Week in Review: Oct. 23-27

GVP Advocates in Action

— Senators Reintroduce Universal Gun Background Checks Legislation: Sen. Murphy introduced legislation to expand background checks for firearm purchases, and said it can be used as a platform for negotiations with Republicans. The bill would expand the federal background check requirement to include the sale or transfer of all firearms by private sellers, with exceptions for loans of firearms for hunting or gifts to relatives.

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— Dem Attorneys General Unite Against Concealed-Carry Gun Law: Democratic attorneys general from 17 states are calling on Congress to abandon legislation backed by the NRA that would allow concealed-carry gun permits issued in one state to be valid in all states. The top prosecutors from states including New York, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and California sent a letter to congressional leaders in both parties warning that federal reciprocity proposals being debated on Capitol Hill “will lead to the death of police officers and civilians, the proliferation of gun traffickers, and acts of terrorism and other mass violence.”

— What Happened To The Move To Ban Bump Stocks? After the Las Vegas massacre, lawmakers launched an effort to regulate bump stocks, devices which allow semi-automatic weapons to shoot like machine guns. Now, that effort appears to have stalled. Robyn Thomas, executive director of Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, explains why the NRA support for bump stock regulations is just a ruse.

— Moms Who Became Gun Safety Activists Now Running for Office: A growing number of gun safety activists, mostly women, are seeking elected office next year, especially at the state and local level. Moms Demand Action, an increasingly powerful grassroots lobbying group, has encouraged its volunteers to not only petition lawmakers, but run themselves.

— Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention with David Chipman: This “Off the Cuff w. Rep. Huffman” was recorded a few weeks ago, on the heels of a Natural Resources Committee hearing, at which David testified about the dangerous provisions of the so-called “Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act” that would remove commonsense regulations for gun silencers. Just days after we recorded this conversation, a single gunman in Las Vegas killed dozens of people at the Route 91 Harvest festival.

— Cancer Patient: Treat Gun Violence Like Cancer: Marjorie S. Rosenthal is a cancer patient and an associate professor of pediatrics at the Yale University School of Medicine. In an opinion piece for CNN, she explains that unlike with cancer, we do not study the problem of gun violence to see if we might be able to improve the numbers, and argues why we should.

— It’s Time to Lift Restrictions on Studying Gun Violence and its Prevention: Professors and researchers at the UC, Irvine point out the political denial around the debate about the gun violence epidemic in the US. They warn that until the government invests the funds and resources needed to understand and curb gun violence in the future, this epidemic is likely to spread, with major effects on the economy and the well-being of America.

— Pride Fund Files Amicus Brief Supporting Large Capacity Magazine Ban: Earlier this week, the Pride Fund to End Gun Violence announced its filing of an amicus brief in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to support the state’s position that California’s large capacity magazine ban be enforced. Pride Fund Joins California Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, and 63 percent of California voters in support of this proposition.

Top News Stories of the Week

— The New York Times — Shooter Threatened Sandy Hook Killings Years Earlier, Records Show: Four years before he massacred more than two dozen people in Newtown, CT, in 2012, police were warned of the shooter’s plans, according to 1,500 pages released by the FBI this week. In one entry, a man said he’d been privy to a conversation in which the shooter said he had an assault weapon and was planning to kill children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Although the man reported it to the Newtown Police Department in 2008, police told him the shooter’s mother “owned the guns and that there was nothing NP. could do about it.”

— CNN — Las Vegas Shooting Victims Struggle to Afford Mounting Medical Costs: As hundreds of survivors struggle to recover emotionally and physically from the Oct. 1 attack, they are beginning to come to terms with the financial toll of the violence perpetrated against them. Even those who are insured could face untold costs, and a researcher at UC Davis says the total costs of medical care alone could reach into the tens of millions of dollars. Many survivors will be out of work for months, if they are able to return at all.

— Washington Post — NY Regulators Investigating NRA Insurance for Gun Owners: An insurance policy offered by the NRA is under scrutiny by insurance regulators after gun safety groups raised questions about how it’s being marketed. Carry Guard insurance was launched earlier this year and is being promoted to gun-owners as needed coverage to help cover civil and criminal legal costs in cases when they shoot someone in self-defense. Last week, Guns Down, in partnership with Color of Change, launched a campaign against the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance with a video from Trayvon Martin’s mom Sybrina Fulton.

— eNews Park Forest — Reps. Titus & Kelly Remember Las Vegas Victims & Call for Action on Bump Stocks: “Congressional Republicans and the NRA signaled support of action on bump stocks in the wake of the 1 October tragedy,” said Congresswoman Dina Titus. “But since then, their hopeful and sympathetic tone has morphed into radio silence. We cannot ignore the fact that if we don’t act soon, we risk jeopardizing more innocent lives.” Following their speeches, Congresswoman Titus read the names of the 58 Las Vegas victims into the Congressional Record. These names add to the 150 already read into the Congressional Record by Congresswoman Kelly following her pledge to read one name into the Record for every dollar Speaker Paul Ryan took from the NRA during the 2016 election cycle.

— Roll Call — As GOP Passes Buck on Bump Stocks, ATF Pushes Back: Momentum to regulate the devices used in the Las Vegas massacre has stalled, with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives once again indicating it does not have the authority to reclassify and regulate the devices. The NRA initially said bump stocks and similar devices “should be subject to additional regulations,” but that the issue was best left to the ATF—which lacks the legal authority to act on it. So far, the NRA has opposed each piece of legislation that lawmakers have introduced.

New Research & Reports

— Stricter Gun Laws Tied to Fewer Firearm Injuries After Gun Shows: When gun shows were held in California, a state with strong gun laws, there was no difference between rates of firearm incidents in the two weeks before and after the shows. But after Nevada gun shows, in a state with no regulations pertaining to gun shows, incident rates rose 69 percent in regions of California within two hours’ driving distance. The study is in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

— Automatic Acoustic Gunshot Sensor Technology May Benefit Shooting Victims: A study by the American College of Surgeons found that gunshot sensor technology, like Shot Spotter, may benefit shooting victims by helping them get to the emergency room sooner than they may have otherwise.

— Energy & Commerce Committee Holds Forum on GVP: The forum was convened by US Rep. Pallone and his Democrat colleagues after Republican leaders failed to take on the issue. Health and safety experts testified that gun violence could be better prevented if it was viewed as a public health crisis and given the same federal research funding and attention that have helped our nation combat deaths from HIV/AIDS, cigarette tobacco, and car crashes.

— Poll: Vegas shooting doesn’t change opinions on guns: The nation is closely divided on whether restricting firearms would reduce such mass shootings or homicides, though a majority favor tighter laws as they have for several years, according to a new poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Nearly 9 in 10 Democrats, but just a third of Republicans, want to see gun laws made stricter.

— Survey: Most Americans do not believe owning a firearm increases suicide risk: A nationally representative survey of nearly 4,000 people found that the vast majority of Americans do not believe that owning a firearm increases the risk for suicide. The findings of a brief research report are published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

— Survey: 74% of Millennials Don’t Trust Trump with Gun Safety Policy: Abodo surveyed over 1,000 of their users about their beliefs about guns, regulation, and the government’s efforts to curb violence. Below are their findings:

News & Activity from the States

— Arizona — Tucson City Council Passes Gun Safety Resolution: The Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution calling on state and federal officials to ban bump stocks. City officials say they initially wanted to pass a measure banning bump stocks within Tucson city limits. However, a recent State Supreme Court decision stripped local governments of the ability to regulate and enforce their own gun laws.

— California — 49ers, Police Unions Sign Pledge Calling for Bump Stock Ban: San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York signed a pledge with police to call for a ban on bump stocks and improve police-community relations. Union representatives came from several police departments across the Bay Area and country, including San Jose, Oakland, Los Angeles, and New York. York is also donating $500,000 to the campaign as they try to get more police unions and NFL teams to sign this pledge.

— Colorado — Cub Scout Exiled After Pressing Legislator on Guns & Race: When a group of Cub Scouts met with Senator Marble earlier this month, questions from Ames Mayfield, 11, got him kicked out of his den in Broomfield, CO. At the meeting, Ms. Mayfield recorded her son asking the senator why she would not support “common-sense gun laws.”

— Illinois — llinois House rejects ‘bump stock’ ban for semi-automatic rifles: Legislation to ban “bump stocks” and other devices that allow guns to fire more rapidly was rejected by the Illinois House on Thursday, as opponents from both parties contended the measure was too broad and could turn legal gun owners into criminals.

— New York — Congressman Giving NRA Donations to Gun Safety Groups: Democrat Rep. Higgins from upstate New York decided to give previous donations from the NRA to “common sense gun safety policies” after the Las Vegas mass shooting, and vowed to do more within his role in the federal government to pass gun control legislation.

— Washington — Court Upholds Universal Background Check Law: On Thursday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision to dismiss the claims challenging the validity of Initiative 594, for lack of constitutional standing. 201 private gun sales to prohibited purchasers have been prevented since the law took effect in December 2014.

— West Virginia — Firearm fatalities climbed after concealed carry law passed in 2016: After the permitless concealed carry law went into effect in June 2016, firearm fatalities have risen by nearly 15 percent in West Virginia, according to the Health Statistics Center at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, states with tougher gun safety laws such as Massachusetts, California, and New Jersey saw fewer firearm fatalities than states with less restrictive laws.

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