State Legislatures Approved a Record-Setting $860 Million for Gun Violence Prevention
Tens of Thousands of Moms and Students Demand Action Volunteers Across the Country Partnered With Democratic, Republican and Independent Lawmakers and Governors to Achieve Massive Victories and Block Bad Bills
NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action today celebrated recent massive wins in state legislatures. So far this year, state legislatures passed at least 45 gun safety laws and blocked 95% of the gun lobby’s agenda, including hundreds of attempts by the gun lobby to weaken gun laws. In addition, over $860 million was allocated to gun violence prevention programs by state legislatures — a new record. Tens of thousands of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made this work possible through countless emails, phone calls, in person and virtual visits throughout legislative and special sessions.
Following the horrific mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas, as well the daily gun violence devastating communities across the country, the nation rose up to demand meaningful action to end the senseless violence and lawmakers at all levels of government heeded the call. For the first time in 26 years, the federal government passed a historic gun safety bill and state lawmakers and governors enacted at least 45 gun safety bills, including measures to prohibit high-capacity magazines, strengthen background checks and address the Charleston loophole, regulate ghost guns, create police gun violence accountability, provide education on secure firearm storage, prohibit open carry and prohibit guns in sensitive locations like polling places, and more.
“This year, state lawmakers once again set the pace on gun safety by passing dozens of common sense measures to keep guns out of dangerous hands,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “In a time of rising gun violence, lawmakers made it clear that the days of the NRA treating statehouses like their personal clubhouses are over.”
“The gun safety movement is larger and stronger than ever and, as a result, we’re making historic progress not only in Congress, but in states across the country,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “In the wake of tragedy, our grassroots army of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers rolled up their red sleeves and got to work, helping pass innovative and life-saving laws across the country while continuing to beat back dangerous gun lobby-backed legislation that puts profits for gun manufacturers ahead of public safety.”
“The call to action was clear: Do something. And, once again, our state leaders answered,” said Monisha Henley, Senior Director of State Government Affairs at Everytown for Gun Safety. “State policymakers have shown what’s possible when our leaders ignore gun lobby rhetoric and prioritize public safety – including smart, holistic approaches to gun violence prevention, investment in effective programs, and the resounding rejection of gun lobby efforts to weaken our gun laws.”
“My top priority as governor is to keep New Yorkers safe. In the wake of a tragic national spike in gun violence and horrific mass shootings like the one that occurred in my hometown of Buffalo, New York took quick and decisive action this year to get illegal guns off our streets and away from individuals who would use them to do harm,” said New York Governor Kathy Hochul. “New York is proud to lead the nation in passing common sense gun safety measures into law, and we’ll never stop fighting to protect public safety.”
Several states heeded the call to action following the mass shootings in Buffalo and Uvalde and again after the Supreme Court decision striking down a requirement of New York’s century-old gun permitting law, including New York, Delaware, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. In New York, lawmakers passed a 10-bill package to, among other things, strengthen their extreme risk law and high capacity magazine prohibition, and raise the age to purchase a semi automatic rifle to 21. California prioritized gun safety throughout their year-long session and passed nearly a dozen gun safety laws. A list of the gun safety bills enacted in 2022 is available HERE.
Governors also took action to protect their states from gun violence by improving awareness and education about their extreme risk laws, allocating important federal funding to gun violence prevention, and calling on their legislatures and federal leaders to pass comprehensive gun safety legislation. A list of the actions taken by governors in 2022 is available HERE.
This year, state legislatures from across the country allocated a record investment of over $860 million for gun violence prevention and local violence intervention and prevention programs (VIPs). These community-based programs are shown to reduce community gun violence, but have often relied on scarce competitive grant funding, private donations, and limited city funding. A list of the states that allocated funding toward gun violence prevention, including for life-saving VIPs in 2022, is available HERE.
Across the country, states rejected dozens of gun lobby aligned bills that would have weakened gun laws following advocacy by Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers, gun violence survivors, and gun sense candidates urging lawmakers to stand with constituents and law enforcement. In states like Nebraska and Louisiana, advocates succeeded in holding off efforts to pass permitless carry, and in gun lobby strongholds of Missouri and Arizona, legislative sessions ended without a single gun lobby priority passing. A list of the states that defeated gun lobby bills in 2022 is available HERE.