Newtown Action Alliance Opposes Use of Federal Funds to Arm Teachers

Implores Donald Trump and Congress to Pass Sensible Gun Laws Instead

Newtown, CT- Po Murray, Chairwoman of Newtown Action Alliance, released the following statement after the New York Times reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is considering diverting Title IV grant dollars allocated for our community schools, 21st century and afterschool programs to arm teachers with guns:

The majority of teachers across the nation oppose guns in schools and we oppose our tax dollars being spent to arm teachers for gun industry profits. In an effort to boost gun sales, the gun lobby has been pushing the arms race between those who wish to do harm and those who wish to protect. With nearly 140,000 public schools, private schools, and post-secondary institutions in America, the gun industry would profit immensely from arming teachers in our nation.

We need to arm teachers with books, school supplies and pay increases, NOT guns.

According to Violence Policy Center, even "trained law enforcement officials have only an average of 20 percent hit ratio in armed confrontations, meaning that only 20 percent of shots fired hit the intended target." It's delusional to think that a teacher with little to no training with a gun would be able to stop a gunman with an AR-15 and high capacity magazines during a terrifying chaotic school shooting incident.

By micro-focusing on arming teachers after the heartbreaking Parkland school shooting tragedy, the Trump Administration has once again deflected from the critical issue of unfettered access to guns in America. Since the Sandy Hook tragedy, annual gun deaths and injuries have increased and the federal government has failed to pass any substantive gun safety bills to protect all Americans.

We implore Donald Trump and Congress to reject NRA money and influence and begin passing the following common sense proposals to reduce gun homicides, gun suicides, unintentional shootings, and mass shootings in our towns and cities across the nation:

  • Background checks on all gun sales
  • Close the Charleston loophole or “delayed denial” where federally licensed dealers can sell guns if three business days pass without a verdict from the FBI
  • Restrict and penalize firearm possession by or transfer to a person subject to a domestic violence protection order or a person (including dating partners) convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor
  • Prohibit firearm sale or transfer to and receipt or possession by an individual who has: (1) been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor hate crime, or (2) received from any court an enhanced hate crime misdemeanor sentence
  • Mandatory waiting period for gun purchases
  • Red flag/gun violence restraining order/extreme risk protection order to temporarily prohibit an individual deemed by a judge to pose a danger to self or others, from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition and allow law enforcement to remove any firearms or ammunition already in the individual’s possession
  • Handgun permitting, licensing, training, and registration
  • Ban bump-fire stocks and other dangerous accessories
  • Ban future manufacture and sale of assault weapons, regulate existing assault weapons under the National Firearms Act of 1934, and initiate a federal gun buyback program
  • Limits on high capacity magazines
  • Prohibit open carry
  • Make gun trafficking a federal crime
  • Repeal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to eliminate the corporate gun industry special protection from civil justice law that no other industry enjoys
  • Fund government research on gun violence
  • Child access prevention/safe storage requirement
  • Provide resources for people with mental illness
  • Microstamped code on each bullet that links it to a specific gun
  • “Smart guns” with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) or biometric recognition (fingerprint) capability
  • Limit gun purchases to one gun per month to reduce trafficking and straw purchases
  • Require licensing for ammunition dealers
  • Enhance accountability of federally licensed firearms dealers
  • Digitize the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) gun records
  • Raise the minimum age for gun purchases to 21
  • Ban 3D and ghost guns
  • Prohibit guns in schools and college campuses
  • Report lost and stolen guns

Newtown Action Alliance

A Newtown-based, national grassroots organization formed after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings. Our mission is to achieve the steady and continuous reduction of gun violence through legislative and cultural changes.

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