On Saturday, May 13th, the Board of Commissioners joined Moms Demand Action and other local elected officials to march across the Benjamin Franklin Bridge to demand a federal ban on assault weapons. Moms Demand Action is a national grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence.
“There is no excuse anymore, we need our national leaders to act immediately to stop the epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Commissioner Louis Cappelli Jr. “We have begged and pleaded to no avail and time is up, change must happen. We cannot keep living this way and we will not rest until legislation is passed that will prioritize the safety American citizens over the exorbitant profit from gun lobbyists.”
In 1994, then President Bill Clinton signed a national assault-weapons ban, which banned the AR-15 and other similar semiautomatic rifles.
After the ban, mass shootings were down in the decade that followed compared to the one before it was passed – 1984 to 1994 – and after it expired –2004 to 2014, according to NPR.
An AR-15 is a type of semiautomatic weapon that is a civilian version of military weapons. An AR-15 was used in the most recent mass shooting in Allen, Texas that killed nine people, as well as the Uvalde Elementary School massacre that killed 19 children and two adults in May 2022. The weapon was also used in the following mass shootings:
- Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, 17 people killed.
- The Route 91 music festival shooting in Las Vegas, 58 people killed.
- The Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting, 26 people killed.
- The Pulse nightclub shooting Orlando, Fla., 49 people killed.
- The San Bernardino, California shooting 14 people killed.
- The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, 27 killed.
Furthermore, since 2020 the number one killer of children and teens in the nation are firearms. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, almost 20% of all deaths associated with children 18 years old and under are associated with a gun.