Gun violence occurs day in and day out, claiming more than 30 Americans each day. It is also taking a toll on our nation’s law enforcement officers, who risk their own lives to protect the public. According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in 2011 firearms were the number one cause of death for police officers killed in the line of duty. Today, law enforcement officers continue to be targets of gun violence, as this disturbing trend persists.
A comprehensive approach to this problem is needed, and it is our duty to inform elected officials and the public of the policies we need to better protect our nation.
As public safety professionals, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA), International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and the Police Foundation (PF) are united in calling on the President and Congress to:
- Require background checks for all firearm purchasers
- Letter supporting H.R. 1565, legislation introduced by Representatives Peter King and Mike Thompson to expand background checks
- Partnership letter in support of Manchin-Toomey Amendment: “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act
- Partnership letter in support of S.374: “Fix Gun Checks Act of 2013″
- Improve background checks by ensuring that the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which maintains records of those who are legally prohibited from purchasing guns, be complete and accurate.
- Limit high-capacity ammunition magazines to ten rounds.
- Oppose federal preemption of state laws governing the carry of concealed weapons.
- Strengthen penalties for straw purchasing and make firearms trafficking a federal crime.
Seven of our nine groups, including the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA), International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCC), National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), and the Police Foundation (PF), also support legislation to:
- Ban new semi-automatic assault weapons.
These measures will prevent dangerous people from acquiring firearms, prevent weapons of war from inflicting the devastating carnage we have seen from Aurora to Newtown, and continue to allow states to decide who can lawfully carry concealed firearms in their own states.