Your Oct/Nov 2019 News Roundup

Vermont News:

  • Unitarian Universalist Society Burlington fundraiser
  • What's in store under the Golden Dome
  • GunSense files amicus brief in favor of upholding large capacity magazine ban
  • GunSense survey results

The National Landscape:

  • Democratic candidates--who supports which measures?
  • Vermont keeps moving forward while federal gun bills sit

Vermont News

Concert Fundraiser at Unitarian Universalist Society, Oct. 26
The Unitarian Universalist Society in Burlington will host Emma's Revolution, a funny, spirited, powerful duo described as "Rachel Maddow and Jon Stewart with guitars." Proceeds from the concert will go to GunSense Vermont and several other organizations doing important resistance work. For tickets and more information, see the Facebook event page or go to Emma's Revolution.

Saturday, Oct. 26th
7:30 p.m.
UU Society of Burlington
152 Pearl St., Burlington

Under the Golden Dome
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. From 2001 to 2012, more than 6,410 women were murdered in the US by an intimate partner using a gun. Protecting the lives of women and their families requires lawmakers to take steps to ensure that dangerous domestic abusers and convicted stalkers don’t have easy access to guns. Here in Vermont, we will be working on a bill that would require the immediate and mandatory removal of guns at the time a victim of domestic violence files for a temporary restraining order.

We're hopeful that the governor will look at a new, stronger version of the waiting period bill that was brought last session.

We are also looking at legislation that will address the "Charleston loophole." Right now, if a background check is submitted but not completed within three days it is essentially waived, and the gun sale can go through. This is what allowed the gunman who murdered nine people at Charleston's Mother Emanuel AME Church to purchase the weapon that he used. By closing this loophole, background checks can work as they are intended to.

GunSense Vermont files brief urging VT Supreme Court to uphold law
GunSense Vermont signed on to an amicus brief with the Vermont Medical Association in support of VT Attorney General TJ Donovan's bid to uphold a 2018 law that prohibits the possession of high capacity magazines. Two national gun violence prevention organizations and the Attorneys General of 17 states plus the District of Columbia also submitted briefs to Vermont's highest court. The briefs were filed to help counter a suit brought by the lawyers of a white supremacist who is challenging the constitutionality of the law.

The amicus briefs state that, in addition to the unjustifiable risk to public health and safety posed by large capacity magazines, the defendant's interpretation of Article 16 of the Vermont Constitution is "unprecedented and extreme," and that the ban is constitutional under any standard of review.

Survey results
Preliminary results are in! We asked what was important to you as a GunSense supporter, and so far, 70 of you have answered. This is what we're seeing:

  • 63% considered a ban on semi-automatic weapons to be the most important gun violence prevention measure
  • All but three respondents support a ban on semi-automatic weapons
  • Respondents' greatest concern when thinking about gun issues in Vermont was almost evenly divided. 38% are most concerned about the possibility of a mass shooting, while 37% are most concerned about the role of guns in domestic violence.
  • Interestingly, only 14% cited suicide by gun as their greatest concern. Statistically, the largest number by far of gun deaths in our state are suicides.

These numbers help us plan for the future by helping to shape legislative and educational efforts.

Didn't take the survey yet? No problem! We'll keep it open until the end of November, and we would love your input! Fill it out here. It takes three minutes (or less). Thank you.

 

The National Landscape

Democratic candidates on gun reform
For a quick look at policies and statements, check out this article that appeared earlier this month in The Trace.

Giffords also made a series of videos with eight of the Democratic candidates asking them to speak to their positions on gun violence prevention. Visit the site for short clips (less than 2 minutes each) of Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

All federal bills stalled indefinitely
Even before the impeachment inquiry was underway, Sen. Mitch McConnell refused to take up key pieces of gun reform legislation that had been passed by the House Judiciary Committee.

While an average of 100 people are shot and killed each day in this country, the Senate is sitting on bills that would:

  • strengthen background checks
  • create a federal "red flag" law to remove guns from those deemed a threat to themselves or others
  • limit magazine capacity
  • prohibit people convicted of hate crimes from owning guns.

Washington may be stalled out, but here in Vermont, we know that action on gun reform can't wait. That is why GunSense Vermont, the state's only independent gun violence prevention organization, will keep fighting to create change at the state level.

Make your voice heard. Support change at the state level.

Make a donation to GunSense Vermont today and keep the fight going.


Give to GunSense VT Get Involved Call Your Legislators!
 

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