What can states do to prevent gun violence?

What can states do to prevent gun violence?

There have been more than 250 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, as of August 4, 2019. Every year, 13,000 people are killed by guns in the United States. Our congressional officials have made it very plain that they are prepared to sell “thoughts and prayers” and votes for NRA money by refusing to take up real, concrete reform at the federal level. It’s difficult to persuade a Republican-controlled Congress to do the right thing, even when our children’s lives are at stake, as it is in many of our other battles at the federal level.

What can states do to prevent gun violence?

As a result, we must rely on the states to enact legislation to curb gun violence in our communities.The federal government has the authority to establish gun safety standards and policies that apply to all states. States, on the other hand, have the option of enacting extra legislation to safeguard their population from gun violence. States have a variety of laws ranging from good to bad. You should use this material to campaign for gun safety in your state by:

  • Find out what your state’s firearms regulations are.
  • Find out what kinds of laws states may enact to avoid gun violence.
  • Work with gun reform advocacy groups in your state to pass laws.

What Are the Gun Laws in Your State?

Our friends at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Moms Demand Action/Everytown for Gun Safety, and the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have done incredible research on gun laws in each state. Check out their resources to see what your state’s gun laws are like.

What Can States Do About Gun Violence?

States can establish a variety of regulations to limit the amount of deadly weapons that can be legally purchased, prevent those who pose a high risk to community safety from obtaining guns, and guarantee that those who do own guns are properly trained to use them. Unfortunately, these common sense gun measures have only been adopted in a few states.

Ban assault weapons and magazines with a huge amount of ammo.

Assault weapons are weapons of military grade. Their goal is to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. These combat-style weapons are intended for use in battle and should not be in the hands of ordinary individuals, but they are available for purchase commercially in most states. Only seven states, including the District of Columbia, have prohibited assault weapons, while only two others regulate them. Large capacity ammo magazines can carry up to 100 bullets, allowing the user to fire multiple shots without stopping to reload. These are the kinds of weapons used in most mass killings. Even for hunting, no citizen requires the ability to fire such a vast number of bullets in a row. The time it takes to reload a gun permits law authorities to intervene and victims to flee a potentially fatal scenario. Only eight states, plus the District of Columbia, have outlawed large-capacity magazines.

Bump stocks must be prohibited.

Bump stocks are modifications that allow semi-automatic rifles to shoot more quickly, making them behave like automatic weapons. These devices exist solely to increase the lethality of firearms. Bump stocks were used in the October 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which killed 58 people and injured hundreds more. At least 15 states are contemplating legislation to prohibit their usage.

Checks on everyone’s background

Background checks are required under federal law for weapons sold by federally licensed firearms dealers. However, 40% of all gun purchases in the United States take place privately, at gun fairs, flea markets, online, or between individuals. As a result, if a state does not have a policy in place to address this loophole and mandate a background check for private sales, it is possible that someone who would normally fail a background check (for example, convicted felons or domestic abusers) could legally get a handgun. Only 19 states mandate universal background checks, despite the fact that they are the most effective strategy for reducing gun violence in our community. States can pass legislation to fix this federal loophole and make all gun sales subject to background checks.

Purchase of firearms is restricted to people over the age of 18.

A semi-automatic weapon can be legally purchased by an 18-year-old under current federal law (compared to the requirement that they be 21 to purchase a handgun). Some states have approved legislation raising the minimum age to 21 for some types of gun transactions, but states could pass legislation raising the age to 21 for all gun purchases.

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