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NNEDV Statement on the Uvalde School Shooting

May 25, 2022

The National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV) grieves with the people of Uvalde, Texas. Our hearts break for the community—the family members, students, and teachers who have been physically and emotionally wounded—and we send our condolences to the families of those who were killed.

Gun violence, and those who choose to perpetrate it, are destroying our families, our communities, and our country. The murder of children and their teachers in our nation’s schools, along with shootings in places of worship, shopping malls, and bars, and mass shootings rooted in racism and hate, occur with alarming frequency. Every day, more than 110 people in the United States are killed by people with guns.

Ending gun violence is critical to ending domestic violence. The presence of a firearm in an intimate partner violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500%. Time and again, we see that mass shooters’ first victims are often partners or family members. In Uvalde, media outlets report the gunman shot and wounded his grandmother before killing 19 children and two teachers at the Robb Elementary School.

“These tragedies are preventable and we demand change,” said Deborah J. Vagins, NNEDV President & CEO. “Barely ten days have passed since a white supremacist gunman targeted and killed 10 Black people in a Buffalo grocery store, and we have seen numerous, recent incidents of racist gun violence against Asian people in Dallas, Laguna Woods, and other communities. Congress has the power to help stop this carnage, and our elected officials must act swiftly to make our homes, communities, and country safer for everyone. We urge Congress to take meaningful action on common-sense gun legislation, including closing loopholes in gun laws, enacting stronger background checks, and reinstating a federal assault rifle ban. We must also start before violence begins and invest in programs that will focus on prevention.”

NNEDV supports firearms legislation to close existing loopholes and ensure dangerous abusers and others intent on harm cannot access firearms. Some of this legislation includes: the House-passed Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R.8), a universal background check on firearm transfers between private parties; and the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021 (H.R.1446), which increases the amount of time that a federal firearms licensee must wait to receive a completed background check prior to transferring a firearm to an unlicensed person.

NNEDV also strongly support closing the boyfriend loophole—the legal loophole that allows violent dating partners to purchase firearms. Although protections that would have closed the boyfriend loophole were included in the House-passed Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) (H.R. 1620), they failed to make it into the VAWA reauthorization signed by President Joseph Biden this past March. We will continue to urge for the closing of this loophole.

NNEDV is committed to working with our membership of the 56 U.S. state and territorial coalitions against domestic violence and other anti-violence organizations to educate policymakers, the public, and the media about the link between mass violence and family violence, to advocate for investments in prevention to address the causes of violence, and to urge the passage of common-sense gun laws to make our nation safer for all of us.