Following Shootings at the University of Virginia and University of Idaho, 250+ Gun Violence Survivors Urge Senator Schumer To Add Gun Violence Prevention To Must-Pass Legislation During The Lame Duck

November 14, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Over 250 survivors of gun violence are sending a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urging him to prioritize gun violence prevention legislation during the lame-duck session. Specifically, survivors are demanding that Schumer heed President Joe Biden’s call and “try like the devil” to advance the bipartisan House-passed Assault Weapons Ban of 2021 by adding it to must-pass legislation before the end of the year.

From the letter:

“Throughout your career, you have stood with us to support reinstating the federal assault weapons ban. But as the Senate Majority Leader and a champion on this issue, we expect more than words. In this Congress, you have found creative ways to pass significant legislation by bringing together reluctant members of your own party and, at times, senators from the other side of the aisle.

As survivors of gun violence, we implore you to apply the same level of energy and tenacity to finding a pathway for banning assault weapons before the new year, chasing down every last opportunity to get these deadly guns off our streets and save lives.”

The letter was developed by the Time Is Now Coalition, a group of gun violence prevention organizations dedicated to ensuring lawmakers live up to their campaign promises on gun reform.

“While Senator Schumer has outlined a long list of legislative priorities for the lame-duck session, none are more important than preventing gun violence in our communities,” said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America. “We cannot and should not wait two years for a new Congress to get around to this issue. The Senate Majority Leader must apply his significant legislative skill to getting this life-saving legislation to the President’s desk before the end of the year.”

“It’s been ten years since a gunman with an AR-15 and high capacity magazines killed 20 children and six educators in Sandy Hook Elementary School in less than five minutes. Due to congressional inaction, weapons of war have devastated too many other communities in this nation from Parkland to Gilroy, Orlando to Las Vegas, Buffalo to Uvalde, Pittsburgh to Sutherland Springs, and El Paso to Highland Park. After a decade of mass shooting tragedies, the House of Representatives finally passed the ban in July after more families lost their children and loved ones. The time is now for the 117th Senate to ban assault weapons before the next mass shooting incident,” said Po Murray, co-founder and chairwoman of the Newtown Action Alliance.

Since President Biden took office in January 2021, 76,000 Americans have lost their lives to the worst gun violence epidemic in recent memory and another 65,000 have been injured. It’s time for immediate, forceful action.

According to data from the Gun Violence Archive, our nation has experienced at least 877 instances of gun violence involving assault weapons, resulting in over 453 deaths and 714 injuries, during the 117th Congress.

During his post-midterms press conference on Wednesday, President Biden promised to build on the progress he has made to address the gun violence crisis and urged the Senate to “try like the devil” to ban assault weapons.