The weekend marked yet another deadly weekend in the U.S. as gun violence killed and wounded dozens of people across the country. In Sacramento, six people were killed and at least 12 were wounded as shots rang out on a busy downtown street early Sunday morning. In Dallas, a Saturday night concert ended in chaos and terror when shots were fired into the crowd, killing one and wounding at least 10 people. In South Carolina, five people were wounded after a shooting along a rural road and one person was killed and two others were wounded at a mall in Virginia. These incidents are, unfortunately, only a snapshot of the gun violence from over the weekend.
But even as gun violence devastates communities every day and our nation continues to face a barrage of headlines about mass shootings, daily gun violence, gun suicide, domestic violence, and police shootings, state legislatures across the country continue to weaken their state’s gun laws and push policies like permitless carry and bills to arm teachers, expand Shoot First laws, and nullify federal gun laws. In fact, a study by Everytown shows that states with weaker gun laws have higher rates of gun deaths and that strong gun laws save lives.
Georgia could soon become the latest state to pass permitless carry. State lawmakers pushed the legislation through over the objections of law enforcement and public safety experts who have said that gutting the permitting process for carrying a handgun makes their jobs harder and more dangerous. According to CNN, “law enforcement officials nationwide have argued permit requirements are vital to upholding standards of public safety. Without it, they say, officers face an even greater challenge in combating gun violence, further complicating their encounters with citizens.”
On the other hand, several states are considering important policies to help curb gun violence. California lawmakers are considering bills to strengthen ghost guns laws, provide more resources for victims and survivors of gun violence, and start holding the gun industry manufacturers accountable for their irresponsible practices. The Maryland legislature just sent a bill to the governor’s desk to prohibit ghost guns while Washington state passed several bills to prohibit ghost guns, to prohibit firearms in public gatherings including school board meetings, voting centers, and other offices related to the electoral process, and legislation to prohibit high capacity magazines. Vermont passed a bill to address the Charleston Loophole, strengthen protections for victims of domestic violence, and reaffirm avenues for medical professionals to protect their patients in crisis and their communities. Colorado passed a bill to prohibit open carry at polling places. And across the country, there is continued action in statehouses to help stem the tide of gun violence.