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Moms Demand Action, Everytown Respond to Suggestion From White House Spox That Lack of “Morality” is Root Of Chicago Gun Violence

CHICAGO – Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, part of Everytown for Gun Safety, today responded to the suggestion from Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders that Chicago crime “is probably driven by morality more than anything else” in response to a question about access to guns. This statement follows the extremist leadership of the NRA saying it is “proud” of a disturbing, race-baiting ad the gun lobby re-released this week.

As documented in a 2016 report on urban gun violence by Everytown and the National Urban League, weak gun laws in nearby states, including Indiana, where Vice President Mike Pence was Governor, are a key factor contributing to the problem.

Three in five guns recovered at Chicago crime scenes were first sold in other states, according to a 2014 trace analysis by the city and the University of Chicago Crime Lab. The top out-of-state suppliers according to the analysis were Indiana, Mississippi and Wisconsin – none of which require a background check for every gun sale, which Illinois does require.

STATEMENT FROM SHANNON WATTS, FOUNDER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“For the second time this week, the gun lobby and its allies have made tone-deaf, race-baiting comments that should alarm all Americans. First, the extremist leadership of the NRA released a video meant to incite violence, playing on deep-seated racial fears. Today, Sarah Huckabee Sanders blew on that same dog whistle when she suggested that the morality of people in Chicago is the main cause of the city’s gun violence. Let’s be clear about what she was really doing: she was questioning the morality of Black people. This is blatant racism. Coming from the highest office in our country, this is unacceptable. We all deserve better – particularly the people of Chicago.”

Additional facts about gun violence in Chicago and 29 other large cities in the U.S., and case studies of antiviolence programs, are available in the 2016 report Strategies for Reducing Gun Violence in American Cities.