Everytown for Gun Safety, the country’s largest gun violence prevention organization, recently published data (available here) showing law enforcement officers have been wounded or killed in more than 200 shootings in the United States so far this year
ATLANTA – The Georgia chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to news that two police officers were shot in Americus, Georgia, on Wednesday morning. One officer died following the shooting. Another is being treated for injuries.
STATEMENT FROM LINDSEY DONAVAN, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER, GEORGIA CHAPTER, MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:
“Georgia Moms Demand Action volunteers are heartbroken that once again a police officer has been shot and killed in the line of duty. Our prayers go out to the officer’s family, and to the officer still recovering from injuries. Although details are still unfolding, we know that there is so much more we can do to make our neighborhoods safer. There is no one law that can prevent every tragedy, but there are common sense measures we can take to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. What happened in Americus this morning happens far too often in this country – our lawmakers in Atlanta and Congress must work towards stronger gun violence prevention laws and fight to keep the gun lobby from rolling back critical public safety laws already in place.”
Far too many gun sales in this country take place with no criminal background check. In Georgia, federal law requires a background check only on gun sales from a licensed gun dealer. There’s no requirement for unlicensed sales – most often online or at a gun show – to include a background check. This loophole has deadly consequences, including for law enforcement: Data released by Everytown last year revealed that the majority (52 percent) of people who shot and killed U.S. law enforcement officers in 2013, were prohibited from buying or possessing the gun they used in the shooting.
Recognizing the importance of background checks, 19 states have gone beyond federal law to require criminal background checks on all handgun sales, and statistics from these states are encouraging. In states that require a background check on all handgun sales, 48 percent fewer law enforcement officers are killed with handguns.