We’re already more than halfway through 2016, and the year has been full of highs and lows for the gun violence prevention movement. We witnessed the deadliest shooting in our nation’s history in June, and July saw the shooting deaths of law enforcement officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge in the wake of a string of high-profile police shootings of black American men.
But, we were able to take some solace in the heartening actions undertaken by bold, courageous members of Congress. After years of frustration over federal inaction on gun violence prevention, Senator Chris Murphy led a 15-hour filibuster on the floor of the Senate. Days later, Representative John Lewis led a sit-in on the House floor for more than 20 hours to force a vote on measures to require background checks on all gun sales and to prohibit suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms.
And, as always, our attorneys are hard at work, writing model laws, educating lawmakers and the public on smart gun laws, and tracking these bills as they wind their way through the legislative system. This year, we’ve tracked at least 1,455 gun bills and are anticipating more from states with legislatures still in session. For a full analysis of this cycle’s firearms legislation, take a look at our special edition of Gun Law Trendwatch—2016 Mid-Year Review.
The most exciting advances for smart gun laws still lie ahead—this November, voters in Maine and Nevada will consider measures for universal background checks on their ballots. And signatures were approved for two more ballot initiatives: one for Washington State to adopt a gun violence protective order (GVPO) law and another in California to support the Safety for All Act, sponsored by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom.
Our legal experts stand on the front lines of the fight for smart gun laws—we track and analyze gun laws in all 50 states, file amicus briefs in critical Second Amendment cases across the country, and work with lawmakers and advocates to craft and promote legislation that will reduce gun violence and save lives. 2016 is shaping up to be another remarkable year for gun safety.