A waiting period law requires a certain number of days to pass between the purchase of a gun and when the buyer can actually take possession of that gun. This creates a buffer between someone having a suicidal crisis and access to a gun.
Background Checks on All Gun Sales
Background checks are the foundation of any comprehensive gun violence prevention strategy. Current federal law requires that background checks be conducted whenever a person attempts to buy a gun from a licensed gun dealer. This is to ensure that the buyer is not legally prohibited from having the gun.
Extreme Risk Laws
When a person is in crisis and considering harming themselves or others, family members and law enforcement are often the first people to see the warning signs. Extreme Risk laws, sometimes referred to as “Red Flag” laws, allow loved ones or law enforcement to intervene by petitioning a court for an order to temporarily prevent someone in crisis from accessing guns.
Close the Charleston Loophole
Under federal law, gun purchases may move forward by default after three business days—even if a background check has not been completed. While 90% of federal background checks are completed in minutes, those that take longer than three business days are four times as likely to be denied.
Block Concealed Carry Reciprocity
Federal concealed carry reciprocity (CCR) legislation would gut state standards for who may carry hidden, loaded handguns in public. CCR would force each state to recognize the concealed carry standards from every other state, even those that have dramatically weaker standards—and those that don’t require any permit at all.
Require Prohibited People to Turn in Their Guns
Requiring people to turn in their guns when they become legally prohibited from having them helps keep guns out of the wrong hands. Under federal law, there is no affirmative requirement that people who are prohibited from having guns turn in firearms that they already have.
Strong Standards for Carrying Concealed Guns in Public
Carrying guns in public is a tremendous responsibility. States should set strong minimum standards for carrying concealed guns in public to ensure that people who are too dangerous or irresponsible to carry guns in our communities are blocked from doing so.
Secure Gun Storage
Gun owners can make their homes and communities safer by storing their guns securely. This means storing them locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. Securing firearms protects children and adults by preventing unintentional shootings and gun suicides.
Prohibit People With Dangerous Histories From Having Guns
People with dangerous histories should be prohibited from having guns. Federal law prohibits gun possession by certain categories of people. States also set standards for who is too dangerous to have guns. People prohibited by federal or state law will fail a background check if they try to buy a gun from a licensed dealer.
Gun Owner Safety Training
States should require a person to complete safety training prior to purchasing a gun or carrying a gun in public. Training ensures that gun owners are educated on the responsible practices for handling and using firearms, storing them securely at home, as well as carrying guns in public.
Gun Dealer Reform
Laws on how gun stores conduct their business have not been strengthened since the 1960s. Congress should pass comprehensive gun dealer reform.
Educate Gun Owners of Risks
It is critical that gun buyers and permit applicants are given safety information. Requiring gun dealers to inform purchasers of the risks associated with firearms allows buyers to make educated decisions about owning and storing guns and is a meaningful step towards preventing gun violence.
Guns and hate are a fatal combination. In an average year, more than 10,300 hate crimes in the United States involve a firearm—more than 28 each day. In most of the US, some people convicted of hate crimes can still legally buy and have guns. Congress and state legislatures should pass laws that keep guns out of the hands of those who have been convicted of hate crimes.
Threat Identification and Assessment Programs in Schools
The most important thing that schools can do to prevent active shooter incidents—and gun violence overall—is to intervene before a person commits an act of violence. Threat assessment and identification programs allow schools to intervene to address potential violent behavior.
Smart Guns and Gun Safety Features
A personalized—or “smart”—gun is a firearm that employs authorized-use technology, like the thumb scan or passcode available on many smartphones, to turn stolen guns and guns accessed by children into harmless pieces of steel. If widely implemented, it would be a game-changer for keeping guns out of the hands of children and criminals.
Prohibit Guns in Sensitive Areas
All fifty states and the District of Columbia allow civilians to carry concealed guns in public places. Laws differ in each state, but certain sensitive areas are always unsafe for guns.
Require Permits to Carry Concealed Guns in Public
It is legal to carry a concealed handgun in public in all 50 states. States have traditionally required a person to have a permit to carry a loaded, concealed handgun in public. States should not allow the carry of concealed guns in public without one.
Report Lost and Stolen Guns
Requiring that lost and stolen guns be reported to law enforcement deters illegal gun trafficking. The reporting of these guns allows the police to respond more quickly to gun thefts and helps them identify tracking patterns.
Repeal Restrictions on Gun Trace Data
Since 2003, the Tiahrt Amendments have restricted law enforcement's ability to investigate and prosecute gun crimes. This data-blocking protects corrupt gun dealers and hinders law enforcement.
Stop Arming Teachers
To prevent tragedies we must implement strong school safety solutions, but arming teachers is not one of them. School shootings are chaotic and in these moments of chaos, we cannot ask teachers to stop a shooter, potentially a former student.
Block Silencer Deregulation
Silencers pose a significant danger in the wrong hands. They make it harder for bystanders or law enforcement to identify and react quickly to gunshots. Efforts to deregulate silencers should be blocked.
Stop Downloadable Guns
Downloadable guns, or 3-D printed guns, are serious threats to our communities. The key to stopping the spread of downloadable guns is to stop the spread of the computer code that is used to 3-D print the firearm or its parts.
Reconsider Active Shooter Drills
95% of American public schools drill students on lockdown procedures. Yet, there is almost no research affirming the value of these drills for preventing school shootings or protecting the school community when shootings do occur.
Prohibit Open Carry
Carrying firearms visibly in public, known as open carry, is a dangerous policy. It is exploited by white supremacists and opposed by law enforcement and the public. Members of hate groups regularly openly carry guns in a show of intimidation.