Category: News

Extreme Risk Protection Orders, Coming to a State House Near You

Source: The Trace & Giffords Law Center. April 13, 2018

It has been a very busy two months for gun violence prevention champions across the country. In addition to coordinating walkouts, marches, town halls, and new activist trainings, many of our affiliates are racing the clock to pass life-saving legislation before regular legislative sessions end.

Since the February 14, 2018 tragedy at Parkland, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have been under immense public pressure to pass measures to prevent mass shootings and help students feel safe at school. In statehouses around the country, there is growing bipartisan consensus that Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) can save lives by giving law enforcement and family members a vital tool to prevent tragedies before a shot is ever fired.

In many cases of gun violence, such as mass shootings and suicide, the shooter exhibits warning signs before a tragedy occurs. For example, the Parkland gunman was long known to law enforcement as troubled and a threat, but law enforcement was powerless to intervene. ERPO laws, also known as Gun Violence Restraining Orders or “red flag laws,” allow family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that an individual poses a serious threat of violence to themselves or others. Family members and law enforcement are often in the best position to recognize the warning signs of violence and creating an ERPO will provide a tool to prevent a tragedy before it’s too late.

Five states had ERPO laws prior to this year: California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon, and Washington. Red flag bills have been introduced in 28 states this legislative session and have received a warm reception by Republicans and Democrats alike. Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a red flag bill on March 9, 2018, and Republican Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed an ERPO bill into law on April 11, 2018.

In the final days of the legislative session, States United affiliate Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence passed an ERPO bill in addition to a bump stock ban, oversight of the Handgun Permit Review Board, and funding for gun violence prevention programs. It should come as no surprise that the leaders of the Maryland group, Jen Pauliukonis and Liz Banach, were named “Winners of the 2018 General Assembly.”

Our Massachusetts affiliate Stop Handgun Violence just cleared an important hurdle on April 13, 2018 when an ERPO bill received unanimous support from the Joint Committee on Public Safety. Want to know the status of ‘red flag’ laws across the country? The Trace has got you covered.

Finally, have you seen our new resource featuring quotes from conservative voices supporting ERPO laws? Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, and even the NRA’s Chris Cox are on the record supporting this targeted and effective tool for law enforcement to keep our communities safe.


Math. History. Science. Guns??

Wisconsin’s “guns everywhere” lawmakers are at it again.

This time, they’re proposing shooting classes as part of the high school curriculum!

>>Click here to tell your legislators to keep the gun industry out of our schools by rejecting AB 427.

Let’s be really clear about the purpose of this legislation: Introducing kids to guns at an early age means more money for the gun industry. The National Shooting Sports Foundation determined that the average target shooter spends about $75,000 over his lifetime, if he is recruited by the age of 16.

And, in case you have any doubt this is purely about gun industry profits, check this out: Jim Sable founded USA High School Clay Target League “after watching the average age at his gun club jump to the mid-fifties.” Worried about the trend, he thought, Why not go to the schools? That’s where the money is.”

AB 427 will have a committee hearing on August 3 at 11 am. We will send you more info about the hearing soon.
Right now, it’s critical that you let the committee chairs and your legislators know our kids’ education and safety is far more important than gun industry profits!

Get loud,


Every Three Hours

States United
It is a known fact that every gun in the hands of a child must first pass through the hands of an adult. Here in America, one out of three homes with children has a gun, many kept unlocked or loaded. Every year thousands of kids are killed and injured as a result through homicides, suicides, and unintentional shootings.

With our new PSA “Every Three Hours,” we’re highlighting the impact of gun violence on kids, parents, and the medical community to encourage the frank conversations about guns that can save kids lives.

Gun violence is complicated, but keeping guns secured and out of the hands of kids is not. Guns can be stored more safely by keeping them unloaded and locked up, using a gun safe/trigger lock, and keeping bullets in a separate locked location. Storing guns responsibly means fewer guns being carried into our schools, fewer tween and teen firearms suicides, and fewer unintentional child shootings.

Click here to watch the video, commit to protecting kids, and share “Every Three Hours” with 3 friends.


Julia Wyman

Executive Director – States United to Prevent Gun Violence

Northstar Public Health Conference on Gun Violence

Protect Minnesota, along with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, the Nobel Peace Prize Forum, and the Minnesota Public Health Association, are pleased to invite you to participate in the Northstar Public Health Conference on Gun Violence.

Gun violence is a pervasive negative influence in America today, stealing lives, devastating families, oppressing communities, and costing Minnesota over $2 billion every year.

Every community is impacted by gun violence. While gun homicide presents a seemingly intractable challenge in some urban communities, three-quarters of gun deaths in Minnesota and similar states are suicides, which occur disproportionately in rural areas. Nationally, gun violence claims over 33,000 American lives every year—as many as are lost to the opioid epidemic.

Although often portrayed as a political issue with no remedy, the Northstar Conference will focus on gun violence as an array of inter-related public health problems that can be solved through integrated, community-based responses. The Conference will explore the causes and characteristics of gun violence in various populations, and present emerging research and best practices related to mental illness, suicide, urban violence, domestic violence, and law enforcement.

Workshop topics will address gun violence and racial and ethnic disparities

  • suicide risk factors among youth, veterans, seniors, and the LGBT community
  • domestic violence risk assessment
  • mass incarceration
  • gun violence in the media
  • community policing strategies
  • legislation and public policy
  • pastoral care

Participation in the Northstar Conference will be helpful to policy makers, public health and mental health professionals, physicians, nurses, social workers, law enforcement personnel, educators, community leaders, clergy, gun violence prevention advocates, and the media. This Conference is eligible for continuing education credits; Certificates of Attendance will be awarded.

We are also calling for presentation proposals and seeking sponsors. Click on Conference Info below for more information.

Maine’s gun violence problem

We are still devastated by the recent domestic violence mass shooting in Madison that claimed the lives of Lori Hayden, 52, Michael Spaulding, 57, and Dustin Tuttle, 25, and left Harvey Austin, 57, wounded.

On the morning of July 5, 2017, police announced that multiple people were shot and killed in Madison and Skowhegan. As someone who has dedicated my professional life to researching strategies to reduce gun violence, I was heartbroken but I can’t say that I was surprised. As details emerged, my initial suspicions were sadly confirmed – a middle-aged white male with a history of violence shot and killed his wife who was trying to escape his repeated abuse. We’ve seen this scenario far too many times before.

Approximately half of all homicides in Maine are related to domestic violence. As long as Maine continues to have weak gun laws and fails to adequately address the high rates of violence against women in our communities, this won’t be the last tragedy that shatters lives in Maine.

Mainers are resilient by nature, but Madison and Skowhegan will never be the same after this tragedy. Imagine being the mother of Dustin’s two-year-old daughter and having to explain why this innocent girl will never see her father or grandmother again. “I don’t think she understands that she’s never going to see them anymore, so we’re taking it day-by-day,” Leanna Gosselin said. “It’s hard to explain to a 2-year-old that the two people that she cared about the most besides me are now gone, and she can’t just see them or talk to them on the phone.”

recent article by three leaders at the Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence reminds all of us that “To end domestic abuse and violence, we need to move beyond awareness to true understanding. We need to look beyond the symptoms and understand the patterns of behaviors in which abusers engage and the belief systems that lead to those behaviors.”

Regina Rooney, Francine Garland Stark, and Samaa Abdurraqib explain that “In seeking to understand domestic violence homicide, we too often look at the symptoms – extreme jealousy, aggressive behavior, the use of drugs or alcohol – rather than the cause. But the explanation lies in the fact that the killer – who is, in most cases, a man – deeply believes that he has the right to control his partner’s life, up to and including whether the partner lives or dies. When that control is threatened, as often happens when the partner is trying to end the relationship, that abuser believes he has the right to decide if his partner gets to exist without him.”

Maine Gun Safety Coalition is committed to moving beyond awareness and participating in much-needed conversations about preventing domestic violence homicides. I hope you will join us.

Nick Wilson
Executive Director, Maine Gun Safety Coalition

P.S. In the days following the Madison shooting, we heard several comments about this tragedy being a rare incident. It may have been the deadliest mass shooting in Maine since 2015, but not a day goes by without gun violence being in Maine newspapers. We will continue to follow this tragedy closely as more information is released, but we will also remind our elected officials that it is time we admit that Maine has a gun violence problem. In addition to this high-profile shooting, there were eight other gun violence incidents reported in Maine over a three-week period:

  • On July 11, 2017, Willis Moulton, 74, was intoxicated and pointed a handgun at his wife in Scarborough.
  • On July 4, 2017, Ibn Welch, 21, was arrested in Old Orchard Beach after he allegedly brandished a handgun during an argument on a public basketball court.
  • On July 2, 2017, Ryan Willis, 28, was arrested in Skowhegan after allegedly waving a handgun at neighbors and threatening to shoot them. According to police, Willis was “highly intoxicated and not making much sense.”
  • On July 2, 2017, Aaron Preseton, 26, was arrested in Limington for firing his gun while fireworks were being set off on the same property. He appeared intoxicated and was subdued by law enforcement with a Taser after he refused to submit to their custody.
  • On July 1, 2017, Noel Holmes, 42, of Arundel fired a shot at a man who attempted to return an A/C unit he bought from Holmes through Craigslist.
  • On June 27, 2017, an unidentified Orland man shot and killed himself.
  • On June 26, 2017, a 20-month-old Winn girl was shot and injured.
  • On June 23, 2017, Amber Libbey, 22, of St. George, shot and injured herself when she picked up a loaded 9-millimeter handgun and it unintentionally discharged.

5 Years Later: Remember Aurora.

5 Years Later: Remembering Aurora. Five years ago this week, hundreds of people gathered at an Aurora theater to watch a midnight movie premiere. About 30 minutes into the film, a gunman entered from a side door, threw out two canisters of smoke/gas and then began firing into the audience. Twelve were killed and another seventy were injured, including 3 in a nearby theater. The carnage only ended when the magazine on the gunman’s assault rifle jammed. And variations of this story occur every day in communities across our country. States United and our 32 independent state affiliates are committed to honoring all victims and survivors of gun violence with action, as we take on the corporate gun lobby in cities and states across the nation.

New Data: 4 Out of 10 “Self Defense” Handguns Owners Have Received No Formal Firearms Training. Training requirements for carrying guns in public are incredibly important, but an alarming number of gun owners say they have never had any formal training. This paper show why the corporate gun lobby’s plan to gut permitting standards nationwide through national Concealed Carry “Reciprocity” legislation and a flurry of Permitless Carry bills in the states is so outrageous. Learn more here.

#NRA2DOJ: Gun Violence Prevention Activists Marched in DC and in Solidarity Events in the States. Despite the sweltering heat last weekend, hundreds of gun violence prevention activists came together in Washington, DC to& demand justice for Philando Castile and call out the NRA’s racism and hypocrisy. Activists rallied in front of the NRA Headquarters and made an 18-mile trek to the Department of Justice in an event organized by the Women’s March and supported by a broad coalition of gun violence prevention groups with solidarity events taking place across the nation. Check out the Facebook live video of the rally at the DOJ that followed the march.

Beyond Physical: The Impact of Gun Violence on Communities. A new report from the Violence Policy Center and the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles presents details how people living in violent communities are at increased risk for a broad range of negative health and behavior outcomes. For gun violence prevention, evidence suggests that living in violent communities makes it even harder to break intergenerational cycles of violence. Research has also shown that exposure to the trauma of community violence is uniquely linked to development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), especially among children and teens. Read more and access the report here.

Upcoming Michigan Events


Today, July 20, marks five years since the horrific shooting at Aurora. Five years since twelve were killed and 70 more wounded at a movie theater. Five years in which we have suffered countless shootings at schools, churches, community centers, night clubs, homes, businesses and on our streets. Five years in which Congress — and the state legislature in Lansing — have failed to act to make our communities safer.

The victims and survivors of Aurora deserve better and more. They deserve action. They deserve voices raised in protest against the silence and inaction of our leaders.

Every day that passes with another 92 lives lost to gun violence, every year that we add solemn, horrific anniversaries to the calendar, should be to our shame.

MCPGV is fortunate to have Sandy Anglin Phillips and Lonnie Phillips with us in Michigan this month. Please join Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence at one of the following events to meet them, hear their story and learn how you might honor with action those who died at Aurora and all victim/survivors of gun violence.

July 23LansingFellowship for Today, 611 Kalamazoo, 5:30pm

July 24KalamazooCoalition for Common Ground, 315 S. Rose, KPL, 5:30pm

July 25Ann ArborAnn Arbor Orthodox Minyan, Beth Israel Congregation, Jewish Community Center Ann Arbor, Jewish Federation of Greater Ann Arbor, MomsRising, Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence, Temple Beth Emeth, Everytown/Moms Demand Action, Jewish Cultural Society, Temple Beth Israel, 2309 Packard Rd, 7pm

July 28East LansingMCPGV, 235 Maplewood, 6pm

With you, we are working every day to honor them with action, to demand more in their names and in their memories. We ask you to remember and to pledge to demand more and to do more.

Thank you,

Linda Brundage, Ed.D.
Executive Director, Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence