Statement of Principles


  • Every day in the United States, approximately 300 people—including 65 children and teens—are injured or killed with guns in murders, assaults, suicides, and accidents;
  • Among high-income countries, the United States accounts for 80% of all firearm deaths—including 86% of women killed by firearms, and 87% of all children up to age of 14 killed byfirearms;
  • Gun violence disproportionately affects minority populations. For example, from 2005–2007, the firearm homicide rate among males ages 10–24 years was highest for African-Americans with 55.5 deaths per 100,000 population. The next highest rate was for Latinos (17.3);
  • Gun violence drains our country of $100 billion every year in medical, criminal justice, and security costs;
  • An estimated 40% of U.S. gun sales occur without a criminal background check. Requiring background checks on all private sales of firearms can help reduce illegal gun trafficking;
  • While the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to keep and bear arms, the Court has also said that “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill” are both reasonable and constitutional.



That the organizations listed on this site believe it is a moral imperative to reduce death and injury from gunfire and endorse comprehensive and effective public policy measures such as those recommended by the International Association of Chiefs of Police Association (IACP) and other experts, including:

  • Keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and those with serious mental illness by closing gaps in the background check system, including requiring criminal background checks for all gun sales;
  • Supporting policies that enhance law enforcement’s ability to combat the flow of illegal guns into our communities and enforce existing gun laws;
  • Supporting new technologies to help law enforcement more effectively trace crime guns and supporting development of safety features to childproof guns;
  • Encouraging local efforts to prevent and reduce gun violence;
  • Urging firearms retailers to implement protocols aimed at preventing “straw purchases” and the sales of firearms to prohibited purchasers;
  • Fostering research to advance the public’s understanding of gun violence victimization and gun violence prevention.