What You Can Do Right Now to Reduce Gun Violence

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) recommend five actions you can take to stop gun violence:

1. GET EDUCATED

  • Learn about the unique problem of gun violence in America and share the facts with your friends, family, and social media followers. We are committed to addressing gun violence in all its forms — from suicide to intimate partner homicide to the shootings that never make headlines.
  • There were over 38,000 gun deaths in 2016; about 60% of these deaths were suicide by firearm and 37% were homicides. Read our fact sheets on firearm suicide and firearm homicide in the U.S.
  • We have published reports based on the best available scientific evidence, which include federal and state policy recommendations to reduce gun violence. We recently released a report on lethal means counseling and the emerging role of healthcare provider training programs in firearm suicide prevention.
  • We worked with scientific experts to develop the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), a law that allows law enforcement and family members to temporarily remove firearms from a loved one in crisis. ERPO-style laws have passed in Connecticut, Indiana, California, Oregon, and Washington, and is based on data-driven behavioral risk factors for dangerousness rather than a diagnosis. Focusing on behavior helps identify individuals at risk of violence towards themselves or others without unfairly stigmatizing those living with mental illness, the vast majority of whom will never be violent.

2. GET POLITICALLY ENGAGED

  • Make sure you are registered to vote and then vote for candidates who support gun violence prevention at the local, state, and federal level.
  • Register your friends and family to vote and make sure they are voting for candidates who support gun violence prevention.
  • Vote against candidates who have accepted support — contributions, endorsements, independent spending — from the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun lobby groups.
  • Run for office on gun violence prevention.

3. CONTACT YOUR FEDERAL LEGISLATORS

  • Call and write your senators and representative and urge them to support gun violence prevention legislation. Urge your representative to:
  • Co-sponsor the Gun Violence Research Act (H.R. 1478), which would repeal the ban on CDC-Funded gun violence research. In 1996, Rep. Jay Dickey (R-Ark.) helped pass an amendment such that “none of the funds made available for injury prevention and control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may be used to advocate or promote gun control.” As a result, funding for all gun violence-related research plummeted and research was curtailed.
  • Co-sponsor the Closing the Bump-Stock Loophole Act (H.R.4168), which will ban bump stocks & other deadly accessories.
  • Co-sponsor and support the bipartisan Fix NICS Act (S.2135), which will strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) by ensuring federal authorities and states comply with the law and sand accurately report records.
  • Oppose Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (S.446), which would allow individuals allowed to carry a concealed handgun in one state to be able to carry into or possess a concealed handgun in different state, regardless of the other states’ firearm laws.

4. CONTACT YOUR STATE LEGISLATORS AND URGE THEM TO ENACT ERPO-STYLE LAWS

  • Research to find out if your state has already introduced ERPO-style legislation this legislative session.
  • If they have, support their efforts! If you have concerns about their legislation, voice them!
  • If not, urge your legislator to enact ERPO-style laws (See Get Educated section).

5. JOIN US

  • Join CSGV and the Ed Fund on social media. Follow CSGV on Facebook and Twitter and the Ed Fund on Facebook and Twitter. To stay informed, sign up for CSGV’s email list at csgv.org/signup.
  • As small non-profit organizations, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence depends on donations from individuals who join us in making communities safer. Please consider donating by visiting www.csgv.org/donate or www.efsgv.org/donate to make a tax-deductible gift. Your donation will allow us to continue translating the best available research into evidence-based policies that will ultimately save lives. Every gift makes a difference.
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