For Release: Thursday, October 8, 2015
Washington, DC — Today, senators announced a package of proposals to reduce gun violence, including expanded prohibitions on gun possession by domestic abusers and stronger protections against gun trafficking. Violence Policy Center (VPC) Legislative Director Kristen Rand issued the following statement:
“We commend these senators for backing legislation to confront the public health epidemic of gun violence. Last week’s mass shooting that left nine innocent victims dead is the latest grim proof that we are facing a national crisis that requires immediate action. This legislation would implement proven gun violence prevention strategies that will help prevent future tragedies. It will also help protect women from fatal domestic abuse, which is most frequently committed with a gun.”
The proposals would also strengthen anti-gun trafficking laws by cracking down on “straw purchases” of guns. The VPC’s Cross-Border Gun Trafficking Project monitors federal gun prosecutions involving illegal gun trafficking to Mexico and other Latin American countries. More than 60 percent of the 140 cases we have analyzed involved “straw purchases” where one person buys guns for others who are prohibited from possessing firearms.
VPC research also demonstrates the importance of keeping guns away from domestic abusers. More than 1,600 women were murdered by men nationwide in 2013, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the September 2015 VPC study When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2013 Homicide Data. Ninety-four percent of the victims were murdered by someone they knew, and the most common weapon used was a gun.
More than 33,000 Americans were killed with guns in 2013 in suicides, homicides, and unintentional shootings, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.