Washington, D.C. – In the wake of the tragic mass shooting in Charleston that claimed nine innocent lives and a renewed call to action by Members of Congress to move forward on common-sense legislation that would help keep guns out of dangerous hands, Everytown for Gun Safety president John Feinblatt and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America founder Shannon Watts released the statements below.
“The tragedy in Charleston is a reminder that most violent attacks on religious institutions in the U.S. now involve firearms and every day, 88 Americans are killed by gun violence. The most important policy step that we can take to reduce this unacceptable level of gun violence is to expand the background check system to cover all gun sales,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety. “It’s time our elected leaders listen to the American public. States across the country are passing background check legislation on their own, despite a stalled Congress. Just last month, Oregon became the 18th state to require background checks on all handgun sales – just six months after voters in Washington State passed background checks by ballot measure – and the sixth state to pass background check legislation since Newtown. Let’s not wait until the next tragic mass shooting to take meaningful action to help save lives.”
“Moms across the country applaud elected leaders who have the courage and foresight to stand on the side of public safety by supporting common-sense measures that will help stem the tide of gun violence, that can happen anywhere and at anytime – even in the sanctity of a house of worship,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “It’s time all of our lawmakers in D.C. work together and across the aisle to pass legislation that will help keep guns out of dangerous hands. The votes and support of gun safety advocates throughout the country hinge on the willingness of Congress to do the right thing when it comes to protecting our children and communities.”
Background checks are proven to help prevent crime and save lives. In states with background checks on all handgun sales, 46 percent fewer women are killed by intimate partners, there are 48 percent fewer gun suicides, and 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns.