A Call for Common Sense Gun Legislation

Democrats Abroad strongly supports common sense gun legislation. We deplore Congress' unwillingness to enact legislation that would protect the people of America.  

Julia Bryan, International Chair of Democrats Abroad, states: "Sensible gun legislation is the norm in nearly all other developed countries, where leaders are not beholden to organizations like the NRA to fund their next political campaign. In Japan, death by firearm is as uncommon as death by lightning strike. In the United States, gun fire is as likely to kill our friends and family as a car accident. To accept this reality as the inevitable fallout of protecting the second amendment is to deny the rights our country was founded on - that all people are created equal and are endowed with certain unalienable rights: Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

For more information about where Democrats Abroad stands on gun control, we have excerpted the platform plank on Gun Violence from our 2016 Platform below. We will be marching in events across our country committees in March - for more information about an event near you, please visit your local committee's page.

GUN VIOLENCE

Gun violence is a serious AMERICAN problem. Every year 30,000 people are killed by guns. The reputation of the U.S. around the world is damaged by the killing by guns in our homes, on our streets, in our businesses, but especially in our schools.

We: DEPLORE systemic gun violence in America, and the failure to address these issues, especially the presence of guns in educational institutions.

CALL FOR Congress to pass legislation that helps ensure dangerous people are prohibited from having guns, including: 

Background Check System - 
• Requiring every gun buyer to go through a criminal background check;
• Ensuring that the background check system has complete information on people prohibited from having guns; 
• Addressing unnecessary legal barriers that prevent states from reporting information about those prohibited from having guns;
• Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system;
• Holding federal agencies accountable for sharing reliable information with the background check system; 

Assault Weapon Control - 
• Reinstating and strengthening the ban on assault weapons; 
• Limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds; 
• Removing armor-piercing bullets from the marketplace; 
• Eliminating restrictions that force the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to authorize the importation of dangerous weapons deemed of collectible interest that are abused and to permit the importation of fully functional and powerful military weapons; 

CALL FOR Congress to pass legislation to, with the support of governments at all levels, put a stop to senseless gun violence in the U.S., including:

Supporting Law Enforcement – 
• Closing loopholes on new gun trafficking laws and to create serious punishments for gun trafficking; 
• Enacting the Obama administration’s $4 billion proposal to fund 15,000 police officers in cities and towns across the U.S.; 
• Funding the provision of effective training for active shooter situations for 14,000 law enforcement officers, first responders, and school officials; 

Mental Health – 
• Funding for “Mental Health First Aid” training for teachers; treatment referrals for students with signs of mental illness; support for 16-25 year olds at high risk of mental illness; training for 5,000 mental health professionals serving students and young adults; 
• Requiring private health insurance plans to cover mental health services through the ACA; 
• Requiring quality mental health coverage for the millions of Americans covered by Medicaid; 

Also – 
• Ending the freeze on gun violence research and providing $10 million for the Center for Disease Control to investigate the causes and prevention of gun violence, including the relationship between video games, media images and violence; 
• Empowering health care providers with avenues for providing warnings to law enforcement authorities about threats of violence; 
• Launching a national responsible gun owner program; 
• Funding a review of safety standards for gun locks and gun safes and the development of innovative gun safety technology; 
• Providing incentives schools to hire school resource officers, such as the COPS Hiring Grants. 

URGE the Department of Homeland Security, in cooperation with the Government of Mexico, to focus resources on dismantling the operations of “coyotes” and human traffickers who prey on the vulnerable, and on disrupting drug smuggling from Mexico.

URGE the Senate to confirm an Obama administration appointment of Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which has not had a confirmed director for six years. 

FAVOR the abolition of all “Stand Your Ground” laws. 

FAVOR the abolition of “Open Carry” laws.

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