All Americans share the goal of wanting to make our communities and children safer by reducing violence in our society, like the tragic incident that occured last month in our community of Newtown, Conn. We are reviewing Vice President Biden’s recommendations with an open mind in hopes they will offer real means of achieving our shared goal.
The central issue involved in violence where a firearm is misused is the unauthorized access to the firearm. We believe it is critical to first focus on the unauthorized access to firearms by irresponsible persons and those not legally qualified to possess them.
We support immediate improvements to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) that will bring all appropriate mental health and other records, such as restraining orders, into the NICS system. Fixing NICS must be among the highest priorities in order to help further prevent illegal purchases of firearms from federally licensed retailers.
In order to help prevent unauthorized access to firearms in the home, we have long supported and are initiating an expanded safety campaign to promote the secure and responsible storage of all firearms and ammunition when not in use. We believe the personal responsibility of gun owners, especially if there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, is central to any meaningful discussion of the issues.
The NSSF will continue to lend its expertise to this important national conversation and the accompanying legislative and policy making processes. We do so respecting the various points of views represented in these discussions.
Image courtesy National Shooting Sports Foundation