Tell Your Senators This is Only the First Step: We Need Universal Background Checks to Save Women’s Lives!
Last week, the United States Senate finally came together to confirm Todd Jones at the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). This is an important and symbolic moment for gun violence prevention advocates, as this Bureau has been without a director for 7 years and the NRA remained neutral on this vote!
A group of 60 Senators, including six Republicans, voted for cloture and to consider his nomination and a group of 53 bipartisan Senators, including a few key Senators who voted against the Manchin-Toomey background check compromise, voted for his nomination. This vote was a meaningful step forward to address gun violence and shows the pressure we have been putting on our members of Congress is working- and they are listening! If we can get the same 60 votes for gun safety, we can pass the Senate bill on background checks.
This August, Senators are home in your states and they need to hear that the debate over gun safety measures in our country is far from over. Without changes to current law, domestic abusers can continue to access guns through loopholes in the background check system. Zina Haughton, who was murdered last year by her husband with a firearm in a Wisconsin spa, is just one example of how domestic abusers with restraining orders can circumvent the background check system by buying guns through private sellers.
The nomination of the ATF Director was an important first step in the right direction, but Congress still needs to tackle universal background checks that will keep women, children and families safe so that perpetrators of domestic and sexual violence cannot access firearms! Please contact your Senators’ offices today to tell them their job is not done! We need Congress to stand up for women, children and families and pass comprehensive gun safety legislation.
Some resources for your advocacy:
ACTION ITEM 1): CONTACT YOUR SENATORS AND URGE THEM TO REVISIT GUN SAFETY LEGISLATION!
Find your Senators’ phone numbers here.
When you call, be sure to ask to speak to the staff person who handles gun safety issues and say:
- I am a constituent from [city and state] and my name is _________.
- I am a leader in the community working to end violence against women and I urge Senator [insert name] to support gun safety legislation that would expand background checks for all gun sales in commercial settings. There are too many loopholes in current law that allows domestic abusers to access firearms and by expanding the background check system, we can pass commonsense proposals that will reduce violence against women and save lives.
- Thank the staffer for their time.
ACTION ITEM 2) TWEET THESE MESSAGES TO YOUR SENATORS!
- Just called [Insert Twitter Handle] in support of expanded background checks that will #savewomenslives! 4vawa.org #demandaction
- Presence of gun 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 Senator’s Twitter handle] Take lethal impact of guns in domestic & sexual violence cases srly. Support univ background checks! #savewomenslives
For more information, fact sheets, press coverage, support letters and updates continue to visit 4vawa.org.
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