CT Against Gun Violence
CT Against Gun Violence has a simple, but powerful mission: reduce gun violence in Connecticut. Three core strategies balance legislative, oversight and non-legislative approaches to attack the problem from multiple angles.
Started 6 petitions
Tell Trump administration: don't make it easier to export assault rifles.
For no reason other than to increase gun industry profits, the Trump administration has revived proposed rules that were shelved after the Sandy Hook school shooting to make it easier for American manufacturers to export firearms, especially assault weapons that are banned in six states, including Connecticut. There’s a reason that firearm exports are tightly controlled: around the world more than 1,000 people are killed every day in acts of organized crime, political violence, terrorism and human rights violations. According to a study by the Violence Policy Center, “military-style semiautomatic firearms easily available on the U.S. civilian gun market comprise a significant portion of the weapons illegally trafficked to Mexico and other Latin American and Caribbean countries.” As Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wrote last fall to then Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, firearm exports “should be subject to more—not less—rigorous export controls and oversight.” Commenting on the impact of the proposed rules change, a senior administration official said, “You could really turn the spigot on if you do it the right way.” According to Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade organization tasked with increasing gun sales, the rule change could generate a 20 percent increase in exports, sending another 70,000 arms annually into the global marketplace. Among other aspects that weaken oversight, the proposed rules changes would: classify semi-automatic assault rifles as “non-military” despite the fact that many of these weapons of war are used in armed conflict. eliminate Congressional oversight of gun export deals, prohibiting sales to despotic regimes such as it did with Turkey and the Philippines. Reduce end-use controls making it more difficult to take action against arms traffickers. We should not be exporting America’s gun violence problem just so U.S. arms manufacturers can increase their profits. Tell the Secretaries of Commerce and State to oppose the relaxing of rules that would make it easier for U.S. firearm manufacturers to export assault rifles and other guns, with less oversight and accountability. Photo credit: CNN
Force ATF Associate Deputy Director Turk to resign in light of collaboration with NRA.
As brought to light by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and reported by CNN, the second-highest ranking official at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Ronald Turk, wrote a white paper in collaboration with an NRA lobbyist calling for weaker gun laws and reduced ATF oversight of gun dealers. The drafting of the report started one week following the 2016 election, and was secretly released the day President Trump was inaugurated. When more than 33,000 Americans are killed every year by gun violence, it is unconscionable for a leader of the ATF to collude with the NRA to advance its “guns everywhere” agenda. ATF Deputy Director Thomas Brandon should relieve Mr. Turk of his duties immediately. In the report, leaked last year to The Washington Post, Associate Deputy Director Turk suggests the ATF should allow gun dealers to sell across state lines, loosen restrictions on gun silencers and more than double the number of crime guns a federally licensed gun dealer sells before coming under ATF scrutiny. All of these policy changes would harm public safety. Although Turk claims these are just his views, as second in command at the ATF what he believes is sure to have an impact on policy. The report carried the agency seal and Turk’s ATF title. It’s clear that Turk’s intentions were to weaken federal oversight of the gun industry. The original title of the report was “Guns in America – Options for a New Administration” and referenced “securing” Second Amendment rights and “support for the firearms industry.” As the federal law enforcement agency that “protects our communities from violent criminals, criminal organizations, [and] the illegal use and trafficking of firearms,” there is no place for a senior official whose agenda it is to support the gun lobby by weakening federal gun laws. Associate Deputy Director Ronald Turk has to go.
Stop gutting federal gun laws
Now is not the time for silence. It's time for outrage. Our hearts go out to the families and friends of the hundreds of people that were killed or injured at the Mandalay Bay Casino mass shooting in Las Vegas, the worst in the nation's history. But sympathy will not save the 33,000 Americans who will be killed this year by gun violence. Legislators beholden to the gun lobby will no doubt say now is not the time to talk about gun laws. There is no other kind of attack on Americans that is met with this level of indifference. It needs to stop. Right now Congress is considering deregulating silencers which would make it harder to identify from where gunshots are coming in active shooter situations. The House is close to passing a bill making it easier for people to carry concealed weapons to any state in the nation with not so much as a background check. Tell Congress #Enough. Sign this petition to tell Members of Congress to: Vote no on H.R. 3668, the SHARE Act that would gut long-standing regulations on silencers and loosen restrictions on armor piercing bullets. Block H.R. 38, the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act that would force states to honor the concealed carry weapons permits of every other state, regardless of how lax the other state's law. Ban weapons of war: assault weapons and large capacity magazines, which have no place in the hands of private citizens. (photo credit: D. Becker/Getty Images)
Denounce the NRA for inciting violence
UPDATE 8.3.17 NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch just released what might be an unprecedented attack on freedom of the press, telling the New York Times in this tweet, "We're going to fist for The New York Times...we're coming for you." * * * * * * Despite widespread criticism of a National Rifle Association member recruitment video that uses a thinly veiled call to arms against critics of the President, the organization refuses to take down the video. Using incendiary language and selective video clips, NRA spokeswomen Dana Loesch paints the protestors as violent demonstrators in a dystopian nation who “smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.” The video ends telling NRA supporters the only way to “save our country” is with the “clenched fist of truth,” which is irresponsible, dangerous and could quite possibly lead to an increase in hate-induced violence that has already seen record-level increases since the election. The video is so reactionary even staunch Second Amendment supporters and NRA members find it offensive, calling it “appalling” and comparing it to an ISIS recruitment video. Despite the disgust voiced by its own members, the NRA not only refuses to apologize (“not a chance,” said one of its spokespeople), it has doubled down on its dangerous rhetoric, releasing a new video, “Organized Anarchy” in which a Navy Seal veteran and NRA commentator claims protests are creating conditions just like those in the radical Islamist countries in which he fought. The narrative falsely suggests widespread violence by liberal protestors when in fact protests against the Trump administration have been overwhelmingly peaceful. There was not a single arrest at the half-million strong Women’s March on Washington. At the April People’s Climate March it was noted that even in front of Trump International Hotel, “Interactions with police officers…were friendly, with many protesters stopping to get pictures of themselves with officers.” The fear mongering, race-baiting, us vs. them, message of the NRA's video does not have a place in our democracy, no matter how polarized we are as a country. It is time for Congressional leaders to use their bully pulpit to forcefully denounce the tactics of the NRA as wholly inappropriate to our political discourse. To stay silent is to be complicit in the NRA’s dangerous, bigoted agenda aimed at nothing more than stoking fear and violence to pump up sales and profits of gun manufacturers.
Tell NBC to cancel Megyn Kelly interview with Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones
On June 11, just two days before news anchor Megyn Kelly was to host the Sandy Hook Promise fundraising gala, she personally promoted her upcoming in-depth interview with alt-right Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones. We believe it is unacceptable and deeply disrespectful to give a platform to a person whose outrageous lies have led to a cruel campaign of harassment and abuse by his followers directed at the families of the 20 children and six educators killed at Sandy Hook School. While Kelly denounces the views of Alex Jones, that is no excuse to call attention to his dangerous, unfounded conspiracy theories that are traumatizing families who have already suffered beyond belief. Kelly claims she wants to “shine a light” on Jones to understand the respect he receives from “the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions.” To our eyes it looks more sensationalism for ratings than thoughtful journalism. She followed her initial tweet on June 11 with another, “It was a riveting exchange. Promise you that.” News of Kelly’s interview has been met with resounding criticism. In pulling its advertising from NBC, the chief marketing officer of JP Morgan Chase said she was “repulsed” that Kelly was giving airtime to someone who denies the truth of the Sandy Hook and Aurora shootings. Yet NBC News has not changed its position on moving forward with the Sunday airing of the Jones interview—even more reprehensible coming on Father’s Day. Please tell Andrew Lack, chairman of NBC News, that Megyn Kelly’s interview has no place on a reputable news network.
Don't let Congress tell us who can carry guns in our state!
On the first day of Congress Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) introduced the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017. Please sign our petition to urge the chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees to block the bill. Tell them the federal government has no business telling your state who can carry a gun within its borders. Hudson's bill would force states to honor the concealed carry weapons (CCW) permits of every other state, regardless of how permissive they are. In some states like Florida, Texas and Indiana the permit requirements are so lax they let convicted felons carry concealed weapons. A study by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel found that people licensed to carry guns in Florida included more than 1,400 who had pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies and 128 with active domestic violence injunctions against them. Federally mandated concealed carry reciprocity is the top legislative priority of the NRA, staunchly supported by President Trump (he endorsed it in his campaign platform). H.R. 38 now has 196 co-sponsors, all but three from the majority party. It would take only an additional 22 votes to pass the House. The party of states’ rights wants the federal government to decide for your state and mine who can carry guns in public (which is, just about everyone). The bill is so extreme it even extends reciprocity to states that don’t require permits at all, so-called “constitutional carry” states, that allow lawful gun owners to carry in public without firearm safety training or up-to-date background checks. According to UCLA law professor Adam Winkler, the real danger is the bill would allow the residents of states with tough permit requirements, like Connecticut, to circumvent their own requirements by applying for mail-order permits from states like UT, which issues two-thirds of its permits to out-of-state residents. Like his friends at the NRA, President Trump compares gun permits to drivers’ licenses, and says they should “work in every state.” The analogy is bogus. All 50 states require competency tests, licensing, registration and insurance to drive a vehicle. None of that is true for gun ownership. Public safety will not be enhanced with gun-toting visitors who may have only passed an online test with a “C” on their fourth attempt—the only “training” it takes to get a carry permit in Virginia. The gun lobby claims that lots of people carrying guns in public make us safer. It peddles myths that armed citizens reduce crime and stop mass shootings. But it’s just another one of their lies to justify their “carry everywhere” agenda. An FBI study found that only 3 percent of active shooter incidents were stopped by an armed civilian. More than four times as many were stopped by unarmed citizens. After reviewing “more guns, less crime” studies, The National Research Council said there is "no credible evidence" that concealed carry laws reduce violent crime. A Violence Policy Center analysis found that during the five years after Texas passed its CCW law, license holders were arrested for weapons-related crimes at a rate almost double the general population. Rep. Hudson’s federally mandated reciprocity bill is a serious threat to states’ rights and public safety. Please sign our petition to tell Representative Goodlatte and Senator Grassley, chairmen of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, that you don’t want to outsource to Congress the laws that protect our communities from gun violence. Thank you. Jonathan PerloeDirector, Programs and CommunicationsCT Against Gun Violence Photo credit: Alien Gear Holster