Mucarsel-Powell, Local Gun Violence Survivors & Advocates Introduce NEW Legislation To Combat Gun Trafficking
Communities Of Color Disproportionately Suffer The Consequences Of Gun Violence, Mucarsel-Powell's Bill Would Help Combat It
Washington, September 1, 2020
MIAMI, FL – On Tuesday, September 1, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26), Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, who lost her father to gun violence, introduced the Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act, legislation to curb the illegal trafficking of firearms and prevent gun violence.
“Gun violence and its tragedies continue to plague our nation. It doesn’t stop because of a pandemic,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “I’ve heard the stories of gun violence in our communities and the heart break that it causes. This commonsense bill aims to keep guns off of our streets and out of our neighborhoods. Gun dealers are the last line of defense in identifying and stopping fraudulent or dangerous firearm purchases, and my legislation holds them responsible. I urge my colleagues to join me and push this legislation through Congress as soon as possible.”
“The Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act creates common-sense standards for gun dealers by building upon best practices that keep guns out of the hands of those who should not have them," said Brady President Kris Brown. "Gun dealers are the gatekeepers of our nation’s gun safety laws, ensuring that guns are not trafficked, or sold to someone in crisis or intending to do harm. By working with these dealers, providing them with tools and training to reduce incidents of straw purchasing or dangerous sales, and holding them accountable for their actions, this bill will save lives all across this country and particularly in Black and Brown communities that are disproportionately impacted by gun violence fueled by gun trafficking. Brady thanks Rep. Mucarsel-Powell for her leadership on this critically important issue.”
The Firearms Retailer Code of Conduct Act requires gun dealers and employees to regularly complete training to identify fraudulent and illegal purchases. Straw purchases, for example, where a buyer purchases a gun on behalf of another, are the most common starting point of trafficked firearms. These guns are moved through trafficking supply chains or directly to individuals who are otherwise prohibited from purchasing them. Gun dealers and their employees play a critical role in stopping the cycle of gun violence in our communities and they must be held responsible.
Communities of color disproportionately suffer the pain and consequences of gun violence. Data shows that 89% of all gun homicides occur in urban communities and 73% of all gun homicide victims are Hispanic or Black. Nationally, Hispanic Americans are nearly twice as likely than white Americans to die from gun homicide, and Black Americans are ten times as likely compared to white Americans.
Mucarsel-Powell introduced this bill on a press call with Kris Brown, President of Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence; Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter, Jaime, in the Parkland shooting; Romania Dukes, founder of Mothers Fighting For Justice who lost her son, De’Michael, to gun violence; Manuel Oliver, Founder of Change the Ref who lost his son, Joaquin, at the Parkland shooting; and Isabella D’Alacio, a representative from March For Our Lives.
The bill is endorsed by Brady: United Against Gun Violence; Everytown for Gun Safety & Moms Demand Action; March for Our Lives; Newtown Action Alliance; Orange Ribbons for Gun Safety; and Change the Ref.