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August 16, 2023

Over the Weekend, Surrounded by a Sea of Gun Safety Advocates at Everytown’s Gun Sense University, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker Signed Legislation to Hold the Firearms Industry Accountable

State Legislatures Approved a $533 Million for Gun Violence Prevention; Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action Volunteers Across the Country Partnered With Democratic and Republican Lawmakers and Governors to Achieve Massive Victories and Block Dangerous Bills

NEW YORK — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, today celebrated a historic year for gun safety in the states with state legislatures passing more than 80 gun safety policies. State lawmakers also blocked 95% of the gun lobby’s agenda, including hundreds of attempts by the gun lobby to weaken gun laws, and allocated more than$530 million to gun violence prevention. Tens of thousands of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers made this work possible through countless emails, phone calls, in person and virtual visits throughout legislative and special sessions.  

Most recently, this past weekend, surrounded by a sea of gun safety advocates at Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund’s annual Gun Sense University in Chicago, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed a critical gun violence prevention bill to hold bad actors in the gun industry accountable for their role in perpetuating gun violence. Earlier in the year, Governor Pritzker signed a historic bill to prohibit assault weapons and high capacity magazines which was just upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court last Friday. 

“State governments have long been laboratories for change when it comes to gun safety, and that is especially true in 2023,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “State by state, and law by law, we are proving that standing up for gun safety is both good politics and good policy.”

“The American public wants elected officials who are legislating for the safety of their constituents. This year’s state legislative victories are the inevitable result of that,” Angela Ferrell-Zabala, executive director of Moms Demand Action. “When we have gun sense champions – many of whom are our own volunteers – in office, we get policies that inch us closer to a country free from gun violence. As our movement continues to grow, we will keep fighting until  all politicians are pushing back against the gun lobby’s extremist agenda and prioritizing policies that keep Americans safe.” 

Illinois was just one of several states to pass major gun safety legislation in 2023. After gun safety advocates helped flip the state legislatures in Michigan and Minnesota in 2022, both states had the gun sense majorities to make history and pass multiple foundational gun safety laws to prevent gun violence. In April, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a gun safety package that includes an Extreme Risk law, and laws to require background checks on all gun sales and secure firearm storage. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz also signed a gun safety package that included measures to require background checks on all gun sales and create an Extreme Risk law. Governors Pritzker, Whitmer, and Walz were all named State Lawmaker of the Year by Everytown at Gun Sense University over the weekend.

So Far, in 2023 States Passed Bills to:

Block Illegal Gun Access:

  • Require Background Checks on all Gun Sales: Michigan, Minnesota
  • Require a Waiting Period for Purchasing a Firearm: Colorado, Vermont, Washington
  • Prohibit Straw Purchasing of Firearms: New Mexico, Vermont

Hold the Gun Industry Accountable for their Role in the Gun Violence Crisis:

  • Prohibit Assault Weapons (or strengthen law): Connecticut, Washington
  • Make it Easier to Sue Bad Actors in the Gun Industry: Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Washington
  • Create an Office of Gun Violence Prevention (by governor action): North Carolina
  • Prohibit Ghost Guns: Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon

Promote and Require Responsible Gun Ownership:

  • Require or Strengthen Secure Firearm Storage: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, New Mexico, Vermont
  • Strengthen Permit Systems and Prohibit Guns from Sensitive Locations in Response to SCOTUS’s Bruen Decision: Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland
  • Promote Secure Storage Education and/or Incentivize Secure Storage: Louisiana, Maryland, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington
  • Require or Strengthen Training for All Gun Purchasers: Connecticut, Hawaii, Washington

Keep Guns Out of the Hands of People at Serious Risk:

  • Create an Extreme Risk Law: Michigan, Minnesota
  • Expand an Existing Extreme Risk Law: Colorado, Vermont
  • Prohibit Domestic Abusers From Having Guns: Vermont
  • Raise the Age for Gun Purchase: Colorado, Connecticut

States also Allocated Funding to Promote Community-Based Interventions That Break the Cycle of Violence: Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington (over $530M total)

Republican-led states that failed to pass a single gun lobby priority bill: 

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Georgia 
  • Kansas
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Wyoming

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