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Gun Violence Survivors, Senate Democrats Discuss What’s at Stake for Public Safety if Judge Barrett is Confirmed to the Supreme Court

October 8, 2020

Survivors, Second Amendment Experts, Leaders from Everytown and Moms Demand Action Available for Interviews

WASHINGTON — In a call with reporters this morning, Senate Democrats hosted survivors of gun violence to discuss Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s extreme and dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment and what’s at stake for the gun safety movement in the Supreme Court. The call featured Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), the president of Giffords Colorado Gun Owners for Safety, and multiple members of the Everytown Survivor Network. 

Below are quotes from the Senators and excerpts from the other speakers’ remarks (full remarks for the survivors are available upon request). 

“I will make this issue front and center during next week’s hearing to show how Judge Barrett’s extremist, hard-right view of the Second Amendment will do real harm to real lives in real ways,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). “Judge Barrett’s jurisprudence would undercut and even block efforts to achieve universal background checks, emergency risk protection orders, safe storage laws, an end to the immunity from liability that gun manufactures have and other commonsense measures to reduce gun violence. That is a real danger, clear and urgent, to millions of Americans across the country who want gun violence protections.”

“Amy Coney Barrett is a radical,” said Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). “She is seeking a position on the Supreme Court to legislate her radical views into existence, and when 90% of Americans want felons to be kept from buying guns, it is unfathomable that we would consider putting somebody on the Court who is going to strike down that restriction. I join with all my colleagues in arguing this case to the fullest. We need to explain to the American public how radical Amy Coney Barrett’s views are on guns.”

“By attempting to jam Judge Barrett onto the Supreme Court, Senate Republicans and the NRA are hoping to undermine our background check system and nearly every other life-saving gun safety law in this country,” said Coni Sanders, a member the Everytown Survivor Network and Mental Health Therapist whose father, Coach Dave Sanders, was killed while saving the lives of hundreds of students during the mass shooting at Columbine High School. “So, as we approach confirmation hearings, we must learn a lesson from my dad: When it comes to stopping gun violence, whether it’s being enabled by the Supreme Court or happening in the Columbine cafeteria, there’s only one thing you can do –– fight, with everything you’ve got. I know that’s what these Senators are going to do next week, and I’ll be fighting right alongside them.”

“I’m here today to say, with my daughter’s voice and mine, that Judge Barrett should not sit on the Supreme Court,” said Judi Richardson, a member of the Everytown Survivor Network whose daughter Darien was shot several times during a home invasion in 2010 and later died from complications caused by her gunshot wounds. “She could gut the very background check laws that could have saved my daughter’s life, and her unwavering support from President Trump, Senator McConnell, and the NRA tells you everything you need to know about how she’ll rule on other gun safety measures. Simply put, if Judge Barrett becomes Justice Barrett, the American people will be less safe –– which is why we must fight this confirmation with everything we’ve got.” 

“I urge the Senate to vote against Judge Barrett and her extreme view of the Second Amendment that’s out of step with gun owners like me, ” said Vic Bencomo, president of Giffords Colorado Gun Owners for Safety. “If Judge Barrett is confirmed, commonsense gun safety laws — like the extreme risk law I supported in Colorado to save the lives of at-risk veterans — will be at risk.”

If Judge Barrett is confirmed, nearly every gun safety law could be at risk, including bedrock laws like background checks on all handgun sales, red flag laws, and measures to disarm domestic abusers –– all of which are supported by overwhelming majorities of American voters.

A more detailed analysis can be found in this memo detailing Judge Barrett’s extreme positions on the Second Amendment, this memo on how this Supreme Court confirmation could impact gun safety in the U.S, and this chart showing which states’ gun safety laws are at risk.

As you continue to cover Judge Barrett’s nomination, gun violence prevention advocates are available for interviews, including:

  • John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action 
  • Eric Tirschwell, Managing Director, Everytown Law 

To request an interview, please don’t hesitate to reach out to [email protected]

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]