January 10th Bill Introduction, Universal Background Checks

So far, 78 people have RSVPed for the January 10th Bill Introduction Press img_5784Conference. We need a lot more! If you haven’t yet RSVPed, please do so! We need you. If you’ve already signed up, convince a few friends to come with you. This is our chance to show lawmakers that public support for Universal Background Checks is strong — and that the polls numbers really do translate into in-person support. It’s the only way we’re going to be able to make progress.

A date for the Universal Background Check Bill Introduction and Press Conference has been set! This is where your presence in-person is invaluable. Mark your calendars now, and RSVP here!

WHEN

January 10, 2017 at 12pm – 3pm

WHERE

Statehouse

The schedule:
12:00pm – Lunch with your representatives in the Statehouse cafeteria
12:45pm – Press conference in the Cedar Creek Room
1:30pm – 3:00pm  – Strategic Organizing Meeting in Room 10

If you live far from Montpelier, don’t let yourself be daunted by the drive. We’ll have carpools coming from every corner of the state. Together we’ll show lawmakers how strong the support for Universal Background Checks is!

RSVP here!

We need to come together and show up!

Thank you,
Ann

Ann Braden

President, Gun Sense Vermont

Ann Braden
http://www.gunsensevt.org/

Background Checks aren’t a partisan issue

Hi Friends,

3 years ago: Few lawmakers felt comfortable talking about gun laws
Yesterday: Political leader after political leader stood up and called for Universal Background Checks.

August 4 Rally
Vermont Statehouse Rally

“This is a sea change,” said Senator Phil Baruth.
“It’s a new day,” said Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger.
“We’re not taking away any rights. We’re giving people their lives,” said House Speaker Shap Smith.
“Background Checks aren’t a partisan issue,” said Republican Representative Patti Komline.

One speaker after another. Senator Sirotkin, Matt Dunne, Sue Minter, Peter Galbraith, Kesha Ram, David Zuckerman, Senate President Pro-Tem John Campbell, Senator McCormack, Amy Brady of Voice for Vermont’s Children, and Clai Sommers, a powerful survivor. It was inspiring. And surreal.

This is a key turning point, but more work is needed. Tuesday’s primary will launch the final push to election day, and we need our volunteer teams ready to dive in and support candidates who support background checks. Many people signed up for their local teams at last night’s rally, but we need even more people to sign up if our teams are going to be strong enough.

Click HERE to Join your Local Team!

You can read more about the rally in the Burlington Free Press, in Seven Days, or in VTDigger. Thank you for all of you who came out and beared the hot sun! I bet you all left there like I did: dehydrated, but reinvigorated!

This is the time! This is our chance! Let’s make this happen!
Ann

Ann Braden

President, Gun Sense Vermont

http://www.gunsensevt.org/

Yesterday’s Senate Vote: The Takeaway

Dear Friends,GunsenseVT

It’d be great if the U.S. Senate could act in line with what 90% of Americans want, but yesterday wasn’t the day. At least in Vermont we can be proud that both our Senators voted in favor of universal background checks and the “No Fly, No Buy” bill. Below is a powerful press release about Senator Leahy’s leadership on this issue, as well as a C-Span clip of his remarks yesterday in the Senate chamber. He has heard our voices clearly.

However, the takeaway from yesterday is not that progress is impossible. Instead, it means that the need for action at the state level is even more important. This is the time for us to rally behind our local candidates for state rep who support universal background checks and push back against those who don’t. You can donate your time or donate money to the cause, but choose one and show your commitment to making real progress on this issue.

To donate your time and be part of a volunteer team in support of candidates (with letter writing, helping with mailings, visibility events, or phone calling), click HERE.

To donate money to the GunSenseVT Victory Fund PAC to help support these candidates financially, click HERE.

Together, we will show the senators blocking basic gun reform that their inaction only drives us to take more action. They do NOT have the final say about gun laws in this country.

Thank you!the-u.s.capitol-dome-96
Ann

Ann Braden

President, Gun Sense Vermont

Here is the C-SPAN clip from yesterday in the Senate (Senator Leahy’s remarks start around 23:20).

And here is the press release about Senator Leahy:

One Week After Mass Shooting In Orlando, Leahy Urges Senators To Support Common Sense Legislation To Make Our Communities Safer

. . . On The Senate Floor, Leahy Responds To Vermont Teen’s Heartfelt Letter After The Orlando Massacre

WASHINGTON (Monday, June 20, 2016) – A Vermont teen recently penned an open letter urging Senator Leahy and all Senators to “do something. Something big,” in response to the mass shooting in Orlando that took 49 innocent lives.  The letter was written by a Vermont teenager named Ella Staats, and it appeared in the Vermont Digger as part of the Young Writers Project.

On Monday, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) took to the Senate floor to respond to Ms. Staats and all Americans who are calling on Congress to reform the nation’s gun laws.

“I want you to know that I have been working for years to find practical solutions that will stop the gun violence that continues to touch every corner of our country.  But I bet that the last thing you want is a list of all the bills I have written or voted for but have not passed.  You want to know how we are going to overcome the well-funded opposition to passage of laws that will reduce gun violence,” Leahy said.

Leahy, who last week joined an unscheduled floor discussion led by Senate Democrats to force a debate and votes on gun safety issues, reiterated his call for action hours before the Senate was poised to consider legislation to close loopholes in the background check system and prevent terrorists from obtaining firearms.

“I hope the votes that I cast on your behalf tonight demonstrate that I hear you and I agree that we must act to prevent the next Orlando,” he said.  “Ella, thank you for doing that – for speaking out and for holding us accountable.”

 

In the wake of the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Leahy convened three high profile hearings of the Judiciary Committee on the issue of preventing gun violence.  The committee also reported four common sense bills under Leahy’s leadership including legislation to improve and expand the background check system, ban assault weapons, improve school safety, and combat the practice of straw purchasing and illegal trafficking in firearms.

 

Earlier this year, Leahy reintroduced the bipartisan Stop Illegal Trafficking in Firearms Act to make clear that the straw purchasing and trafficking of firearms are federal crimes.  The legislation strengthens ineffective laws exploited by criminals including the San Bernardino shooters to obtain firearms through a straw purchaser.

 

“In the wake of mass gun violence, whether the victims are members of the LGBT community, African American church parishioners, first graders in an elementary school, college students, military service members or others in our community, we are called as Americans to come together in solidarity,” Leahy said.  “We must come together to enact real solutions that will prevent further acts of senseless violence. 

Senator Leahy’s full remarks are available online.

Call Now! Support Gun Legislation

GunsenseVTDear Friends,

It is especially important that your Senators hear that you support s.141.  Their vote is particlularly important in ensuring the success of this bill which will most likely be voted on tomorrow.  The opposition is making calls and we need to do the same today.

It is a very easy process. Simply call the Sargeant at Arms and tell them your town and county and that you support s. 141.  The number is (802)-828-2228 or 1-800-322-5616.

If you can send me an email that you have made the call that would be wonderful.  elissa@gunsensevt.org

Thank you!

Elissa Bhanti, GunSenseVT
http://www.gunsensevt.org/

Gun Sense VT Act Now!

GunsenseVT

Dear Friends,
I’m thrilled to announce that S. 31 has been officially introduced in the Senate. That means that it’s crucial that right now we all send a quick, personal e-mail to our lawmakers letting them know that we support it. (Senators’ and representatives’ e-mails are here.) This bill has three key parts, like three legs of a stool that work together to help keep guns out of the wrong hands:

  1. Criminal background checks on unlicensed sales of firearms
  2. A state law prohibiting violent felons from possessing guns (this would give local law enforcement the authority to prosecute violations)
  3. The timely submission of relevant court records to the National Instant Background Check System when a person has been adjudicated as being a danger to themself or others

If you’re interested in reading the bill in its entirely, you can see it here.

It is a huge accomplishment to have gotten this far, and looking ahead our work is cut out for us. While there area number of lawmakers who are fully supportive of this bill, there are many who are:

1. Not sure Vermont has a problem that this bill would address.
2. Wary that their constituents might not be supportive since they often only hear from the voices against any reform.

It’s up to US to help lawmakers see that this bill is necessary to help address our domestic violence problem and prevent other dangerous individuals from having easy access AND that their constituents support it!

This will require us all to make a commitment to reach out to our lawmakers on an ongoing basis. If they hear our polite and persistent collective voices day after day, democracy will work the way it should, and a bill that has 81% of Vermonters in support will get passed.

The First Step: E-mail your lawmakers right now to show your support of S. 31 and encourage them to watch our new ad that highlights gun owners standing up for background checks.
To help you do this:

The Next Step: On Monday we’re going to begin a two-week Fact-of-the-Day campaign in which we’ll focus on one key fact each day to underscore why this legislation is necessary. We’ll send you a quick e-mail in the morning with the daily fact, and then all you need to do is turn around and e-mail it to your lawmakers. The fact itself will be powerful, but it will be even more powerful coming from a constituent.

Quick, personal e-mails only take a few minutes each day, but they could EASILY be the determining factor that will make this bill successful.

You have the power to make the difference!

Together we can do this!
Ann

P.S. The daily fact e-mails are designed to make it easy for you to stay informed and speak up. However, if you don’t want to receive these emails and do want to continue to receive general GunSenseVT emails, please just e-mail us, and we’ll remove you from this specific list. Thanks!

GunSenseVT · PO Box 2533, Brattleboro, VT 05303, United States
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Gun Sense VT Video

Putney Friends Meeting Minute 2014.03.01; Minute on the Prevention of Gun Violence.

Live in “the virtue of that life and power that takes away the occasion for all wars.”

George Fox (1624- 1691)

This applies to all violence including gun violence. Violence is a reflection of the ills of society. We challenge ourselves and others to look at the depth of this issue so we can address the heart of the matter. 

Ann Braden from GunSense VT joined a group of Friends/friends at Putney Friends Meeting on January 18th to share the story of her work in founding this organization. Below is a link to a video explaining what they are trying to accomplish here in Vermont.

Please feel free to share this…