On Jan 14 & 15, the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health held a special event “Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America.”   Many people think that the NRA effectively ended scientific research into gun violence and public safety but that’s not exactly true.  The Center for Gun Policy and Research carries on.  

With so many passionate advocates on both sides of the issue, I’m surprised this event hasn't attracted more attention at DailyKos.  Conclusions based on evidence and analyses improve the conversation.  The rest of the text below is summarized from the recommendations of more than 20 experts.  You can also browse the Johns Hopkins website for a complete report on the summit’s findings.

“The purpose of putting forth these recommendations is to provide a research-based framework for reducing the staggering toll of gun violence in America.  Importantly, most recommended policies have broad public support and would not violate constitutional rights.”

Daniel Webster, ScD, MPH, director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Here are the recommendations:

Fix the background check system

•    Establish a universal background check system for all persons purchasing a firearm
•    All sales would be facilitated through a federally licensed gun dealer. This would have the effect of mandating the same record keeping for all firearm transfers.
•    Increase the maximum amount of time for the FBI to complete a background check from 3 to 10 business days.
•    Require all firearm owners to report the theft or loss of their firearm within 72 hours of becoming aware of its loss.
•    Require background checks for every purchase including purchasers who have a license to carry a firearm, permit to purchase, or other firearm permit.

Prohibit High-Risk Individuals from Purchasing Guns.  Expand the conditions for firearm purchase to include:

•    15 year disqualification for persons convicted of a violent misdemeanor.  
•    Disqualification until age 30 for persons who committed a violent crime as a juvenile.
•    10 year disqualification for persons convicted of 2 or more crimes involving drugs or alcohol within a three-year period.  
•    Persons convicted of a single drug-trafficking offense would be prohibited from gun purchase.
•    Persons determined by a judge to be a gang member would be prohibited from gun purchase.
•    A minimum age of 21 years for handgun purchase or possession.
•    Prohibit persons who violated a restraining order issued due to the threat of violence (including permanent, temporary and emergency) from purchasing firearms.
•    Persons with temporary restraining orders filed against them for violence or threats of violence would also be prohibited from purchasing firearms.
•    Persons convicted of misdemeanor stalking would be prohibited from purchasing firearms.

Mental Health

•    Federal restrictions of gun purchase for persons with serious mental illness should be focused on the dangerousness of the individual.
•    Fully fund federal incentives for states to provide information about disqualifying mental health conditions to the National Instant Check System for gun buyers.

Trafficking and Dealer Licensing

•    A permanent director for the ATF should be appointed and confirmed.
•    ATF should be required to provide adequate resources to inspect and otherwise engage in oversight of federally licensed gun dealers.
•    Restrictions imposed under the Firearm Owners Protections Act limiting ATF to one routine inspection of gun dealers per year should be repealed.
•    Provisions of the Firearm Owners Protection Act raising the evidentiary standard for prosecuting dealers who make unlawful sales should be repealed.
•    ATF should be granted authority to develop a range of sanctions for gun dealers who violate gun sales or other laws.
•    The Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act, providing gun dealers and manufacturers protection from tort liability, should be repealed.
•    Federal restrictions on access to firearms trace data, other than for ongoing criminal investigations, should be repealed.
•    Federal law mandating reporting of multiple sales of handguns should be expanded to include long guns.
•    Adequate penalties are needed for violations of the above provisions.

Assault Weapons

•    Ban the future sale of assault weapons, incorporating a more carefully crafted definition to reduce the risk—compared with the 1994 ban—that the law can be easily evaded.

High Capacity Magazines

•    Ban the future sale and possession of large capacity (greater than 10 rounds) ammunition magazines.

Research Funding

•    The federal government should provide funds to CDC, NIH and NIJ adequate to understand the causes and solutions of gun violence, commensurate with its impact on the public’s health and safety.
•    The Surgeon General should produce a regular report on the state of the problem of gun violence in America and progress towards solutions.

There’s also some interesting video of the presenters who spoke at summit.  Adam Winkler who teaches Constitutional law at UCLA gave an interesting talk about the Second Amendment.

Originally posted to leftreborn on Thu Feb 07, 2013 at 04:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Shut Down the NRA and Repeal or Amend the Second Amendment (RASA).

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