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Everytown Statement on Trump Justice Department Hiring Widely Discredited Anti-Gun Safety Researcher to Key Position


NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements in response to published reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has hired widely-discredited researcher John Lott as a senior advisor at the Office of Justice Programs, which gives out $5 billion a year in grants.

“Putting John Lott in a position of power at DOJ to protect public safety is like putting an arsonist in charge of the fire department,” said Nick Suplina, managing director for law and policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “It would be laughable if it wasn’t such a dangerous move that could have serious consequences for gun safety. This is one more mess the highly competent Biden team will have to clean up – hopefully before Lott can do irreversible damage.”

“John Lott should be booted from the federal government and every policy or decision he’s touched while on government property should be thrown out,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.  “This is one of the worst hires the Trump administration could have made – and that’s truly saying something.”  

John Lott is a widely discredited researcher whose debunked findings are touted by the gun lobby to advance its guns-everywhere agenda. A majority of researchers call Lott’s analyses — which have rarely been peer-reviewed — skewed and misleading. 

Despite serving as the foundation for the NRA’s dangerous agenda, Lott’s theories on crime have been debunked repeatedly, including by a research team at Stanford University. He has a history of ethically questionable actions, including retroactively editing his work and failing to substantiate survey results. During a Joint Economic Committee hearing on gun violence in September 2019, Lott was called out by Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) for posing as a fake online persona, “Mary Rosh,” to praise his own work.