Thursday, March 03, 2016

Hillary Clinton's Stand On Gun Violence

(Photo of Hillary Clinton is from her campaign website.)


“I don’t know how we keep seeing shooting after shooting, read about the people murdered because they went to Bible study or they went to the movies or they were just doing their job, and not finally say we’ve got to do something about this.” 

While gun ownership is part of the fabric of many law-abiding communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. About 33,000 Americans are killed by guns each year. That is unacceptable. It is a rebuke to this nation we love.

That’s why Hillary supports sensible action to address gun violence, including comprehensive background checks, cracking down on illegal gun traffickers, holding dealers and manufacturers accountable when they endanger Americans, and keeping guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers.
Hillary has a record of advocating for commonsense approaches to reduce gun violence:
  • As first lady, she co-convened a White House Summit on School Violence after the Columbine tragedy. She also strongly defended the Brady Bill, which instituted federal background checks on some gun sales.
  • As senator, she co-sponsored and voted for legislation to close the gun show loophole by requiring criminal background checks on all transactions taking place at events that sell firearms.
  • She voted against the dangerous immunity protections Congress provided gun dealers and manufacturers that prevent victims of gun violence from holding negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable.
  • She also co-sponsored and voted for legislation to extend and reinstate the assault weapons ban.
As president, Hillary will increase the number of gun sales subject to background checks:
  • Comprehensive federal background check legislation. Background checks reduce gun trafficking, reduce the lethality of domestic violence, and reduce unlawful gun transfers to dangerous individuals. It is reprehensible that bipartisan legislation supporting background checks failed in Congress after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. But Hillary is not giving up—she will continue to fight for legislation to build on the Brady Bill’s success.
  • Closing the “Charleston Loophole.” Hillary will push Congress to close the loophole that allows a gun sale to proceed without a completed background check if that check has not been completed within three days. This loophole allowed the alleged Charleston shooter to purchase a gun even though he had a criminal record. 
  • Tightening the gun show and Internet sales loophole if Congress won’t. If Congress refuses to act, Hillary will take administrative action to require that any person attempting to sell a significant number of guns abide by the same commonsense rules that apply to gun stores—including requiring background checks on gun sales. 
To ensure that the safety of our communities is prioritized over the profits of the gun lobby, Hillary will also:
  • Repeal the gun industry’s unique immunity protection. Hillary believes the gun industry must be held accountable for violence perpetrated with their guns. Hillary will lead the charge to repeal the so-called “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act,” a dangerous law that prevents victims of gun violence from holding negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable for violence perpetrated with their guns.
  • Revoke the licenses of bad-actor dealers. Hillary believes we must do more to crack down on gun stores that flood our communities with illegal guns. As president, she will provide funding to increase inspections and aggressively enforce current law by revoking the licenses of dealers that knowingly supply straw purchasers and traffickers.
Hillary will fight to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, other violent criminals, and the severely mentally ill:
  • Support legislation to stop domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns. Although federal law generally prohibits domestic abusers from purchasing or possessing guns, this protection does not apply to people in dating relationships or convicted stalkers. Hillary will fight for legislation to prohibit all of these domestic abusers and stalkers from buying guns.
  • Make straw purchasing a federal crime. When an individual with a clean record buys a gun with the intention of giving it to a violent felon—only so that felon can avoid a background check—it should be a crime. Hillary will fight to make so-called “straw purchasing” a federal crime. 
  • Close loopholes that let persons suffering from severe mental illness purchase and possess guns. Hillary will fight to improve existing law prohibiting persons suffering from severe mental illness from purchasing or possessing a gun. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives should finalize its rulemaking to close loopholes in our laws and clarify that people involuntarily committed to outpatient treatment, such as the Virginia Tech shooter, are prohibited from buying guns.
  • Keep military-style weapons off our streets. Military-style assault weapons do not belong on our streets. They are a danger to law enforcement and to our communities. Hillary will work to keep assault weapons off our streets and supports reinstating the assault weapons ban.

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