Paige Gildner, 415.433.2062×313, [email protected]
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Today the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions, founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired combat veteran and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, released a co-branded publication which outlines steps that state legislatures can take when working to implement smart gun laws that help prevent the dangerously mentally ill from having access to guns.
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, “Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness,” 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.
The full report with explanations of all of the proposals can be found here: http://bit.ly/MH-Toolkit
“Far too many lives are lost when dangerous people have easy access to guns,” said Robyn Thomas, Executive Director of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “For over 20 years, the Law Center has provided legislators with the tools they need to enact smart gun laws in their communities. This in-depth toolkit provides insight into the nation’s gun laws and will empower lawmakers and community members to stop gun violence before it happens by keeping guns out of dangerous hands.”
“The recent spate of mass shootings in our country have shown that existing state laws simply don’t enough to keep the dangerously mentally ill from accessing guns. Drawing on this new resource, we hope state legislators can seize the opportunity to close the gaps in current laws and help make their communities safer,” said Americans for Responsible Solutions 501(c)(4) Director Peter Ambler.
This report is the first co-branded toolkit in a series that the Law Center and ARS will create to address a variety of policies that could reduce gun deaths and injuries. Other toolkits will include information on how to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, how to decrease gun crime by strengthening gun trafficking laws, and will cover other relevant topics on preventing gun violence in America.
Read the full report, “Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness,” here: http://bit.ly/MH-Toolkit
About the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (formerly known as the Legal Community Against Violence) was founded after the 1993 shooting in San Francisco that left eight dead. Today, it is the only national law center focused on providing comprehensive legal expertise in support of gun violence prevention. As a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, the Law Center is dedicated to preventing the loss of lives caused by gun violence by providing trusted, in-depth legal expertise and information on America’s gun laws. The Law Center partners with state legislators, advocates, community groups and others to advance its mission to prevent gun violence in America.
About Americans for Responsible Solutions
Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS) was founded by Congresswoman Giffords and Captain Kelly in January 2013 in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting to find sensible ways to reduce gun violence and encourage elected officials to enact responsible firearms policies that protect the Second Amendment.