ADL Welcomes White House Initiatives to Prevent Gun Violence

Calls On Congress and the States to Act

New York, NY, January 5, 2016 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today welcomed President Barack Obama’s announcement of a series of Executive actions designed to address gun violence and promote gun safety.

ADL reaffirmed its belief that a crucial way to limit the power of extremists and others who pose a violent threat to society is to enact effective gun control legislation.

Marvin D. Nathan, ADL National Chair, and Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO, issued the following statement:

It is long past the time when we can simply con­demn the Sandy Hook or Charleston or San Bernardino shooters and mourn the vic­tims. We owe it to those vic­tims and to our­selves to find a way to mean­ing­fully advance gun vio­lence pre­ven­tion efforts before the next tragedy.

For decades, we have supported  federal and state initiatives designed to raise awareness and make it more difficult for children and extremists to access guns, including more stringent background checks and waiting periods, restrictions on high-capacity ammunition clips, and a ban on the import and sale of assault weapons.

We are pleased that the President’s initiatives include research on new, safer technologies, bet­ter data col­lec­tion on the causes and pre­ven­tion of gun vio­lence, and efforts to close gaps in the cur­rent reg­u­la­tory sys­tem which allow the traf­fick­ing of ille­gal guns and may enable people with felony convictions, minors, per­sons with men­tal ill­ness and other pro­hib­ited per­sons to access firearms.

We can make these reforms without stig­ma­tizing those who suf­fer from men­tal illness or demo­nizing law­ful gun own­ers, and they definitely should not inspire more irre­spon­si­ble, historically inac­cu­rate and odi­ous analo­gies to Nazi Ger­many.

ADL released a new report today documenting that 2015 was the deadliest year for domestic extremist violence in the past 20 years. Overwhelmingly the extremist weapon of choice in 2015 – as in virtually every year – was firearms. Over the past 50 years, firearms in the hands of domestic extremists have killed far more Americans than have bombs, blades, chemical or biological weapons, or any other type of weapon.  In 2015, 48 of the 52 victims of extremist violence in the United States were killed by firearms – and all of the multiple murder incidents involved the use of one or more firearms.

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