense business practices that will curb the in-state trafficking of illegal firearms. So we applaud leaders in Illinois for advancing a commonsense proposal that will crack down on the illegal gun trade and help keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said Robin Lloyd, State Legislative Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions. “We thank the members of the Illinois House Judiciary – Criminal Committee who supported this commonsense legislation that will hold negligent gun dealers accountable while protecting responsible dealers and the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding people. We urge the leaders in the Illinois House to follow suit and support these responsible changes to Illinois’ laws.”

“As a state, we need to do more to combat gun trafficking and keep guns out of the wrong hands. That starts with providing our state authorities with the tools they need to encourage better business practices among gun dealers, hold corrupt dealers accountable, and slow the flow of crime guns into our communities. I urge my colleagues in the House to join me in supporting this commonsense step to keep guns out of the wrong hands,” said Illinois State Representative Kathleen Willis (D-Northlake), a chief author of the legislation.

The Gun Dealer Licensing Act will help slow the the flow of illegal guns through a number of small changes to the state’s laws, including:

  • Requiring Criminal Background Checks for Gun Dealer Employees: Gun store employees often have access to huge inventories of guns and it is just common sense to make sure that the dealer and employees are just as responsible as the buyers.

  • Training and Education for Gun Dealers Employees So Our Background Check System Can Work Better:  The bill would require training to ensure that dealers and their employees know how to conduct background checks, identify and stop straw purchases, and properly store guns to prevent thefts.

  • Ensuring Gun Dealers Are Held Accountable:  IDFPR and law enforcement would have the ability to inspect the inventories of licensed gun dealers, so we can make sure gun dealers are held accountable for missing firearms.

Between 2002 – 2014, 14,273 people were killed with guns in Illinois, nearly three times the number of all U.S. combat troops killed in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined. A person is killed with a gun in Illinois every eight hours. In 2014, 1,179 people were killed by guns in Illinois.[Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

Groups represented in the Illinois Gun Violence Prevention Coalition include:

ABJ Community Services

All Saints Episcopal—Chicago

Americans for Responsible Solutions

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Catholic Charities

Center for American Progress

Chicago Board of Rabbis

Chicago Survivors

Chicagoland Brady Chapter

Community of Congregations

Community Renewal Society

Countryside Unitarian Church

Emanuel Congregation

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Faith Community of St. Sabina Greater Institutional AME Church Gun Responsibility Advocates

Gun Violence Prevention PAC (G-PAC)

Howard Area Community Center

Illinois Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics

Illinois Conference of Churches

Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV)

Increase the Peace Englewood Jewish Council on Urban A airs

Joint Action Committee for Political A airs (JAC PAC)

Lake Street Church of Evanston

League of Women Voters of Illinois

Moms Rising

National Council of Jewish Women Chicago North Shore

National Gun Victims Action Council

National Youth Advocate Program

Northwest Suburbs Organizing for America

Open Communities

Organizing Catholics for Justice

Organizing for America Chicago North Chapter

Our Lady of Perpetual Help

Parents for Peace and Justice

Peace & Justice Committee Episcopal Diocese of Chicago

Peaceful Communities

People for a Safer Society Presbyterian Church USA Progressive Community Church Purpose Over Pain

Quinn Chapel AME Church

Saint Joseph Anglican—Spring eld

Strengthening Chicago’s Youth

Seabury Western Theological Seminary

St. Felicitas Catholic Church

St. Francis Xavier Parish

St. Joseph Anglican

The Peace & Justice Committee of St. Edmunds

United Church of Christ United Church of Rogers Park United Methodist Church

At Minnesota State Capitol, Gabby Giffords, Legislators, & Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense Members Urge Leaders in Legislature to Do More to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands & Save Lives

May 3, 2015 – At a press conference today at the Minnesota State Capitol, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Co-Founder of the national gun violence prevention organization Americans for Responsible Solutions, joined with Minnesota legislators and members of the Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense to urge the state’s elected officials to take responsible steps to address the state’s gun violence crisis by doing more to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives. Congresswoman Giffords and the local leaders also called on the legislature to act to close the loopholes in Minnesota law that allow felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill to buy a gun without a criminal background check.

A Minnesotan is killed with a gun every day.

New research released last week by Americans for Responsible Solutions found that 86 percent of Minnesota voters – including 77 percent of Republicans – support closing the loopholes in the state’s criminal background check laws and requiring background checks for all gun sales.

“Stopping gun violence takes courage – the courage to do what’s right, and the courage of new ideas. I’ve seen great courage when my life was on the line,” said Congresswoman Giffords. “Now is the time to come together – to be responsible! Democrats, Republicans – everyone.”

In February, Congresswoman Giffords and her husband, the Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Kelly, joined with local leaders in the Twin Cities to launch a new bipartisan coalition, the Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense, focused on urging the state’s elected officials to do more to reduce gun violence. The coalition’s members – which include leaders from across sectors and parties like community advocates, gun owners, domestic violence prevention advocates and former law enforcement officials  – are leading the fight in Minnesota to help keep guns out of the wrong hands and prevent gun tragedies while protecting the rights of law-abiding Americans to own firearms. Learn more about the Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense here.

“Guns and domestic violence are a deadly mix in Minnesota. Here in our state, half of all domestic violence-related deaths in Minnesota involve a gun. As the largest provider of domestic violence services in the state of Minnesota, we unfortunately see time and time again how guns are used to threaten, intimidate, and hurt families – and how our weak laws make it too easy for abusers and stalkers to easily get a gun,” said Jennifer Polzin, CEO, Tubman Center, and Advisory Committee Member, Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense. “Our leaders must do more to protect domestic violence survivors, and make our communities safer. We won’t be able to prevent every domestic abuser from getting their hands on a gun, but we must do more to prevent some of these gun tragedies.”

“As a proud gun owner and former law enforcement officer in Minnesota, I know all too well what guns can do when they fall into the wrong hands. I’ve seen the aftermath of gun tragedies, and it is not something you forget. I’ve also seen how dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers exploit the huge gaps in our laws to buy a gun without a background check,” said Dave Korus, Commander (Ret.), St. Paul Police Department and Advisory Committee Member of the Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense, at today’s press conference. “So I’m honored to stand with Congresswoman Giffords and so many of my fellow Minnesotans because I know our leaders in St. Paul can do more to keep guns out of the wrong hands. I know we don’t have to choose between making our communities safer places to live and protecting the rights of responsible, law-abiding people.”

“The Minneapolis community needs our leaders to finally do something about the gun tragedies that are tearing it apart. It is a crisis – one that disproportionately impacts communities of color. We cannot allow these epidemic levels of gun violence to become the new normal. Our leaders cannot allow it, and we are asking them to seize this opportunity help keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives,” said Chanda Smith Baker, President and CEO, Pillsbury United Communities and Advisory Committee Member, Minnesota Coalition for Common Sense.

“Law-abiding, responsible Minnesotans have the right to own a gun to protect themselves. But with our freedom to bear arms comes responsibility, too. And that means taking some important steps to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous, irresponsible people like felons and domestic abusers,” said Minnesota State Senator Ron Latz (St. Louis Park), a chief author of the legislation. “That’s why I hope leaders from both parties can come together to stand up for common sense and close the loopholes that let felons, domestic abusers and the dangerously mentally ill buy a gun without a criminal background check.”

‘I recognize this topic drives emotions on both sides of the issue, but we have data supporting the public’s desire for a constructive conversation at the Legislature, and we owe it to families who have lost loved ones to violence and suicide to have one,” said Minnesota State Representative Dan Schoen (Cottage Grove) and a sponsor of legislation to close loopholes in the state’s gun laws. “Nothing in this legislation infringes on any of our rights and is actually designed to protect law abiding citizens. I don’t pretend to think we’re going to stop all violent people from obtaining guns they shouldn’t have, but we have evidence that we can decrease deaths by half in some cases. If you lost a child to gun violence it’s likely you’d ask what else could have we done.”

ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN THE UNITED STATES

Each Year, 32,000 Americans Die from Gun Violence. Every day, 88 Americans are killed with guns, and nearly 12,000 Americans are murdered with a gun each year. [WISQARS Injury Mortality Reports, 1999-2010]

Americans Are 20 Times More Likely To Be Murdered with a Gun Than People in Other Peer Countries. [Journal of Trauma, Injury, Infection, and Critical Care, 2011]

The Number of Shootings Is on the Rise. While the number of gun murders in the U.S. has remained constant, the number of shootings has been increasing. The number of non-fatal gunshot wounds rose more than 50 percent between 2001 and 2013. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2014]

ABOUT GUN VIOLENCE IN MINNESOTA

Somebody Is Killed with a Gun in Minnesota Every Day. [Center for American Progress & Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

Half of All Domestic Violence-Related Deaths in Minnesota Involve a Gun. According to the Minnesota Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board, half of all domestic violence homicide victims in 2012 were killed with guns. Firearms accounted for the murders of 145 women in Minnesota from 2001 to 2010. [Center for American Progress & Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence]

ABOUT GUN LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES AND IN MINNESOTA

In Minnesota, Criminal Background Checks Are Only Required at Licensed Firearms Dealers – Not Online and at Gun Shows. Today, under federal law, certain categories of dangerous individuals, known as prohibited purchasers, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers and some dangerously mentally ill people, are prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. Under the Brady Act, when a person attempts to purchase a gun from a licensed dealer, the dealer runs a check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check (NICS) system to determine whether a potential buyer is prohibited from purchasing firearms. If information in NICS indicates that a person is prohibited from legally purchasing a firearm, the dealer must deny the sale. But these federal NICS background checks are not required for private sales – which include sales conducted at gun shows and online. Because Minnesota law follows federal law, criminal background checks are required only at federally licensed firearms dealers, but not for private sales, including online and at gun shows. [Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2015]

Where They Are Required, Federal Background Checks Are Quick and Effective. Ninety-one percent of background checks are completed instantaneously, and since the NICS system has been in place, over 196 million background checks have been conducted, and over two million firearms sales to prohibited purchasers have been denied. [Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2014] [Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2010]

States That Require Criminal Background Checks for All Handgun Sales Have Seen Drops in Their Gun Violence Rates. In the seventeen states and the District of Columbia that already require background checks for all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are shot to death by their intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer firearms suicides and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are shot to death by handguns. Conversely, after Missouri repealed its law in 2007 that required background checks on all handgun sales, gun homicides increased by 25 percent in the state. [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2015] [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2015] [Everytown for Gun Safety, 2015] [Webster, Crifasi, Vernick, 2014]

86% of Minnesotans Support Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales. According to research conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions in March 2016, 86 percent of Minnesotans – including 77 percent of Republicans – support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. Read more about the poll here.

85% of Americans Support Criminal Background Checks for All Gun Sales. According to research conducted in August 2015, 85% of Americans – including 79% of Republicans – support requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales. In research conducted in 2014, 92 percent of gun owners said they supported requiring background checks for all gun sales. [Pew Research Center, 2015] [Quinnipiac, 2014]

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