People For the American Way

Millennial Elected Officials Push Firearms Manufacturers and Distributors on Responsible Sales, Safety

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 13, 2018

Contact: Derrick Crowe at People For the American Way

Email: dcrowe@pfaw.org

Phone Number: 202.467.2386

Washington, D.C.—America’s Cabinet, a project of the Young Elected Officials Network (YEO), today announced a joint action to engage gun manufacturers to prioritize responsible distribution practices and gun safety technologies. Members of the group representing gun-purchasing local governments sent coordinated letters to firearms manufacturers with which they do business, pushing for information on the corporations’ distribution systems and gun safety technology. Their plan is to leverage the significant purchasing power of local governments, to compel gun manufacturers to meet with them and plan together how to improve safety outcomes even as Congress refuses to act.

“Forty percent of guns sold in this country are bought with taxpayer dollars,” Ithaca Mayor Svante Myrick said. “If public safety demands the purchase of these weapons for policing and other functions, then we have a responsibility to be safety-minded purchasers. We must ensure these manufacturers have adequate safeguards in place to protect our communities.”

As part of the launch of this campaign, several elected officials sent letters to gun manufacturers, along with a request for information asking the companies they do business with to provide more information on their business practices. The group pointed to a shocking statistic as a rationale for focusing efforts on gun-maker business practices: 1.2 percent of gun dealers are responsible for 60 percent of guns used for crimes.

“The practices of an individual firearms manufacturer can have a huge impact on our communities,” Baltimore City Councilmember Brandon Scott said. “We hope to send a signal that, as custodians of the public trust, we have high expectations from the companies we do business with to outfit our local law enforcement.”

“The advent of 3D-printed firearms should rattle everyone,” San Francisco Board of Supervisors member Jane Kim said. “These online plans short-circuit the entire gun safety regime that has been put in place over decades, and we need gun manufacturers to provide their input and partnership to help ensure the safety of the communities with which they do business.”

Participating officials include:

America’s Cabinet coordinated their action with the leaders of Do Not Stand Idly By (DNSIB), a campaign by the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation, focused on engaging gun manufacturers to prioritize safety and responsible sales, and who pioneered the local government engagement strategy.

“The officials who make up America’s Cabinet are exactly right: the gun industry can and should do much more to reduce the incidence of gun-related violence in America,” DNSIB Co-Chair Rabbi Joel Mosbacher said. “The people who can best persuade gun manufacturers to lead in this area are their customers and their investors. For the last five years, Do Not Stand Idly By has organized local and state governments—who purchase firearms in order to protect the public—and major investors to push the gun industry for a greater commitment to safety. Now we welcome America’s Cabinet as an ally—and the energy, creativity and pragmatism these officials are already bringing to this effort.”

To read more about the campaign and view all of the letters visit: pfaw.org/campaign/americas-cabinet/campaign-for-gun-safety

About America’s Cabinet

America’s Cabinet, a nonpartisan project of YEO Network, is a group of young local elected officials educating and informing the general public about what Washington should be doing now to support communities across America and offering a positive vision for how America can live up to its promise. Learn more: pfaw.org/campaign/americas-cabinet/the-cabinet

About the Young Elected Officials Network

The Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, a nonpartisan program of People For the American Way Foundation, is the first and only national initiative to provide a network of support to the newest generation of progressive leaders at every level of elected office. Learn more: yeonetwork.org/about-us