In mass shootings and in the everyday shootings that plague communities across the country, far too many Americans have been severely injured or lost their lives or a loved one as a result of gun violence. Over the last few years, a series of gun-related tragic events galvanized our country and led this Administration to redouble our efforts to keep guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals.
Over the past year, the Administration has taken several steps to strengthen the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is used to run background checks on those who buy guns from federally licensed gun dealers to make sure they are not prohibited by law from owning a firearm. Just this month, the President took two new executive actions that will help ensure that tens of thousands of missing mental health records are added to the background check system. The Administration also continues to call on Congress to pass common-sense legislation to expand background checks. To date, background checks have prevented over two million guns from falling into the wrong hands.
While the President and the Vice President will continue to do everything they can to reduce gun violence, we know efforts to prevent gun violence at the state and local levels – at community centers and recreational facilities, schools, faith-based centers and by other various community leaders often have the most impact. The leaders who are creating change know that when 90% of the American public supports common-sense gun safety legislation, those 90% need to stand up. Every day, these individuals are stepping up in big ways in our communities to make sure that all Americans can feel safer when they put their children to bed each night, and when they step outside with their families in the morning.
Today, we’re asking you to help us identify and honor state and local leaders taking innovative approaches to support gun violence prevention measures and make our communities safer by nominating a Champion of Change for Gun Violence Prevention by midnight on Sunday, January 12th. Nominees may include:
- Community leaders who worked to prevent gun violence and build safer communities.
- Citizens who encouraged responsible gun ownership.
- Advocates who fought for stronger state and federal gun laws.
- Community leaders who helped to organize grassroots efforts around this issue.
- Citizens who created innovative tactics to engage the public to reduce gun violence.
- Community/youth development programs discouraging gun violence and college students’/groups’ efforts on campuses.
Click on the link below to submit your nomination (be sure to choose Gun Violence Prevention in the "Theme of Service" field of the nomination form).
We are looking forward to hosting this event and to highlighting the great work communities across the country are doing to advance the health, safety and well-being of the American people.
Rumana Ahmed is the Executive Assistant to the Director of the Office of Public Engagement.