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A Look Back at What the Gun Safety Movement Has Accomplished Since Parkland

February 14 will mark one year since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff members were killed and 17 more were wounded. In the year since this unspeakable tragedy, Americans have come together to deliver a unified message to our elected leaders: Enough is enough.

Students, parents, gun violence survivors and Americans of all walks of life have spent the past year urging lawmakers to reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and demand gun violence prevention policies that will save lives. The results of this advocacy speak for themselves. Since Parkland, 20 states and Washington, D.C. have passed new gun violence prevention policies, including nine states with Republican governors.

Here’s a look at how the landscape has changed in the year since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida.

Following the Parkland shooting, 20 states and Washington, D.C.—including nine led by Republican governors—passed meaningful gun violence prevention bills into law.

Legislation to require background checks on all gun sales has seen momentum at the state and federal level.

  • As one of its first acts, the new gun sense majority in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a comprehensive background check bill (H.R. 8).1NM H.B. 8 (2019); MN HF 8/SF 434 (2019);
  • In April, Vermont became the 20th state to require background checks on all handgun sales.2VT SB 55 (2018). 20 states require background checks on all handgun sales: CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, MD, MA, MI, NE, NV, NJ, NY, NC, OR, PA, RI, VT, and WA.
  • In Minnesota and New Mexico, bills to expand background check requirements in the state were among the first bills that lawmakers introduced in the new legislative session.

The number of states with red flag laws has more than doubled.

Red Flag laws enable law enforcement and family members to enlist the help of a court to temporarily prevent access to firearms by people who are a risk to themselves or others, are proven tools for preventing violence and firearm suicide.

  • Since the Parkland shooting, eight states — Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont — as well as Washington, D.C. — have passed Red Flag laws. Thirteen states and Washington, D.C. now have Red Flag laws.3CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, IN, MA, MD, NJ, OR, RI, VT, WA.
  • Florida passed a Red Flag law as part of a historic gun violence prevention package following the shooting in Parkland.4FL SB 7026 (2018).

States have continued efforts to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

  • Since the Sandy Hook School shooting in 2012, 50 bills — the vast majority bipartisan — have been enacted in 28 states and the District of Columbia to strengthen the laws that keep guns away from domestic abusers.
  • This momentum has continued since Parkland with 12 states — California, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Washington — passing laws to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.

The federal government and many states have acted to prohibit bump stocks.

Bump stocks are devices that enable semi-automatic firearms to be effectively converted into fully automatic machine guns.

  • Recognizing the danger these devices pose to public safety, the Trump Administration has created a regulation to outlaw bump stocks.5Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Final Rule, available at: source=govdelivery.
  • Since Parkland, nine states — California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington — have passed laws to outlaw the possession or sale of bump stocks or other rapid-fire devices.

The gun lobby’s legislative agenda has been rejected in Congress and the states.

  • The 115th Congress adjourned without passing the gun lobby’s top legislative priority — nationwide concealed carry reciprocity.6H.R. 38 & S. 446 (115th Congress).

In 2018, the gun lobby’s agenda was widely rejected at the state level. Over 90 percent of gun lobby supported bills were rejected. Of some of the gun lobby’s most dangerous proposals:

  • Permitless Carry bills were rejected in 21 states — Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota,7While South Dakota rejected permitless carry in 2018, the state passed a permitless carry bill in 2019. Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.
  • Guns on campus bills were rejected in 18 states — California, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
  • Bills allowing guns in elementary, middle and high schools were rejected in 22 states — Alabama, California, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Washington, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

In 2018, a unique coalition of students, Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun violence survivors came together to reject the gun lobby’s dangerous agenda and demand stronger gun laws. Join us as we continue the movement to build a future free from gun violence: Text JOIN to 644–33.8Message & data rates may apply. Reply STOP to opt out.

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