President Barack Obama presented a plan today to protect our children and communities by reducing gun violence.

Our nation has suffered too much at the hands of dangerous people who use guns to commit horrific acts of violence. As President Obama said following the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, “We won’t be able to stop every violent act, but if there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation, all of us, to try.”

Most gun owners are responsible and law-abiding, and they use their guns safely. We believe strongly believes that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to bear arms. But to better protect our children and our communities from tragic mass shootings like those in Newtown, Aurora, Oak Creek, and Tucson, there are four common-sense steps we can take right now.

From WhiteHouse.gov, the President’s plan includes:

  • closing background check loopholes to keep guns out of dangerous hands;
  • banning military-style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and taking other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence;
  • making schools safer; and
  • increasing access to mental health services.

 

“While no law or set of laws will end gun violence, it is clear that the American people want action,” President Obama said. “If even one child’s life can be saved, then we need to act. Now is the time to do the right thing for our children, our communities, and the country we love.”

Meanwhile in Tennessee

Even before seeing proposals, Republicans in Tennessee preemptively filed extreme proposals, including one that would block state law enforcement from working with federal authorities to enforce any unfunded new rules.

The Nashville Scene has more details:

To be more precise, the senator from Strawberry Plains has filed SB0040, which would prohibit the use of state or local funds in the enforcement of any new federal gun laws or regulations, unless federal funding is provided. The full text of the bill is here (in PDF form).

Protecting 2nd Amendment Rights & Reducing Gun Violence

We believe support for the 2nd Amendment goes hand-in-hand with keeping illegal guns out of the hands of criminals. The tragic story of an escaped felon killing police Chattanooga police Sgt. Tim Chapin is a chilling reminder of why we need common sense reforms to achieve this goal.

From The Chattanooga Times Free Press:

Sgt. Chapin was shot to death last year by a Colorado fugitive, an escaped felon, who after a botched robbery at a Brainerd Road pawn shop was running for his car, where he had stowed a M-4 assault rifle. He had bought that assault weapon just a few days earlier at the R.K. Gun Show in Chattanooga without having to pass a background check that, had it been run, would have shown him to be an escaped felon wanted for fresh armed robbery charges in Colorado.

In fact, Matthews bought the M-4 assault rifle at the gun show from a part-time, unofficial and unlicensed gun dealer, Kevin Dawson. He could have paid Dawson cash for the gun. Instead, he traded three handguns he had stolen in Colorado. Dawson, of course, didn’t know Matthews was wanted by Colorado authorities, because, thanks to Tennessee’s gun-show loophole, he didn’t have to run a background check for the sale. Nor was he interested, even if it were possible, to run a check on the handguns to see if they had been stolen.

Take Action

Tell your members of Congress and State Legislature loud and clear: Take action. We can reduce gun violence by strengthening laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and keep our families safe.

When you’re ready to make the call, follow the steps below.

Federal

1. Find contact information for your members of Congress.
Congress: Find your Representative
Senate: Find your Senators

2. Prepare what to say
Be ready to tell your members of Congress loud and clear: We need you to take action. We can reduce gun violence by strengthening common sense rules, like closing the gun show loophole, that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and keep our families safe.

3. Get on the phone
Don’t hesitate. Making a phone call is easy and it will not go unnoticed.
Make the ask: Will your member of Congress support common sense rules, like closing the gun show loophole, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

Tennessee Congressional Contact Information:

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)
(202) 224-4944
455 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: www.alexander.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=Email

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN)
(202) 224-3344
185 DIRKSEN SENATE OFFICE BUILDING WASHINGTON DC 20510
Web Form: www.corker.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?p=ContactMe

Congressman Phil Roe (R-01) – (202) 225-6356
Congressman John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-02) – (202) 225-5435
Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-03) – (202) 225-327
Congressman Scott DesJarlais (R-04) – (202) 225-6831
Congressman Jim Cooper (D-05) – (202) 225-4311
Congressman Diane Black (R-06) – (202) 225-4231
Congressman Marsha Blackburn (R-07) – (202) 225-2811
Congressman Stephen Fincher (R-08) – (202) 225-4714
Congressman Steve Cohen (D-09) – (202) 225-3265

State

1. Find contact information for Tennessee Governor and your members of the General Assembly.
Governor Haslam: Phone & Email Information
State House: Find your Representative
State Senate: Find your Senators

2. Prepare what to say
Be ready to tell our state leaders loud and clear: We need you to take action. We can reduce gun violence by strengthening common sense rules, like closing the gun show loophole, that would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people and keep our families safe.

3. Get on the phone
Don’t hesitate. Making a phone call is easy and it will not go unnoticed.
Make the ask: Will you support common sense rules, like closing the gun show loophole, to keep guns out of the hands of criminals?

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