The Alliance for Gun Responsibility works to end the gun violence crisis in our community and to promote a culture of gun ownership that balances rights with responsibilities. Through collaboration with experts, civic leaders, and citizens, we work to find evidence-based solutions to the crisis of gun violence in our community. We create innovative policy, advocate for changes in laws, and promote community education to reduce gun violence.
Pass and Implement Meaningful Laws That Save Lives
Universal Background Checks. In November 2014, Washington State voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 594, making Washington the first state to close the background check loophole by a popular vote. Washington’s choice to require background checks on all gun sales closed a gap that legally allowed criminals and other dangerous people to go to “private sellers” at gun shows, on the internet, and elsewhere.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders. In November 2016, the majority of Washingtonians voted Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) into law. This protection order allows family members and law enforcement to ask a judge to temporarily suspend a person’s access to firearms if there is documented evidence that the person poses a serious threat to themselves or others. We know that family members and law enforcement are often in the best position to see the warning signs of violence. ERPO gives families a tool to help prevent a tragedy before it happens.
Law Enforcement and Victim Safety. In 2017, the Washington Legislature passed the most substantive gun law in the state’s history. This law notifies law enforcement and victims when felons, domestic abusers and other ineligible people illegally attempt to purchase guns. This will give victims an opportunity to proactively take steps to keep themselves and their families safe. The law also provides police new tools to investigate illegal attempts to buy guns. In Washington State, there are over 3,000 illegal attempts to buy a gun every year.
Track and Elect Gun Responsibility Champions to All Levels of Government
The organization’s political action committee, the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund, endorses gun responsibility candidates running for office at the state, county and municipal level. In 2016, Victory Fund endorsements supported the successful election of over 40 candidates, many who ran on gun responsibility issues.
Since 2015, the Alliance has provided a counter to the NRA’s report card on state legislators. With careful tracking and logging throughout the year, the Alliance produces and distributes a legislator scorecard that provides a nuanced analysis of each individual with an overall grade on gun responsibility. We continue to see an increase in the number of high grades along with more champions each year.
Direct Lobbying and Advocacy
The Alliance, with the support of our volunteer base, has a constant grassroots presence in Olympia during the legislative session, and is also in contact with elected officials during non-session times. We also invest in professional lobbyists who work strategically with our elected champions to ensure the best possible outcomes for our priority policies. The direct lobbying and advocacy is used at all levels of our state government.
Engage and Educate on Intersectionality
The Alliance regularly gathers national and local subject matter experts together to share information and discuss the intersectionality of gun violence with a number of research and advocacy issues, including suicide prevention, hate crimes, trauma-informed care, stigma and discrimination. Each summit focuses on evidenced-based best practices, next steps and coordination of prevention efforts.
Lead A Robust Coalition and Chapter Volunteer Program
The Alliance is proud to partner with hundreds of organizations across Washington who support commonsense gun violence prevention efforts in our state. The depth and breadth of our coalition membership shows the strong desire for change from voices in all corners of the state.
The Alliance also has a robust volunteer program with local leaders across the state. The chapter team model empowers volunteers to drive change in their communities by engaging in a wide range of grassroots activities, including organizing a phone bank, hosting a house party, visiting with a legislator and attending rallies and other events.
Take a Public Health Approach to Gun Violence
Gun violence is a public health and safety issue that is claiming lives in Washington state every single day. It’s a complex problem that needs a comprehensive approach, in order to reduce injury and save lives. It is critical research the gun violence epidemic in our state to better understand the problem and identify data-driven solutions that work. The Alliance conducts critical research into the causes and consequences of firearm death and injury.
In 2013, Seattle became the first city in the nation to directly fund research into the public health impacts of gun violence in the community. The study, conducted by the University of Washington’s Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, found a remarkable linkage between gun violence and other health risk factors, as well as an extraordinary risk of gunshot victims being victimized again. The Alliance is helping expand this research into a new study into the best means for intervening with these high-risk communities to reduce their risk of becoming victims of gun violence.
We are a proud 2017 recipient of the King County Best Starts for Kids grant, which is funding key research into trace data. Firearm trace data – the tiny imprints on bullet casings left by the firearms that discharged them – are a key clue for investigators to identify firearms used in specific crimes. This information is key to understanding where crime guns are being sourced from, and preventing perpetrators from committing additional crimes. We also work with a nationally-recognized public opinion research firm to conduct wide-ranging surveys of public attitudes in Washington State surrounding gun violence prevention.
GUN VIOLENCE IS PREVENTABLE – IF WE WORK TOGETHER TO PREVENT IT.
The Alliance for Gun Responsibility provides paths to take action that saves lives. The Alliance for Gun Responsibility includes three separate organizations:
- a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization;
- a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization known as the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Foundation
- a Political Action Committee (PAC) known as the Alliance for Gun Responsibility Victory Fund.
These sister organizations are governed by separate boards, and manage the organization’s public education, advocacy, and political giving programs, respectively.