YWCA USA: Preventing Gun Violence

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YWCA USA: Preventing Gun Violence

Categories: News

Policy Recommendations

To decrease gun violence for women and girls, particularly women and girls of color, YWCA USA endorses the following policy responses:

  • Keep guns out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence, stalking, and other intimate partner violence
    • Prohibit those convicted of domestic violence and stalking from obtaining firearms, as well as those subject to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking restraining orders
    • Ensure that abusers and stalkers subject to a restraining order relinquish all firearms once they are prohibited
    • Establish mandatory licensing requirements, so that law enforcement and courts can more effectively identify when abusers and stalkers have firearms that should be confiscated
    • Oppose “concealed carry reciprocity” legislation, which would enable abusers to carry firearms across state lines into states that prohibit “concealed carry”
  • Eliminate access to automatic weapons and high capacity ammunition
    • Ban the sale and possession of assault weapons, high capacity gun magazines (those with a capacity of more than 10 bullets), and bump stocks
    • More tightly enforce laws on straw purchases of weapons, and limits on how many guns can be purchased in a month
  • Protect students from the danger of school shootings
    • Mandate “safe storage” requirements such as trigger locks, and require that guns and ammunition be stored separately, especially when children are in the house
    • Ban the sale of firearms to people under the age of 21
    • Focus responses to school shootings on fostering positive school climate, instead of arming teachers, expanding police presence, or other attempts to fortify schools
      • Increase the number and availability of counselors and other specialized support personnel in schools
      • Expand the availability of restorative practices in schools to build healthy communities, decrease antisocial behavior, repair harm, and restore relationships
    • Hold adults responsible for negligently storing firearms
  • Strengthen methods for screening and removing firearms from individuals who pose a significant risk of danger to others
    • Establish and enforce gun violence restraining orders – “Red Flag Restraining Orders” / “Extreme Risk Protective Orders”
    • Improve background checks
      • Require universal background checks for all gun sales
      • Ensure all necessary records are updated in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS)
      • Hold states and federal agencies accountable for accurately reporting records to the NICS database
    • Increase training and technical assistance to state and local jurisdictions to improve firearm removal and storage
    • Carefully distinguish between individuals who are mentally unwell or experiencing a crisis and may pose a safety threat, and those who are mentally ill yet do not pose any increased risk of violence
    • Ensure that accessible, high quality, culturally competent mental health treatment is provided in communities
  • Remove legislative restrictions on gun data collection and sharing, including:
    • The Dickey Amendment, which currently prohibits research by the Centers for Disease Control
    • The Tiahrt Amendment, which requires the FBI to destroy all approved gun purchaser records within 24 hours and prohibits the National Tracing Center of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives from releasing information from its firearms trace database to anyone other than a law enforcement agency or prosecutor in connection with a criminal investigation, and thereby precludes gun trace data from being used in academic research of gun use or utilized in civil litigation against gun dealers or manufacturers.

YWCA USA opposes policy responses that further stigmatize individuals with mental health conditions, or that expand police presence in schools and the criminalization of youth of color, including proposals to arm teachers with firearms and to “fortify,” “harden,” or “militarize” school facilities.

  1. Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2016). Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016668589.
  2. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2009-13 and Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2016). Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016668589.
  3. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Supplementary Homicide Reports, 2009-13 and Sorenson, S. B., & Schut, R. A. (2016). Nonfatal Gun Use in Intimate Partner Violence A Systematic Review of the Literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 1524838016668589.
  4. Campbell, J. C., Webster, D., Koziol-McLain, J. et al. (2003). Risk factors for femicide in abusive relationships: Results from a multisite case control study. American journal of public health, 93(7), 1089-1097.
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Fatal Injury Reports, National, Regional and State, 1981-2016.” Retrieved 28 February 2018 from https://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/mortrate.html.
  6. Violence Policy Center. “When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2014 Homicide Data.” Retrieved 6 March 2018 from http://www.vpc.org/studies/wmmw2016.pdf.
  7. McBath, Lucy. “It’s Time to Talk About Gun Violence, Hate and Protecting the Transgender Community.” Retrieved 28 February 2018 from https://www.essence.com/culture/gun-violence-killing-black-transgender-women, Human Rights Campaign, “A Time to Act: Fatal Violence Against Transgender People in America 2017.” Retrieved 28 February 2018 from http://assets2.hrc.org/files/assets/resources/A_Time_To_Act_2017_REV3.pdf, Mogeson, Jackie F. “2017 Was the Deadliest Year for Trans People in at Least a Decade.” Mother Jones 20 November 2017. Retrieved 28 February 2018 from https://www.motherjones.com/crime-justice/2017/11/its-2017-and-trans-people-are-dying-violent-deaths-in-record-numbers/.
  8. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009 – 2016.” Retrieved 6 March 2018 from https://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/.
  9. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “The Real Story of Mass Shootings in America.” Retrieved 28 February 2018 from https://everytownresearch.org/mass-shootings/.
  10. Time Magazine. “The Troubling Link Between Domestic Violence and Mass Shooters.” Retrieved 6 March 2018 from http://time.com/5016731/link-between-domestic-violence-mass-shooters/.
  11. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “Mass Shootings in the United States: 2009 – 2016.” Retrieved 6 March 2018 from https://everytownresearch.org/reports/mass-shootings-analysis/.
  12. Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund. “Analysis of School Shootings.” Retrieved 6 March 2018 from https://everytownresearch.org/reports/analysis-of-school-shootings/
  13. Nance, Jason P. “Student Surveillance, Racial Inequalities, and Implicit Racial Bias.” 66 Emory Law Journal 765 (2017). Retrieved 28 February 2018 from https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2830885.