Gun Violence Prevention Bill Advances as U.S. Senate Passes Cloture Motion
Gun Violence Prevention Bill Advances as U.S. Senate Passes Cloture Motion; Debate Expected to Last Up to 2 Weeks
KEY VOTE TO END GENERAL DEBATE AND MOVE ON TO AMENDMENTS AND FINAL PASSAGE PASSED, 68 - 31
On Thursday, April 11, 2013, the U.S. Senate, by a margin of 68 yeas to 31 nays, voted to end general debate by supporting a cloture motion and begin considering amendments to major gun violence prevention legislation,
S. 649, the Safe Communities, Safe Schools Act of 2013. This means that Senators will now begin considering amendments to this legislation, which already expands the background check requirement to almost all gun sales or transfers and enhances penalties for “straw gun purchases.” Two of the crucial NAACP-supported amendments to be considered will enact a permanent ban on military-style assault weapons and large ammunition magazine clips (those which fire more than 10 rounds without having to reload).
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT WE NOW LET OUR U.S. SENATORS KNOW THAT WE DEMAND SAFE, SANE, AND COMPREHENSIVE GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION LEGISLATION!
All-too easy access to guns and the resulting gun violence are a major problem in the United States today. This is especially true in communities of color. In the first 100 days since the horrors of the Sandy Hook mass shooting on December 14, 2012, more than 3,000 Americans were killed by guns. Based on data from the U.S. Center for Disease Control, shooting deaths will likely rise from over 22,000 in 2011 to 33,000 in 2015, surpassing the number of traffic fatalities, which are predicted to be around 32,000 that year. The leading cause of death among African American teens, ages 15 to 19 in 2008 and 2009 was gun-related homicide. African American children and teens were less than 15 percent of the total child population in 2008 and 2009 but accounted for 45 percent of all child and teen gun deaths. Black males ages 15-19 were eight times as likely as White males of the same age and two-and-a-half times as likely as their Hispanic peers to be killed in a gun related homicide in 2009.
Given the disproportionate murder and damage gun violence is having on our communities, the NAACP continues to advocate for a number of sane, sensible laws which will do a lot to eliminate the damage and devastation too often caused by gun violence. Specifically, we support initiatives to:
- Require universal background checks on all gun sales;
- Ban military-style semi automatic assault guns;
- Ban high capacity ammunition clips; and
- Enact tough new criminal penalties for straw purchasers and gun traffickers.
The NAACP strongly supports safe, sane and sensible efforts to curb the plague of gun violence which is causing such pain to our men, women, children, families, neighborhoods and communities. We strongly urge all Members of Congress to support these crucial life-saving proposals.