Over the Memorial Day Recess...

Urge Your Members of Congress to Support Commonsense Background Checks that will Save Women’s Lives!

Members of Congress are headed home to their districts for the Memorial Day Recess – and now is the time to let them know that the issue of gun violence and domestic violence homicide is critically important and must be addressed! In this country, on average, three women are killed every day by their intimate partners. (For more compelling statistics on guns laws and violence against women, check out this infographic.) Congress must move forward on legislation that will close dangerous loopholes in the background checks system!    

In the House, a bill identical to the Manchin-Toomey Senate Amendment is gathering support. This bipartisan bill, H.R. 1565, introduced by Congressmen Peter King (R-NY) and Mike Thompson (D-CA), would require background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings, including at gun shows, on the internet and in classified ads. It currently has over 170 co-sponsors, but we need more to sign on! And while the Senate failed to pass their bill last month, there promises to be another vote on this issue soon – but not without your help! Your Senators also need to hear from you that background checks will help prevent domestic violence homicides.

ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR HOUSE MEMBERS AND ASK THEM TO CO-SPONSOR H.R. 1565, BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WOULD EXPAND BACKGROUND CHECKS AND SAVE WOMEN’S LIVES!

Call your Representative’s office by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Congressperson. Don’t know your Member of Congress? Look them up here. You can check to see if your Representative is already a co-sponsor by searching on THOMAS for House Bill H.R. 1565.

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation and say:

  • I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  • I urge Representative [insert name] to co-sponsor H.R. 1565, the King/Thompson bill that would expand background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allow domestic abusers to access firearms and by expanding the background check system, this commonsense, bipartisan bill will reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • Thank the staffer for their time and ask if they will let you know if and when the Member co-sponsors or supports this gun safety bill.  

ACTION ITEM 2): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND TELL THEM THAT AN IMPROVED BACKGROUND CHECKS SYSTEM IS NECESSARY TO PREVENT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE HOMICIDES

Call your Senator’s office by dialing (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your Senator. Don’t know your Senators? Look them up here.

When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun violence legislation and say:

  • I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________. 
  • I urge Senator [insert name] to continue to work towards passing legislation that would require background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allow domestic abusers to access firearms and by providing for commonsense additions to the background check system, we can reduce violence against women and save lives.
  • Thank the staffer for their time.  

ACTION ITEM 3): TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS! 

  • Just called my Rep. [or Sen.] in support of expanded background checks that will save women’s lives! Learn more & take action @ 4vawa.org 
  • Presence of guns in domestic violence situations increases risk of homicide 4 women by 500%. Act now! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • When states require bkgrnd checks 4 all gun sales 38% fewer women shot 2 death by intimate partners 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • Over 6 million guns transferred each yr thru private transfers without bckgrnd checks. Take action! 4vawa.org #savewomenslives
  • [Insert Representative’s Twitter handle] Take the lethal impact of guns in domestic & sexual violence & stalking cases seriously. Support HR 1565! #savewomenslives

ACTION ITEM 4): SHARE YOUR STORIES TO HELP IMPROVE OUR ADVOCACY

The National Task Force is collecting stories about firearms-related domestic violence homicides, the role of background checks in domestic violence cases, and other issues at the intersection of guns and domestic violence. We are asking all of you to please share with us compelling stories you have on this topic, whether from personal experience (stories can be shared anonymously), from your organization, things you read in your local newspaper, etc. These stories will be used in NTF's advocacy with Members of Congress, shared with other organizations and advocates, and shared with the public at large. If you would like to share a story, you can do so here.

ACTION ITEM 5): WATCH THIS SPACE!

Stay tuned for more action alerts and ways you can make your voice heard on other important issues related to sexual and domestic violence, including funding for programs and services, and immigration reform.

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  • For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit 4vawa.org.
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  • If you want to be added or add members of your staff or state/community leaders to our grassroots alerts e-mail list, send names and contact information including email to ntfvawaalerts@icasa.org.