Category: News

NYAGV Stands with the Women’s March

New Yorkers Against Gun Violence stands in solidarity with the Women’s March, gun violence prevention advocates, and other allies in condemning the National Rifle Association’s inflammatory and racist attacks on progressive Americans and, in particular, on communities of color.

The NRA’s recent #ClenchedFistOfTruth campaign, video propaganda, and other hateful messages suggest armed violence against peaceful activists. In response, the Women’s March wrote an open letterto the NRA and organized the #NRA2DOJ March, a grassroots mobilization that will take place this Friday, July 14th, to protest the NRA’s dangerous and unconscionable rhetoric and actions.

NYAGV commends the Women’s March for their courageous leadership and encourages participation in the #NRA2DOJ March and solidarity rallies that will take place in Fairfax, Virginia, Washington, D.C., New York City, and around the country.

Please join NYAGV at the NYC Solidarity Rally in Washington Square Park on Friday, July 14th.  Meet us at 9:45am at the corner of West 4th & MacDougal St.  The rally will begin at 10am!

For more information about the Women’s March from NRA Headquarters to the U.S. Department of Justice, please go HERE.

Congratulations to NYAGV’s Youth Program Scholars!

Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the 2017 ReAction Youth Program Scholarship Award! ReAction is the NYAGV Education Fund’s youth education program to prevent gun violence taught at New York City public high schools.

These students, all seniors attending college in fall 2017, were each awarded $750 scholarships for their outstanding leadership and participation as well as the lessons they took away from the program. All of the 2017 winners graduated from the Leadership and Public Service High School in lower Manhattan.

Scholarship winners (L-R) Luis G. Mendoza, Sharon Perez, Yazmeen Vargas and Yesenia Tapia, with NYAGV program associate Kris Arroyo, at their June 28 graduation.

Congratulations to these impressive young leaders!

Luis G. Mendoza, who lives in the Bronx, will be attending New York City College of Technology, where he plans to study computer science. “The ReACTION Program was an eye opener. I was not aware of the serious problems with gun trafficking. I have personally been affected by gun violence. I’ve had a gun pointed at me twice in the past and have two close friends that were affected by gun violence. The ReACTION Program has taught me ways to avoid conflicts with police officers and things I can do to help my neighborhood.”

Sharon Perez, from Brooklyn, is going on to John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where she’ll study criminology. “I want to make a difference in my neighborhood because where I live there’s a lot of young students and I want to make sure they feel that they have someone they can go to for help, guidance, and most importantly, safety.”

Yazmeen Vargas, from the Lower East Side, will be studying at SUNY Purchase, majoring in playwriting and screenwriting. “I knew the difference between the sound of fireworks and gun shots from the age of seven, and I’ve lost friends to gun violence. At our Albany field trip, I gave a speech about the painful parts of my life, and everyone listened to me, understood me, and connected with me. The legislators said I gave them more motivation to fight for bills to prevent other children from growing up with gun violence. Now I feel that I can have an impact in my community.”

Yesenia Tapia, who lives in Harlem, will be attending LaGuardia Community College, where she’ll study criminal justice. “Being a part of this program has made me realize how important it is for change to occur. This is especially clear after losing a close friend of mine. His life ended due to gun violence and it makes me think his life could’ve had a different path if more voices were out there to share their experiences and change people’s mindsets on how they view gun violence.”

Please support the ReACTION Youth Program today and help us bring the program to more high school students this fall!


About the ReAction Youth Program: 
ReAction is the NYAGV Education Fund’s youth program to prevent gun violence serving public high schools across New York City. ReAction educates and empowers young people who are disproportionately impacted by gun violence and guides them to be leaders and activists in their local communities and beyond. For additional information about the ReAction Youth Program, please click here.

Background Checks for Every Sale

As mayor of Malvern, I oversee the police department and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to keep people safe. I don’t ever want to have to pick up the phone and tell someone their loved one has been killed with a gun. I don’t want to have to stand at the funeral of someone whose life was cut far too short.

That’s why I’ve always been a supporter of criminal background checks for every gun sale. It’s why I’ve always been puzzled that Pennsylvania law exempts private sales of rifles, shotguns and military style assault weapons from background checks. Thankfully, there’s a bipartisan bill in the legislature to fix that loophole.

You can help give the background check bill some momentum by calling our state Rep. Duane Milne at (610) 251-1070 and asking him to co-sponsor HB 1400, the background check bill.

Rep. Milne has supported commonsense gun regulations in the past, and he’s voted for the background check bill before. Now we need him to show his support for HB 1400, which already has seven Republican co-sponsors. You live in Rep. Milne’s district if you’re in Malvern, Exton, or the townships of East Whiteland, West Whiteland, West Pikeland, Willistown, Charlestown, or Easttown.

An overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians supports background checks, including supermajorities of Republicans and people in gun-owning households. We know that although handguns are used more often in crimes, long guns are used disproportionately by domestic abusers to kill women and by criminals to kill cops. These are crimes that every mayor worries about, whether we serve in a big city or a small town.

Will you help move the background check bill forward? Please call Rep. Duane Milne’s Malvern office now, while you’re thinking about it, at (610) 251-1070. Tell the staffer who answers that you’re a constituent and you support background checks for every gun sale. Ask that Rep. Milne co-sponsor HB 1400, the background check bill. Then, reply to this email and tell me how it went.

Together, we can move the background check bill forward and make Pennsylvania a safer place.

Best,
David Burton
Mayor, Malvern

Moving Forward on Gun Violence Prevention in New Mexico

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence Logo
Dear Friend,

The beginning of the summer saw a tragic number of gun deaths including a mass shooting at a congressional ballgame, another at a UPS Center and a shooting spree that killed five in Northern New Mexico. These senseless acts of violence are, yet again, a grave reminder that our country is at a crisis point when it comes to gun violence. While we implore both our local and federal elected officials to have the courage it takes to pass sensible gun violence prevention legislation, we at NMPGV are working every day to stop gun violence in our state.

It has been a busy spring and early summer for New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence.

GUNS TO GARDENS

We held our third Guns To Gardens Gun Buyback in Taos, New Mexico in May. It was a huge success.   We brought in 48 firearms including two assault weapons, a sawed off shotgun and many semi-automatic handguns. Sheriff Hogrefe and the Taos Sheriff’s Department were a great help and made the buyback run smoothly. We plan to hold another in New Mexico this summer.

Photo of guns brought in by the Guns To Gardens Taos Gun Buyback


Dismantling guns for gardening tools by RAWtools and art by Santa Fe Community College Student Artists

MURALS TO END GUN VIOLENCE

In June, we continued our Murals To End Gun Violence program at Pojoaque Valley High School with their talented art students. They designed and executed a beautiful gun violence prevention mural on the walls of their school. Warren Montoya from Rezonate Art taught the students how to execute the mural using a grid technique. The students gave impassioned speeches in front of a group of incoming middle school students.  The young artists spoke about why they participated in the mural as well as of the importance of kindness the need to take care of each other and not be bullies.

Students at Pojoaque Valley High working on gun violence prevention mural with Warren Montoya from Rezonate Art

Students at Pojoaque Valley High working on gun violence prevention mural

THANK YOU LUSH COSMETICS!

New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence received a generous grant from Lush Cosmetics to do three more gun violence prevention murals. We are planning our next mural in August in Albuquerque. The foster children New Mexico Can will create our next mural.

Lush Cosmetics also generously gave us over 300 Bath Bombs to give to our hard working volunteers for all the work they do on the issue of gun violence prevention.

FUTURE PROGRAMS:

In the next few months New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence will unveil two new programs that we believe will help reduce gun violence in New Mexico. We will keep you posted.

As you know, we are all volunteers and all of our services that we provide the community are free. Our organization depends on your kind donations.

The Board of New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence

SB 719 passes and moves to Governor Brown’s desk for her signature

Ceasefire Oregon
Dear Friend,

Congratulations! You did it! SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill, just passed the Oregon House. Governor Kate Brown is expected to sign the bill.

Your phone calls, emails, and meetings supporting SB 719, the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill worked!

Oregonians now have an important tool to help reduce suicide, domestic violence, and shootings. The Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill will enable families and law enforcement to prevent tragedies by petitioning a court to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms and other dangerous weapons.

People who are thinking of killing themselves or harming others often often show signs or declare their intentions well before committing the act. The first people to see those signs are often family members. An ERPO gives families and law enforcement a chance to intervene and perhaps prevent a tragedy. In Oregon, where suicide is 85% of all gunshot deaths, temporarily removing access to guns is especially important to prevent suicide.

In November 2016, Washington state voters passed Initiative 14911 (an ERPO law) by a 40 point margin (70% to 30%). Indiana and Connecticut2 also have versions of ERPO. In 2014, California passed AB 1014,3 called a Gun Violence Restraining Order, in response to a killing rampage earlier that year in Isla Vista.

Since Connecticut enacted their ERPO bill in 1999, police have issued 762 orders, which helped save dozens of lives.4

Once an ERPO has been filed, a court must find clear and convincing evidence that an individual is threatening harm to self or others, before the court can order the respondent to temporarily surrender any guns to the police. The respondent will not be able to buy, sell, or possess other firearms for a temporary period of time.

SB 719 will protect gun owners from false applications of ERPO and provide due process. False applications of ERPO or violation of ERPO are punishable by one year’s imprisonment, $6,250 fine or both. The bill establishes procedures for the respondent to request a hearing. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to show clear and convincing evidence.

Passing this bill is the culmination of work by many gun violence prevention advocates including the family of Laura Magee, Melissa Keyser, Central Coast Ceasefire Oregon, Ceasefire Oregon, Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Oregon Alliance for Gun Safety, Gun Owners for Responsible Ownership, League of Women Voters of Oregon, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Oregon Brady Campaign, Ecumenical Ministries, Pastor Mark Knutson, Rev. Lynne Smouse Lopez, Rev. Chuck Currie, Moms Demand Action, and Everytown for Gun Safety.

But here’s the crucial truth: this bill would not have passed without the support of gun violence prevention advocates like YOU. 

Thank you and congratulations!

Penny, Joanne, and the entire Ceasefire Oregon Team!


  1. http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/politics/extreme-risk-protection-order-initiative-1491/

  2. https://www.thetrace.org/2016/09/gun-violence-restraining-order-suicide-reduction-connecticut/

  3. http://smartgunlaws.org/californias-new-gun-violence-restraining-order-law/

  4. Swanson, Jeffrey W. and Norko, Michael and Lin, Hsiu-Ju and Alanis-Hirsch, Kelly and Frisman, Linda and Baranoski, Madelon and Easter, Michele and Gilbert, Allison and Swartz, Marvin and Bonnie, Richard J., Implementation and Effectiveness of Connecticut’s Risk-Based Gun Removal Law: Does it Prevent Suicides? (August 24, 2016). Law and Contemporary Problems, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2828847

SB 719, ERPO, scheduled for House vote July 6!

Ceasefire Oregon
Dear Friend,

Good news! SB 719, Extreme Risk Protection Order is scheduled for a House Floor vote tomorrow, July 6!

say that you support SB 719 and SB 1065

Although SB 1065 has had procedural problems, we still hope the key aspects of this bill can be passed but we are running out of time.

Both bills are critical to reducing gun violence in Oregon, especially in preventing suicide and domestic violence. Saving lives often depends on keeping guns out of the hands of those who would harm themselves or others. SB 719 and SB 1065 will give Oregonians the tools we need to do just that.

Oregonians cannot wait another year to protect our loved ones who might be suicidal and who are suffering from domestic violence. Please call today.

Thank you for your great work to reduce gun violence.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Penny, Joanne, and the entire Ceasefire Oregon Team

Freedom From Gun Violence

ProtectMN.org
Dear Friend,

As I sit home listening to fireworks going on outside, it occurs to me that in many neighborhoods in America, it would be gun shots I’d be hearing. As our nation celebrates freedom and independence, the sad reality is that we are not free from fear of gun violence, because our government is not independent from the gun lobby’s control.

There have been so many grievous shootings lately, nationally and here at home, that it’s hard to keep track of them all. Instead of spending all our time reacting to each incident, the leadership of Protect Minnesota has decided to keep working proactively, towards our ultimate goals of passing sensible gun laws and preventing similar incidents of gun violence in the future. We invite you to help by participating in two events that will be critical to achieving these goals.

1) Paint It ORANGE! Kick-off Celebration, from 6:00-8:00pm on Thursday, July 13, at the International Institute of Minnesota in St. Paul. This event will raise essential funds for our expansion into Greater Minnesota. With four dangerous gun bills coming back at us next legislative session–and the threat of a Permitless Carry Constitutional Amendment on the ballot in 2018–it’s vital that we identify, organize and mobilize gun violence advocates in rural Minnesota NOW. Tickets are only $25. Click HERE for more information about this fun event and buy your tickets TODAY.

2) Northstar Public Health Conference on Gun Violence, September 13-14, 2017, in Minneapolis. After months of planning, I am so excited to be able to announce that registrations are now open for this important event. Hosted by Protect Minnesota, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the Minnesota Public Health Association, and the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, the Northstar Conference will:

  • provide a forum for local, regional and national leaders in gun violence prevention to exchange knowledge, insights and experiences;
  • highlight and provide a catalyst for new gun violence prevention research;
  • provide professionals from across the state with pertinent knowledge and usable tools to implement in their individual work, organizations, and communities;
  • raise awareness among Minnesota media and the general population that gun violence is a public health problem for which solutions do exist; and,
  • provide practical training for gun violence prevention activists as part of an evening Advocacy Seminar.

Click HERE for more information about the Northstar Conference. I urge you to take advantage of early bird pricing by registering soon. And please pass this information on to like-minded friends.

Let’s keep fighting for freedom from gun violence. Let’s re-dedicate ourselves to achieving our goals, no matter how difficult that may be. And let’s PROTECT MINNESOTA!

Peace,

Rev. Nancy Nord Bence, Executive Director

Ohio House to Vote on Guns Everywhere Bill

Preserve Gun-Free Zones

The corporate gun lobby wants to allowing hidden, loaded handguns into our weapons-free zones with NO penalty! Contact your Ohio House Member and urge them to vote NO on HB 233.

Take Action

Dear Friend,

The House Federalism and Interstate Relations committee just passed HB 233, the “Get Out of Jail Free” Guns Everywhere bill, that would violate the rights of Ohio property owners by removing the penalty for concealed carry licensees that violate weapons-free zones.

In fact, under HB 233, licensees would face no penalty for intentionally entering a weapons-free zone with a hidden, loaded weapon, so long as they leave if they are caught.

The good news is that your voices are making a difference and Permitless Carry (HB 201) and the Surprise Gun Bill (HB 142) have stalled in the committee for now.

HB 233 could go to a floor vote as early as Thursday of this week. It’s incredibly important that you contact your Ohio House member now and urge them to vote NO against this bill.

Protect the school safety zones, government buildings, places of worship, institutes of higher education, day care centers, as well as businesses and workplaces that have made the decision to remain weapon free. Click here to make an impact now.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Thorne, Executive Director
Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence

Good news! SB 719, ERPO, moves on to House floor for a vote!

Ceasefire Oregon
Dear Friend,

Good news! SB 719, Extreme Risk Protection Order, was successfully voted out of the House Rules Committee and is now headed to the House Floor for a vote. The vote must happen soon because the session could end this Thursday or Friday.

We must make sure this bill is scheduled for a House vote.

say that you support SB 719 and SB 1065

Although SB 1065 has had procedural problems, we still hope the key aspects of this bill can be passed.

Both bills are critical to reducing gun violence in Oregon, especially in preventing suicide and domestic violence. Saving lives often depends on keeping guns out of the hands of those who would harm themselves or others. SB 719 and SB 1065 will give Oregonians the tools we need to do just that.

Oregonians cannot wait another year to protect our loved ones who might be suicidal and who are suffering from domestic violence. Please call today.

Thank you for your great work to reduce gun violence.

Best wishes for a safe and happy Fourth of July.

Penny, Joanne, and the entire Ceasefire Oregon Team

North Carolina: We won!

Jennifer —

Great news! We did it. The N.C. legislature has adjourned for now and they did not pass the permitless carry bill, HB 746.  It was because you called, emailed, wrote letters, and visited the General Assembly that this victory was possible. Thank you.

Because of you,18 year olds will not be allowed to carry a hidden loaded weapon in public and all who wish to carry a concealed weapon will have to go through 8 hours of classroom training and live fire training.  I don’t know about you but that makes me feel much safer walking around in public.

We also stopped campus carry and the elimination of our background check system on private handgun sales (pistol purchase permitting system).  You spoke and the General Assembly listened.

Thank you again,
Becky

PS – Stay tuned for future updates and action because legislators will be coming back to the General Assembly on August 3rd and September 6th.  These are for special sessions. We will be there every step of the way fighting to keep North Carolinians safe from gun violence.