Statement of Laurel Bellows, President, American Bar Association Re: White House Gun Violence Prevention Agenda
President Obama and Vice President Biden’s announcement on guns today is the catalyst that should spur immediate and far-ranging congressional efforts to address gun violence in our country — violence that too often spills from our streets and into our schools. The overwhelming message from American parents, first responders, educators and lawyers is clear: Gun violence prevention policies are achievable and desperately needed.
The American Bar Association urged Vice President Biden’s gun policy task force to recommend mandatory background checks before all gun sales, full integration of state and local mental health records into the National Instant Check System, the elimination of restrictions on gun injury research and crime gun data, and passage of new legislation to restrict the availability of military assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips. The ABA also supports programs to prevent school-based violence and bullying, and wider access to mental health services for children and adults. We are gratified to find these recommendations at the fore of the administration’s agenda.
The ABA looks forward to continuing to work with the White House and members of Congress in both parties to enact sensible gun policies that enhance public safety while respecting the Second Amendment rights of responsible gun owners.
With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.
Please click here for a biography and photo of Laurel G. Bellows, president of the American Bar Association.