Groups that advocate for greater gun-violence awareness and more funds dedicated to research on gun violence, including the group Moms Demand Action, held rallies across the country, including in the nation’s capital as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Week.
At the same time, Democratic members of Congress introduced several bills on the issue, including the Equal Access to Justice for Victims of Gun Violence Act, which seeks to allow victims of gun violence to sue manufacturers of firearms and ammunition. The legislation would also allow gun dealers and trade groups to be sued when a firearm is used.
“Americans are fed up with special interests avoiding accountability, and nowhere is that more painfully clear than the special immunities that gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers get in the form of a federal liability shield,” said Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-Miami), a co-sponsor of the bill. It was introduced on the third anniversary of the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, where 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded.
“This shield has protected the gun industry from meeting accountability standards that other industries must meet. As part of a comprehensive approach to reducing gun violence, it’s time we end the gun industry’s blanket immunity from their negligent actions, and allow victims of gun violence to pursue the justice they deserve.”
Another piece of legislation would allocate up to $50 million to the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health to conduct research on ways to prevent injuries and deaths from firearms.
Moms Demand Action — who wear orange as the color of gun control — tells South Florida Media Network that its goal is to advocate for new and stronger solutions to eliminate gun laws and loopholes that put families at danger with firearms. The group has a chapter in every state, and along with several other groups, including Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Students Demand Action, and the Everytown Survivor Network, is part of the largest gun-violence prevention coalition in the country, with nearly six million members and more than 350,000 donors.
Osman López-Barraza and William Prego are reporters in the South Florida Media Network’s Washington, D.C., Bureau.