This special collection brings together evidence and insights from nonprofits, foundations, and research organizations working to understand the full impact of firearm use and gun violence in the US. By providing us with analyses of current state and federal laws as well as valuable data on suicides, homicides, accidents, and mass shootings, these organizations seek to inform sound public policy and to curb this ongoing public health epidemic.

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"Gun Violence" by M+R Glasgoz is licensed under CC 2.0

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Nonfiction Storytelling on Gun Violence in the United States: Where We've Been and Where We Can Go

October 1, 2021

Documentaries and other forms of non-fiction storytelling can play a critical role in challenging dangerous fantasies behind U.S. gun culture, exposing who is profiting from gun violence, and highlighting solutions that many people don't know about or don't believe actually work. Documentary storytelling can also give a platform to underrepresented voices and experiences of gun violence. How can filmmakers, funders, other media gatekeepers, and gun violence prevention organizations work together to enrich documentary storytelling in this space, expand narratives around gun violence, and spur systemic change? What are the challenges artists face in creating work related to gun violence — from funding an idea to collaborating with stakeholders? What are proven successful strategies and best practices for effective documentary film marketing, outreach, distribution, and impact campaigns relating to gun violence? 

Summer 2016 #FIGHT4AFUTURE Week of Action: Rising up to #DisarmHate in All Communities

August 2, 2016

Gun violence has no easy cure, but with the help of targeted policies and bills, America may one day see an end to one of its most fatal epidemics. While some politicians have steered away from these policies in favor of less polarizing issues, it is clear now more than ever that gun violence doesn't just affect one community, it affects the safety of our entire nation. With more than 33,000 people fatally shot each year, we must enact meaningful gun violence prevention solutions to create a better, safer future for our country. To help you work toward that future, Generation Progress has created an overview of the current federal gun violence prevention climate. From the conditions that lead to gun ownership to a quick overview of the most recent gun violence prevention bills and how they shape the who and what of guns — that is, who can buy guns and what kinds of guns can people buy — we hope to provide you with the information you need to get involved in the fight against gun violence.

Commonsense Solutions: State Gun Laws to Protect Kids from Unintended Shootings

June 24, 2015

This report provides a series of proposals that state legislators should enact in their states to help protect children from improperly stored firearms. These proposals include:Requiring adults to keep guns properly locked up or under their immediate control, whenever they have a reason to know a child is present or might have access to the area;Requiring gun dealers to ensure that all gun buyers, including buyers of rifles or shotguns, are provided with a gun lock or other safety device;Ensuring that appropriate safety information accompanies the sale or transfer of every gun by a licensed gun dealer;Prohibiting adults from allowing children to handle machine guns, even if they are supervised, due to the unusually dangerous nature of these weapons.This report provides arguments in support of these proposals, along with the legal and factual background for each proposal. It also provides a list of the features that make up a strong law on each topic. Too many families have needlessly suffered the horrific loss of a child due to an unsecured gun. It is our hope that this report will provide a "toolkit" for legislators and advocates who want to move forward to help prevent unintended gun deaths of children.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Expand Background Checks for Unlicensed Gun Sales

December 9, 2014

While most American gun owner take their responsibilities seriously, the constant news reports about shootings demonstrate that dangerous people can access guns too easily. These dangerous people often obtain guns through a gap in our nation's gun laws -- the loophole for unlicensed sales -- which enables many gun sellers to avoid conducting background checks. This report describes how criminals and other dangerous people exploit this loophole in the federal law. They know that, in many states, they can attend a gun show or search online and easily find people willing to sell a gun without a background check. It doesn't have to be this way. Requiring a background check before the sale or transfer of a gun is a commonsense solution to this problem that respects the rights of law-abiding, responsible gun owners, and protects public safety. As of December 2014, the following 18 states have extended a background check requirement to at least some unlicensed gun sales. This product provides arguments in support of this proposal, along with the legal and factual background. It also provides a list of the features of a strong law on this topic. It is our hope that this report will provide a "toolkit" for legislators and advocates who want to move forward with closing the loopholes in the background check system in their states and communities.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Divestment Toolkit: Your Guidebook To Organizing On Campus

October 15, 2014

What is "divestment"? Divestment is simply when an investor decides to sell their stock in a company. It's a decision that large and small investors make all the time, for all kinds of reasons.Why a divestment campaign now? A vast majority of Americans support common-sense changes in public policy while respecting the rights of lawful gun owners, but a small number of well-financed extremists have blocked the political process. Since funding is now driving the process, de-funding the industry has become an appropriate and important priority for those committed to sensible reform.How does a divestment campaign work? When many investors decide it's time to sell at the same time, that company's stock comes under pressure. Over time, a low stock price can make it harder for a company to get loans, finance sales, or expand its business. And if the pressure is high enough, an entire industry—even a national government—can decide it's time to change how they do business.How can divestment improve gun policy? As the public outcry over gun violence continues to escalate, influential investors such as university endowments have greater reason to reconsider the business, financial, and moral implications of their holdings in firearm manufacturers that refuse even modest changes in their products and practices. At the same time, individual investors may not even realize that they own shares in such companies through their mutual funds, retirement accounts, ETFs, or other products. As investors of all kinds become more informed of the risks involved, the potential for widespread divestment will grow—and with it, the pressure on the industry to change.Who is participating? The dozens of organizations that have joined Campaign to Unload to date include established national civic organizations, local grassroots groups, educators and students, and elected leaders. These voices come from urban, suburban, and rural areas throughout the country.Have divestment campaigns worked in the past? Because funding is the lifeblood of business, divestment campaigns have been essential components in some of the most successful changes in public policy of the past 30 years. These include changes in U.S. tobacco policy and the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Address Gun Violence Against Women

October 9, 2014

The vast majority of American gun owners are responsible and abide by the law. However, guns do not belong in the hands of domestic abusers and other people known to violently target women or others in relationships. When an abuser has access to firearms, the victim is 500 percent more likely to be murdered. Unfortunately, the federal laws intended to reduce domestic abusers' access to guns are filled with loopholes. These federal provisions do not apply to many known abusers, and states have sometimes struggled to effectively enforce these laws even when they do apply. The result is a constant stream of news reports about women and others killed by abusers with guns. States must take action to prevent further tragedies. This report provides a series of proposals that state legislators should consider enacting in their states to help protect women and families in abusive situations. These policies go beyond current federal law, but have been proposed in Congress.

Policy Recommendations & Models

Commonsense Solutions: How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness

August 15, 2014

Guns in the hands of the dangerously mentally ill have taken the lives of too many people. Mass shootings, like the shooting in a parking lot in Tucson, Arizona in January 2011, and the shooting in a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012, have brought this problem to the attention of the American public. Experts have objected to the media's emphasis on mentally ill mass shooters, because mental illness is not the cause of most forms of gun violence toward others. Nevertheless, mental illness certainly plays a role in this violence, as the recent surge in mass shootings demonstrates. In fact, mental illness plays an even greater role in gun suicides, many of which could be averted if guns were temporarily removed from the situation. Existing state laws do not do enough to remove access to guns from dangerously mentally ill people. This report provides a series of proposals that state legislators should consider to address this problem and save lives.

Policy Recommendations & Models