Gun Violence: Newsworthy Actions We’re Monitoring
On February 6, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) held the first hearing on gun safety legislation in nearly a decade. Entitled “Preventing Gun Violence: A Call to Action,” the hearing was the first in a series of scheduled actions on H.R. 8, “The Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.” The day’s proceedings captivated audiences on both sides of the issue, but particularly resonated with those of us who have for years advocated for common-sense gun reform. Markup of this legislation, plus H.R. 1112 (closes Charleston loophole of “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI) was held on February 13, the day before the February 14 anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, mass school shooting. As of the newsletter deadline, the goal to get the bill to the House floor by the end of February was still on course, while Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) provided some optimism for passage in the Senate.
Our Task Force marked the Parkland one-year anniversary with a statement and physical sign in front of the Club that reads:
“We’ll Never Forget Parkland”
February 14, 2018
SCOTUS to Hear Second Amendment Case
The Supreme Court recently announced that it will hear its first Second Amendment case since 2010. Entitled New York State Rifle and Pistol Association Inc. v City of New York, this lawsuit has the NRA and other plaintiffs taking on a New York City law that prohibits individuals in possession of a “premises” license from carrying guns in public spaces beyond their own property. In a recent article for Giffords Law Center, Kathleen Toohill explains that a “premises” license is the narrower of the two types of firearm licenses the city offers and that “while the law at issue applies only in New York, the case raises general questions about how Second Amendment cases are decided that could have a broader impact.”
There has been widespread concern that this more conservative SCOTUS majority might start chipping away at common-sense gun regulations at the expense of public safety. Gifford’s Hannah Shearer states that although any impact of a decision in this case will be limited, “this moment is a reminder to the Supreme Court that eroding strong laws is out of step with the overwhelming majority of the American public who support measures to make our communities safer.”
It is expected that SCOTUS will hear the case in October and that a ruling will come down in 2020.
Website Launched to Help Disarm Domestic Violence
In November, a collaborative project by several gun violence prevention organizations culminated in the launch of a website called “Disarm Domestic Violence.” This site provides useful and easy-to-understand information for victims regarding restraining order firearm removals without them having to conduct lengthy legal research on their own. To check out the “Disarm Domestic Violence” website, visit www.disarmdv.org.
Community Justice Action Fund Launches “Building for Us”
The Community Justice Action Fund recently launched “Building for Us,” a five-year national advocacy campaign built from the grassroots to hold elected officials and community leaders accountable for ending gun violence in communities of color. Get involved by going to www.cjactionfund.org/campaigns.
We invite you to join our task force efforts. In this connection please contact either Shelly Livingston at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ellen McGovern at email@example.com . Our task is big, but each person can make a difference!
–Shelly Livingston and Ellen McGovern, Acting co-chairs, Task Force to Prevent Gun Violence