Response to Florida's School Shooting and What to do Next

After yet another senseless shooting, we at Raising Voices are turning our anger and pain into action. Thoughts and prayers are not enough - they never were. The innocent lives lost at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were not the first, and sadly, will not be the last. It's time to force our legislators to act - we're failing our children and ourselves.

Please call your federal and state-level elected officials NOW. (See below for contact information and suggested Giffords attachment.)

Click here to read Everytown for Gun Safety's "Red Flag Laws - Helping to Prevent Mass Shootings". 

Community Response to Gun Violence, A Vigil For Change
On Friday February 16, 2018 at 3:30pm, in the wake of the shootings in Parkland, FL, community members will stand together at Central Synagogue- Beth Emeth located at 430 DeMott Avenue in Rockville Centre. They come together to take action, condemn acts of gun violence, motivate our legislators to make changes, and bring an end to this deadly epidemic. Sponsors include, Central Synagogue - Beth EmethRaisingVoicesUSA, Office of State Senator Todd Kaminsky, United Church of Rockville Centre and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

Click here to read coverage of the Vigil in the LI Herald.
Click here to read the Fios1 coverage of our "Gun Violence - Evening of Advocacy".
Click here to see the video coverage of the Gun Violence Vigil.

Federal-Level Elected Officials
Senator Charles Schumer  
Minority Leader of the Senate
145 Pine Lawn Road, #300, Melville, NY 11747                                             
(631) 753-0978                                                       
or
322 Hart Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-6542                                                          

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
155 Pine Lawn Road, #250 North Melville, NY 11747
(631) 249-2825
or
478 Russell, Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-4451

Representative Kathleen Rice
US Representative NY, 4th District
300 Garden City Plaza, #200, Garden City, NY 11530
(516) 739-3008
or
1508 Longworth HOB, Washington DC 20515
(202) 225-5516

Representative Paul Ryan
Speaker of the House of Representatives  
1233 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3393

Senator Mitch McConnell
Majority Leader of the Senate
317 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC 20510                                                                             (202) 224-2541                                                          

Representative Nancy Pelosi
Minority Leader of the House of Representatives
H-204, US Capitol, Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-0100

State-Level Elected Officials
Senator Todd Kaminsky
State Senator NY, 9th District
55 Front Street, Room 1, Rockville Centre, NY 11570
(516) 766-8383
or
Legislative Office Building, Room 311, Albany, NY 12247
(518) 455-3401                                                          

Assemblyman Brian Curran
State Assemblyman NY, 21st District
100 Merrick Road, Lynbrook, NY 11563
(516) 561-8216
or
LOB 318, Albany, NY 12248
(518) 455-4656

TO: The Trump Administration
FROM: Giffords & Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
DATE: February 15, 2018
RE: Nine Policy Recommendations to Address Gun Violence in the United States

In the aftermath of the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people, experts at Giffords and the Giffords Law Center recommend nine policy items to address gun violence in communities across the United States, including shootings at schools. Our recommendations include the following:

  1. UNIVERSAL BACKGROUND CHECKS -- A universal background checks law would ensure that people prohibited from purchasing firearms cannot do so through an unregulated sale from an unlicensed or online seller or at a gun show. Closing this background check loophole is critical to making sure criminals and other dangerous people do not have access to firearms. It is also a policy that 95 percent of Americans support.

  2. EXTREME RISK PROTECTION ORDER LAWS -- Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) laws enable family members and law enforcement to petition a court for a temporary order prohibiting a person from purchasing or possessing firearms. These orders are sought when the individual demonstrates behaviors that indicate they may be a danger to themselves or others. ERPO laws are exactly the type of policy that could help people struggling in crisis, including the shooter in Parkland, Florida, as the shooter's classmates, teachers, family members, and law enforcement officers appear to have been aware that he was exhibiting dangerous behaviors.

  3. CHILD ACCESS PREVENTION LAWS -- Child access prevention laws, which hold adults liable for negligently storing firearms, are essential to ensuring that minors are not able to get guns from home and use them to perpetrate school shootings. One study found that over two-thirds of students who used guns to commit “targeted violence” against their school acquired the gun or guns used in their attacks from their own home or that of a relative. Another study showed that 73% of children aged nine and under reported knowing the location of their parents’ firearms and 36% admitted that they had handled the weapons, including many whose parents had reported their children did not know the location of their firearm.

  4. ALLOW THE CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL (CDC) TO FUND GUN VIOLENCE RESEARCH -- In order to effectively solve this public health crisis, our country must begin to fully understand it. Congress should fund and allow the CDC to fund gun violence research. This research is critical for policymakers to understand and recommend effective solutions for making schools and communities safer.

  5. DEFEAT CONCEALED CARRY RECIPROCITY -- After the horrific shootings in Las Vegas and Sutherland Springs, the House of Representatives passed a proposal, overwhelmingly opposed by law enforcement, to make it legal for more dangerous and untrained people to carry hidden, loaded guns in more public places. The House-passed bill included a provision that and vote down this reckless policy. The Senate should listen to law enforcement concerns would make it easier for concealed carry permit holders from out of state, including those with little to no training, to carry hidden, loaded guns in K-12 schools.

  6. RESTORE NICS FUNDING -- President Trump’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal included a 16% cut to grants for states to upload prohibiting records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). The system is only as strong as the records it contains, and in the wake of some of this country’s deadliest mass shootings, it is more important than ever that we strengthen the nation’s background check system.

  7. REDUCE ACCESS TO GUNS BY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ABUSERS -- Expand firearm prohibitions for domestic abusers to include dating partner abusers and convicted stalkers. Gun laws that address abusive dating partners and stalkers are the most effective, and mass shooters often have a history of domestic abuse. Legislation seeking to keep guns away from abusive dating partners and stalkers has been introduced in both the House and Senate.

  8. REQUIRE GUN STORES TO REPORT MULTIPLE SALES OF ALL FIREARMS, NOT JUST HANDGUNS, TO LAW ENFORCEMENT -- Under current law, federally licensed firearms dealers must provide a report to ATF any time a person buys more than one pistol within five consecutive business days. This provision should be expanded to all firearms to provide law enforcement with a “red flag” and an opportunity to investigate what may be a person with dangerous intent.

  9. TREAT ASSAULT WEAPONS LIKE HANDGUNS -- It should not be easier to buy an assault weapon than a handgun. The minimum age of 21 for dealers to sell handguns and state waiting period laws should apply to assault weapons as well.

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Giffords is a nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives from gun violence. Led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, Giffords inspires the courage of people from all walks of life to make America safer.

For nearly 25 years, the legal experts at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.