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Moms Demand Action, Everytown Call for Congress to Pass Legislation to Keep Guns Away from Domestic Abusers After Sutherland Springs, Texas Mass Shooting

November 17, 2017

According to Media Reports, Shooter Was Convicted of Assaulting His Wife and Infant Stepson in 2012

Sutherland Springs is Largest Mass Shooting at a Church in U.S. History; Everytown Analysis of Mass Shootings from 2009 to 2016 Available Here

NEW YORK Yesterday, at least 26 people were killed and dozens injured at a small Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. While details are still unfolding, according to media reports, the shooter in Sutherland Springs had a history of domestic violence, and was convicted in a court martial in 2012 for assaulting his wife and “intentionally inflicting grievous bodily harm” on his infant stepson, after fracturing his skull. If true, this would have prohibited him from having a gun under federal law.

The latest details on the shooter’s history reveal a startling trend among mass shootings in America: Far too often, mass shooters have a history of domestic violence. In fact, according to Everytown’s recent analysis of mass shootings between 2009 and 2016, the majority of mass shootings—54 percent—are related to domestic or family violence, while 34 percent of mass shooters are legally prohibited from having guns.


“It was sadly not surprising to learn today that the alleged shooter in Sutherland Springs – like so many mass shooters before him – was previously convicted of domestic abuse. The abuse was horrific: The gunman reportedly assaulted his wife and fractured the skull of his infant stepson. A history of abuse is a common thread that connects a majority of America’s mass shooters.

“Americans are rightly outraged, but we don’t have to sit on the sidelines waiting for the next tragedy. Congress should immediately pass legislation that would keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, like the legislation introduced by Reps. Dingell (D-MI) and Donovan (R-NY), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). Americans will not tolerate inaction or diversion. We also will not allow NRA lobbyists to exploit this tragedy in order to pass their dangerous priority legislation like ‘concealed carry reciprocity,’ which would gut state protections for domestic violence victims and allow domestic abusers and stalkers to carry hidden, loaded guns across the country. Americans deserve to go to church – or for that matter, to the movies, concerts and school – without fear of gun violence. The time to act is now and Americans are watching and waiting.”
Bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Dan Donovan (R-NY), and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) would strengthen protections for victims of domestic abuse, violence and stalking by keeping guns away from their abusers.

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