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Press Release - 7 Executive Actions to Reduce and Prevent Gun Violence

November 03, 2015

Governor O'Malley put forward the boldest plan to reduce gun violence as president. His progressive platform builds on his record getting results in Maryland, where he put in place the most comprehensive gun safety legislation in the nation—and brought people together from both urban and rural areas, in the face of enormous opposition from the National Rife Association, to get the job done. He will do the same as president, working day in and day out and refusing to take no for an answer when it comes to saving lives.

While working toward a comprehensive legislative solution, Governor O'Malley will also use the full extent of his executive authority to prevent gun violence. He will take strong executive actions to advance gun safety, stand up to the special interest gun lobby, hold law- breaking firearms dealers accountable, and keep women and children safe from gun violence. Each of these actions is constitutional and enforceable under existing laws.

As president, Governor O'Malley will:

1. Use procurement contracts to advance gun safety. Because the federal government is the largest purchaser of firearms, adjusting federal procurement policies can drive innovation that advances gun safety. O'Malley will require manufacturers that seek federal contracts to make simple design changes that advance gun safety and improve law enforcement's ability to trace firearms. These include hidden serial numbers that cannot be defaced, microstamping, magazine disconnect mechanisms, and other next-generation safety improvements.

2. Stop defending—and work to overturn—gun dealer immunity. O'Malley will stop enforcing the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005, which protects irresponsible gun dealers and manufacturers from lawsuits, effectively giving blanket immunity to merchants of death. This outrageous law is nearly without precedent—yet when families who have lost loved ones to gun violence challenge the law, the federal government intervenes to defend it. O'Malley will not intervene on behalf of the gun industry immunity law as president. Instead, he will argue that the immunity law is unconstitutional, and work to ensure that victims of gun violence can have their day in court.

3. Disarm and prosecute domestic abusers who break the law. America is the most dangerous country in the developed world for women when it comes to gun violence—in part because existing bans on gun ownership for domestic abusers and stalkers are too rarely enforced. O'Malley will make it a priority to disarm those convicted of committing domestic violence, and to prosecute those who fail to comply with the law.

4. Ban "cop-killer" ammunition. Although armor-piercing ammunition is banned from manufacture and sale, broad exemptions have made hundreds of kinds of dangerous cartridges available for sale. Efforts to close these loopholes were defeated by the NRA earlier this year. O'Malley will stand up to the gun lobby, overhauling broken regulations to greatly restrict access "cop-killer" ammunition under federal law.

5. Alert law enforcement of failed gun sales. Background checks have effectively prevented more than 2.4 million prohibited people from acquiring guns—but little is done to investigate or follow up on these failed sales. O'Malley will launch an electronic alert system to inform local law enforcement when prohibited individuals attempt to buy firearms, modeled on the FBI alert system used when fugitives purchase guns. Then, by analyzing past failed sales, he will develop a system to help law enforcement identify which attempted sales to prosecute.

6. Require the responsible storage of guns at home. Guns are the second leading cause of death among children and teens, and the first cause among African American children. And at least once a week, a toddler finds a gun, points it at himself or someone else, and pulls the trigger. While licensed dealers are already required to make sure that gun purchasers have safety devices, there are no federal standards for locking devices. O'Malley will issue and enforce federal rules clearly defining safety standards for gun locks and safes.

7. Strengthen enforcement and audits of licensed dealers. The gun lobby has amended federal laws to restrict law enforcement's ability to hold law-breaking firearms dealers accountable. O'Malley will use every remaining lever to ensure that licensed dealers are in full compliance with the law: conducting background checks of gun dealer employees; ensuring that dealers who have their licenses revoked do not become unlicensed sellers without first liquidating their inventories; and using audit inspections to check dealer inventories for stolen guns.

Related Images

Martin O'Malley, Press Release - 7 Executive Actions to Reduce and Prevent Gun Violence Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/313336

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