Key Gun Violence Prevention Amendments To Be Voted On In The U.S. Senate This Afternoon!


Later today, Wednesday, April 17, the U.S. Senate will begin voting on amendments to S. S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act.   These amendments will determine the strength, or lack thereof, any comprehensive ant-gun violence legislation which may be enacted this year. 


Specifically, there will be votes on as many as 9 amendments, including an alternative to universal background checks; a plan to ensure that concealed-carry handgun permits issued by one state are recognized by all others; a ban on the future production of ammunition magazines holding 10 rounds or more; a broader ban on military-style assault weapons; and a plan to impose new penalties for “straw purchasers” of firearms

All-too easy access to guns and the resulting gun violence are a major problem in the United States today.  This is especially true in communities of color.  In the first 100 days since the horrors of the Sandy Hook mass shooting on December 14, 2012, more than 3,000 Americans were killed by guns.  Based on data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, shooting deaths will likely rise from over 22,000 in 2011 to 33,000 in 2015, surpassing the number of traffic fatalities, which are predicted to be around 32,000 that year.  The leading cause of death among African American teens, ages 15 to 19 in 2008 and 2009 was gun-related homicide.  African American children and teens were less than 15 percent of the total child population in 2008 and 2009 but accounted for 45 percent of all child and teen gun deaths.  Black males ages 15-19 were eight times as likely as White males of the same age and two-and-a-half times as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed in a gun related homicide in 2009. 

Given the disproportionate murder and damage gun violence is having on our communities, the NAACP continues to advocate for a number of sane, sensible laws which will do a lot to eliminate the damage and devastation too often caused by gun violence.  Specifically, we support initiatives to:

  • Require universal background checks on all gun sales;
  • Ban military-style semi automatic assault guns;
  • Ban high capacity ammunition clips; and
  • Enact tough new criminal penalties for straw purchasers and gun traffickers. 

The NAACP strongly supports safe, sane and sensible efforts to curb the plague of gun violence which is causing such pain to our men, women, children, families, neighborhoods and communities.  We strongly urge all Members of Congress to support these crucial life-saving proposals.

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