23 Organizations to Deliver 28,000+ Petition Signatures to U.S. Department of Justice Thursday Protesting Grant to Gun Lobby Group
December 9, 2015
Gun violence prevention advocates outraged that Obama administration is funding Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation
Washington, DC—MomsRising and 22 gun violence prevention groups (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, Newtown Action Alliance, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Northwest Corner Committee for Gun Violence Prevention, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, Utah Parents Against Gun Violence, Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, Bergen County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, Stop Handgun Violence, Women Against Gun Violence, Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Safe Tennessee Project, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence and New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence) will deliver more than 28,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday protesting a grant to a Newtown, Connecticut-based gun lobby group, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF).
The separate (but similar) petitions organized by MomsRising and the gun violence prevention groups address DOJ’s award of a two-year, $2.4 million grant to NSSF to produce Project ChildSafe Safety Kits. The program has been beset with problems from the start. After hundreds of thousands of its gunlocks were recalled for being too weak, NSSF lost federal funding for Project ChildSafe in 2009. NSSF then scaled the program back, leading to complaints from police departments. In 2012, NSSF included information about its PAC in a “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” packet distributed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), putting ATF employees on the wrong side of a law that prohibits federal employees from assisting with political fundraising.
NSSF also lobbies aggressively against reforms that would prevent children from gaining unauthorized access to firearms, including Child Access Prevention laws and regulations that would require parents to store firearms safely in homes with children. NSSF has also supported lowering the age at which Americans can purchase firearms and carry them in public. Finally, NSSF opposes universal background checks, and has attempted to re-brand military-style assault rifles like the AR-15 and AK-47 as “modern sporting rifles.”
The groups sponsoring the petitions believe that DOJ should support programs that actually have a track record of reducing gun violence, including chronically underfunded community-based efforts like the Ceasefire program, which has shown great promise in urban areas in California and other states.
Po Murray, Chairman of the Newtown Action Alliance, said, “It seems we can’t go a day in this country without a mass shooting occurring. It is outrageous that, in this climate of violence, Congress would authorize the Obama Administration to give taxpayer money to a lobby that has fought against any and all attempts to prevent these tragedies. We will continue to follow the money trail to make sure taxpayer dollars are not being granted to the gun lobby for other programs.”
“It’s shocking that DOJ would give gun violence prevention money to the trade association for the firearms industry,” said Gloria Pan, a Senior Campaign Director at MomsRising, “rather than doing everything possible to make sure that community-based anti-violence programs are fully resourced.”
Information about Thursday’s petition delivery is as follows. The media is welcome to attend:
WHO: Representatives from MomsRising, Newtown Action Alliance, Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and 20 other gun violence prevention groups. Additionally, Tucson shooting survivor Pat Maisch will be joining us for the delivery.
WHAT: The delivery of over 28,000+ petition signatures to DOJ protesting a $2.4 million grant to NSSF
WHEN: Thursday, December 10, at 2:30PM EST
WHERE: Department of Justice headquarters at 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001
The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV can be found on Facebook and Twitter.