Week in Review: Oct 9-14


— Mark Kelly to Lawmakers Opposing Gun Laws: ‘You Should Quit’: Captain Mark Kelly sat down with POLITICO to discuss gun safety in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting. Kelly said: “I think if you’re a member of Congress and you fundamentally believe laws don’t work, you should quit. I mean, you really should. You’re in the wrong job. And that goes for anything, including this issue.” Mark also noted that legislation matters. A lot of these folks have been saying it doesn’t matter, it will never matter,” he said in the latest episode of POLITICO’s Off Message podcast. “They have just turned that argument upside down. And that’s a good thing.”

— Confessions of a Sensible Gun Owner: In a New York Times op-ed that ran earlier this week, Lily Raff McCaulou, a hunter, gun owner, and mother of two in Oregon, explains that most gun owners already embrace the idea of personal responsibility, but says now is the time for them to also take responsibility to help stop gun violence.

— Gun Safety Advocates Rally at NRA Headquarters: On Saturday, October 14, as they have every month since Sandy Hook, GVP activists gathered outside the NRA headquarters in Virginia to protest the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and obstruction of stronger gun laws. Joining advocates this weekend were gun safety champions and Virginia candidates, Ralph Northam, Mark Herring & Justin Fairfax

— Navy Vet Speaks Out About Vegas Shooting: We Need Gun Laws That Make Us As Safe As Our Military: In an op-ed for USA Today, Navy veteran Shawn VanDiver calls on Americans from both the left and the right to agree on a few first steps on guns, and then a pause to gauge effectiveness.

— I Thought Guns Were Fun. Then My Loved Ones Became Victims: In an op-ed for CNN earlier this week, Zoe Chance, a college professor and a mother, talks about how gun violence has touched her life repeatedly, and explains how acts of gun violence mar the lives of not only first-hand victims, but also loved ones and entire communities. 

— America, It’s Time To Rise Up To Save Lives: In a Huffington Post op-ed this week, Jane Dougherty talks about her sister who was murdered in the Sandy Hook School shooting, and how she was inspired to become a gun violence prevention activist. She calls on other Americans to rise up and help fight on the state and federal level to keep guns out of the wrong hands and save lives.


— The TraceATF Association Blasts Critics of Bump Stock Decision, Says Only Congress Can Ban Devises: A group of current and former Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives employees has written to Congress proposing a way to change current law that would make bump stocks illegal going forward, and pushing back against critics who said it was the ATF’s job to ban the devices in the first place.

— NPR Lawmakers Say ATF Should Regulate Bump Stocks. It’s Not That Simple: Former ATF officials explain that since a regulatory change would require the bureau to reverse its original decision on the devices without Congress changing the law, that could open it up to legal challenges from bump stock owners and manufacturers.

— CNN — What We Still Don’t Know About the Las Vegas Shooting: The gunman’s motive, the timeline of the shooting, and why he stopped shooting are among the wealth of unanswered questions that persist after 11 days of investigation into the Las Vegas music festival massacre that left 58 people dead and injured nearly 500. Federal and local agencies continue collecting evidence, delving into the gunman’s life and interviewing those close to him.

— LA Times — Las Vegas Survivors Take Aim at ‘Bump Stock’ Maker as Lawsuits Begin: Several lawsuits have been filed, with many more expected, but lawsuits against gun manufacturers after mass shootings have mostly stumbled because federal laws offer protections from liability.

— The Hill — Senate Dems Urge NIH to Renew Gun Research Grants: Following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook School in 2012, President Obama directed health agencies to begin funding research into firearms. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded a total of $18 million for nearly two dozen research projects, but the funding expired in January 2017 and the agency has yet to renew it.

— The Trace 8 States This Year Have Passed Gun Laws to Protect Victims From Abusers: Despite the political gridlock that often stalls efforts to pass gun legislation, an increasing number of states have enacted laws to address domestic violence and guns. Earlier this month, Rhode Island became the eighth state in 2017 to enact similar legislation.   

— CheatSheet Milk & 9 Other Things More Regulated Than Guns in America: Despite the carnage that can result from guns getting into the wrong hands, there are numerous items that receive more regulation than guns, including haircuts, children’s books, batteries, cold medicine, and food stamps.


— Voter Support for Safer Gun Laws Reaches Record High: A new Quinnipiac poll finds 94% of voters support requiring background checks for all gun purchases, including 93% of voters in gun households. Opposition to gun lobby-backed bills has also plummeted.

— Poll: Majorities Of Both Parties Favor Increased Gun Restrictions: A new NPR/Ipsos poll found that in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, most Americans — regardless of party — favor tightening restrictions on firearms, according to a new NPR/Ipsos poll.

— Majority of Gun Owners Support Banning Bump Stocks: Post-Vegas poll shows nearly 75% of registered voters in gun-owning households support a ban on bump stocks, the device used in the Las Vegas shooting to make a semiautomatic rifle fire like a machine gun. Support for reforms like universal background checks, safe-storage requirements, and gun-ownership restrictions for people on terror watch lists was also high among gun owners, non-gun owners, and registered voters from both parties.

— Study Sheds Light on Use of High-Capacity Ammunition Magazines in Violent Crime: Criminals increasingly seek to carry as many rounds as possible in their weapons. The study also found that high-capacity magazines and the use of guns that can accommodate them have become more common as more time has elapsed since the 2004 expiration of the federal assault weapons ban.


— Indiana — After Vegas Shooting, Indiana Delays Discussion on Removing Carry Permit Requirement for Firearms: Sen. Bray said they just needed more time to address everyone’s concerns and come up with ideas everyone could get behind, but it’s unclear what effect, if any, the Las Vegas shooting will have on gun laws in the state, and specifically the permitless carry proposal.

— Pennsylvania — After Vegas Mass Shooting, PA Lawmakers Look to Ban Bump Stocks: Both the state House and Senate have introduced legislation that would place make bump stocks illegal in Pennsylvania. Governor Wolf voiced his support for the two bills.

— Texas — Houston Police Chief Calls for More Gun Control: “To those that say it is too soon, I say it’s too late,” he said. “We’ve failed thousands of families, of all ages, races and faith. Stand up and be heard.” Chief Acevedo has supported stricter gun safety laws for years, and in 2013 called the country’s gun violence problem a “health epidemic” and expressed support for universal background checks.

— Virginia — Gillespie Backs ‘Bump Stock Restrictions; Declines to Release NRA Questionnaire: On Friday, Ed Gillespie, the Republican running for VA governor, joined the NRA and other Republicans in supporting a ban on bump stocks – the device used by the shooter in Sunday’s Las Vegas massacre. But he stopped short of calling for other changes, and his campaign would not release his responses to the NRA candidate survey.

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