The New York State Bar Association joins the entire
nation and legal community in mourning the victims of the Las Vegas shooting.
“We extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to
everyone whose lives have been devastated by this despicable act of violence,”
said State Bar President Sharon Stern Gerstman. “It is time to seriously
consider how best to end the scourge of gun violence, using the significant
regulatory tools that remain available under the Supreme Court's decision in
the Heller case.”
The State Bar has a long history of contributing
thoughtful analysis to matters of pressing public concern. Though gun control
is a polarizing issue, the Bar Association agrees that we must find ways to
reduce the violence.
Since 1996, federal law has prevented the government
from collecting data on gun violence. The State Bar has argued that without
impartial, statistical data about the causes and impacts of gun violence, the
nation cannot make informed policy decisions that keep Americans safer and
protect gun owners’ rights.
The Association remains committed in supporting bi-partisan
federal legislation that would allow the Centers for Disease Control to study
the intersection of violent behavior and guns, and to identify evidence-based
strategies for keeping guns out of the hands of violent people.
The State Bar’s Task Force on Gun Violence was created
in early 2013 in the wake of several mass shootings and included members with a
variety of views on the issue. They all agreed that there was a need for the
government to collect statistical data on gun violence.
The task force’s report, Understanding the Second Amendment, Gun Regulation in America Today and
Yesterday, can be downloaded for free at http://www.nysba.org/2ndamendment/.
Since 1876, the New York State Bar Association helps
shape the development of law, educates and informs the legal profession and the
public, and champions the rights of New Yorkers through advocacy and guidance in
Contact: Christian Nolan