Roadmap Includes Actions Strengthening Background Checks, Addressing Loopholes, Improving Enforcement, Addressing the Rise in City Gun Violence, Eliminating the Deadly Ghost Gun Marketplace, and More
New Report Details How the COVID-19 Pandemic Has Exacerbated Loopholes in U.S. Gun Laws
New Polling Shows 70 Percent of Voters – Including 54 Percent of Republicans – Believe that Gun Violence is an Urgent Issue that the Federal Government Needs to Address Quickly
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, today released a roadmap outlining ways the Biden Administration can address gun violence through executive action. Everytown is also releasing:
- New post-election polling showing 70 percent of voters (including 54 percent of Republicans) believe that gun violence is an urgent issue that the federal government needs to address quickly, alongside the economy and the coronavirus pandemic.
- A memo outlining six steps the 117th Congress should take to reduce gun violence:
Today as well, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund released a new report on how COVID-19 has exacerbated loopholes in the background checks system.
“President-elect Biden’s commitment to action stands in stark contrast to what we’ve seen from Republicans in Congress, who have shown a callous disregard for the 100 Americans killed every day by gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “While control of the Senate still hangs in the balance, this much is certain: We can’t wait for Senator McConnell to start saving lives. The Biden administration should utilize every available tool in its belt, from the first 100 days to the last.”
“The coronavirus pandemic has brought into stark relief something we’ve known for years: it’s far too easy for Americans to access guns,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Our system for keeping guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them is broken, and there is no time to waste in fixing it.”
“As cities across the county grapple with homicide levels they haven’t seen in years, the need for action is urgent,” said Michael-Sean Spence, director of community safety initiatives at Everytown for Gun Safety. “This was already a public health crisis before COVID arrived — and the pandemic has made things far worse. We’re seeing the results of decades of inaction, further exposed by the pandemic.”
A ROADMAP FOR EXECUTIVE ACTION
As detailed in Everytown’s new roadmap, White House leadership and a Gun Sense Cabinet can create a mandate for action with an all-hands effort coordinated through an interagency hub or task force that rethinks how each agency has a role to play in protecting the public from gun violence. The President can also declare gun violence to be a public health emergency, opening a broad set of powers to accelerate steps to prevent gun violence. There are four core areas where a gun sense President can act:
- Keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them by strengthening the background check system.
- Prioritize solutions to the city gun violence devastating communities every day.
- Heal a traumatized country by making schools safe, confronting armed hate and extremism, preventing suicide, and centering and supporting survivors of gun violence.
- Launch a major firearm data project and protect the public with modern gun technology.
More information is in Eveytown’s new memo, available here.
A NEW REPORT SHOWS HOW THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC HAS EXACERBATED LOOPHOLES IN U.S. GUN LAWS
Using data from numerous federal sources and gun sales websites, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund analyzed how the background check system has become overwhelmed amid the pandemic and how this has exacerbated long-standing, NRA-backed loopholes in our gun laws. Among key takeaways in today’s report, which is available in full here:
- The number of background checks processed during the COVID-19 pandemic is record-breaking and has put an unparalleled strain on the system, with 43 percent more checks being processed between March and November 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
- By the end of 2020, it is estimated that nearly 600,000 checks will have taken longer than three business days. Because of the Charleston loophole, all sales that are delayed past this deadline may proceed, meaning at least 7,500 illegal purchasers could have acquired guns in this fashion—more than during the last two years combined.
- The number of posts by people looking to buy guns on Armslist—the self-proclaimed “largest free gun classifieds on the web”—has increased dramatically during the pandemic, nearly doubling in 2020 compared to 2019 and signaling a large spike in no-background-check sales.
- Demand has skyrocketed in 2020 for ghost guns, unregulated do-it-yourself firearms that are not subject to background checks, do not have serial numbers, and cannot be traced when they are recovered at crime scenes.
HOW THE 117TH CONGRESS CAN REDUCE VIOLENCE In a new memo here, Everytown today listed six steps the 117th Congress can take to reduce gun violence:
1. Keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them by requiring background checks on all gun sales, which 93% of American voters support
2. Intervene before tragedy strikes with an Extreme Risk (or “red flag”) law, which 87% of American voters support
3. Disarm domestic abusers by reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)
4. Reduce police violence by passing the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act
5. Prioritize solutions to the city gun violence devastating communities every day
6. Undo the damage the gun lobby has done to our laws, which has led to the deaths of countless Americans
POST-ELECTION POLLING SHOWS PUBLIC WANTS ACTION ON GUN VIOLENCE
A new Morning Consult post-election survey of voters shows:
- 70 percent believe that gun violence is an “urgent issue,” alongside Covid and the economy
- 76 percent believe that the next president should act now to tighten our background check system and shut down the ghost gun market.
Additional poll results available here.