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Shameful: President Trump Ignored Gun Violence During Tonight’s State Of The Union Speech

At Least 100,000 People Have Been Killed by Guns in the U.S. During Donald Trump’s Presidency. Twice that Many Have Been Wounded. 

WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, released the following statement today denouncing President Donald Trump for ignoring gun violence during tonight’s speech and for failing to acknowledge the 100,000+ Americans killed by gun violence during his presidency. 

“Gun violence was ignored during Trump’s State of the Union address, but for millions of families in America, our nation’s gun violence crisis weighs on them daily,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, the grassroots arm of Everytown for Gun Safety. “It’s clear that Donald Trump has chosen the gun lobby over the safety of our families. Trump will learn in November that not only was that the wrong choice morally, but it was bad politics, too. In 2020, Everytown and Moms Demand Action will focus our largest election effort ever on defeating Trump and other elected officials beholden to the gun lobby.”

“My husband, John, was one of five journalists murdered by a stalker in the Capital Gazette shooting of 2018,” said Andrea Chamblee, a Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and SOTU guest of Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). “I wear John’s press pass wherever I go –– to imagine that he’s still with me, and to remind people that he existed. But he’s not with me, he’s gone, because politicians like President Trump stand in the way of common sense gun safety policies. And that’s why we must defeat him in 2020.”

“I attended the State of the Union in memory of my brother and hero, Ben Miller, who served our country and was a passionate community organizer,” said Mary Miller-Strobel, a Survivor Fellow with the Everytown Survivor Network and SOTU guest of Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI). “After last year’s tragic mass shootings, President Trump promised to support red flag laws –– which could have saved Ben’s life –– but the president has since abandoned the idea. I am now determined to turn my grief into action.”

This State of the Union marked just over three years since President Trump took office. During Trump’s first year in office, 58 people were killed at a concert in Las Vegas and 25 people, including a pregnant woman, were killed at a church in Texas. During Trump’s second year, 17 people were killed at a school in Parkland Shooting and 12 were killed at a country-western bar in California. And during one weekend in Trump’s third year, 22 people were killed at a Walmart in El Paso and 9 were killed at a bar in Dayton

All told, at least 100,000 Americans have been killed by guns since President Trump took office––and twice that many have been wounded––in mass shootings, incidents of daily gun violence, unintentional gun violence, and gun suicide. And yet, Trump has consistently stood in the way of gun safety legislation. 
 
Here are five ways President Trump has failed to keep the American people safe from gun violence: 

  • He failed to support background checks on all gun sales: Nearly a year ago, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 8––a bill to require background checks on all gun sales––with support from 93 percent of American voters and a bipartisan coalition in Congress. But it has sat on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s desk ever since, untouched and unpassed, because McConnell and Trump refuse to support it
  • He reversed support on red flag laws: Red flag laws are extremely popular measures that empower family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily remove a person’s guns when the person is showing warning signs of posing a risk to themselves or others. After last year’s mass shootings, Trump promised to support these life-saving measures –– but he’s since abandoned the idea.  
  • He proliferated access to downloadable guns: In January, Trump decided to enable schematics for downloadable, untraceable guns to be posted online––a move that could allow terrorists, convicted felons, and domestic abusers to 3D print untraceable weapons. 
  • He made it possible for people suffering from severe mental illness to buy guns: In 2017, Trump quietly reversed an Obama-era rule, thus making it possible for people who were found to be unable to manage their financial affairs as a result of their mental impairment to buy guns.
  • He repeatedly caved to the NRA: After receiving $30 million in political support from the NRA in 2016, Trump’s administration has shaped policies at the NRA’s behest. Trump has also repeatedly spoken with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, who asked Trump to “stop the games” around gun safety legislation after this year’s mass shootings. Shortly after, Trump obliged.

Everytown Action Fund and Victory Fund plan to spend $60 million on an electoral program for 2020. For all the reasons outlined above, Everytown, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action will work tirelessly to replace President Trump with a new Gun Sense president.