During the week of April 8, 2013, a vote is scheduled to occur in the Senate on gun control legislation. As part of NASW efforts to reduce gun violence, we have supported and actively worked to pass Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-CA) legislation, S. 150, the Assault Weapons Ban of 2013. This act calls for the banning of military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition feeding devices, which will allow for a safer America.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has filed a base package that includes provisions designed to combat gun trafficking, require universal background checks, and improve school safety. The Assault Weapons Ban of 2013 will be considered with two amendments, one that reflects the full regulations cited in the act and another that bans large-capacity ammunition magazines.
This week will be a crucial time to contact Senators and advocate for stricter gun regulations and tell them to vote for these two amendments.
NASW has also supported a number of other legislative initiatives aimed at addressing the challenges surrounding gun violence. These include Senator Debbie Stabenow’s (D-MI) Excellence in Mental Health Act, Senator Al Franken’s (D-MN) Mental Health in Schools Act, and Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s (CA-13) Student Support Act. Furthermore, NASW CEO Dr. Betsy Clark submitted testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on reducing gun violence with an emphasis on addressing mental health in the United States. Dr. Clark also provided remarks at a staff meeting of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to educate Congressional staff members on the importance and need for mental health services.