Earlier this year, we announced an exciting new partnership between the Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired combat veteran and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Together, we are committed to bringing some sanity to our nation’s gun laws.
With our more than 20 years of research and knowledge on the nation’s gun laws, and the powerful grassroots network cultivated by Americans for Responsible Solutions, together we are producing tools that will empower lawmakers and community members to stop gun violence before it happens.
The Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions will assist legislators by creating a series of toolkits that will aid in developing solutions to protect communities from gun violence while ensuring that the legislation complies with the Second Amendment. The toolkits on each topic will provide:
- Evidence of the particular gap in current laws that perpetuate gun violence;
- Effective, tested solutions to close the loophole;
- Policy rationale for action;
- Legal basis for new laws; and
- Most importantly – straight-forward features of the policies that will guide legislative drafting.
These co-branded toolkits will address a variety of policies that could reduce gun deaths and injuries. The topics will include how to ensure that the dangerously mentally ill do not have access to guns in crisis situations, how to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and how to decrease gun crime by strengthening gun trafficking laws.
“Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness”: For too long, state and local leaders seeking effective policies to reduce gun violence and ensure responsible gun ownership have been confronted instead with the influence and ideas of the gun lobby. In response to these challenges, the toolkit will give state legislators a manual for understanding the breakdowns in state laws that allow the dangerously mentally ill easy access to guns.
The toolkit also includes information about proposals for laws that could help prevent gun violence in these situations, like:
- Complete reporting of all people prohibited from possessing firearms because of mental illness under federal law;
- Authorizing law enforcement officers to remove dangerous people’s access to guns, under court or administrative agency oversight;
- Requiring schools, including colleges and universities, to report people identified as violent or suicidal to a court or administrative agency charged with reviewing these reports;
- Allowing courts to issue “gun violence restraining orders” when concerned community members bring dangerous or suicidal people to their attention; and,
- Temporarily prohibiting people involuntarily hospitalized for mental illness.