More legislation action needed to address gun violence

An AR-15-style rifle made by Springfield

Gun legislation lies on the table before lawmakers. What they are asking themselves now is: “What can be done to improve the safety of the American people?”

Nationally, senators from both parties are negotiating their best ideas to each other to solve America’s gun crisis. The search for solutions is hitting roadblocks as gun violence is still occuring. However, it’s likely that, with enough collaboration between citizens and lawmakers, that this problem can be addressed. Some private companies like financial institutions are tuned into helping. 

Gun reform advocates looked a little deeper into the patterns of mass shooters and found that most shooters amassed credit purchasing guns and ammunition before striking. Now, banks are considering running software that could flag any suspicious gun transactions. The CEO of Amalgamated Bank, Priscilla Sims Brown, said in an interview with CBS that she believed that this could provide officials information worthy of investigation. She also said that Amalgamated Bank already submitted an application to make this happen. 

Schools are beginning to take their own measures against gun violence that threatens them. The Palm Beach County District is an example. Panic buttons are being given to teachers to wear around their necks to ensure that no matter where they are, an alarm can still sound. With the violence targeting schools, it’s a smart move that has earned parents’ approval. 

In Washington D.C., multiple bills have been passed and others are in the process of being made. On June 21, the senate passed the procedural vote to move forward with gun legislation. This vote has been a long time coming and is essential in protecting us. 

The next day, senators were able to agree on a bill that includes expanding the background check on firearm purchases for people under 21. Instead of an instant background check, now they have up to 10 days to check juvenile and mental health records. The bill also funds states to enact “red flag” laws, which means courts can seize guns from people deemed dangerous. Furthermore, the “boyfriend loophole” will close as the bill prevents partners convicted of domestic abuse from buying a gun. 

The opposition against this bill comes from the National Rifle Association. Its justifications are based on the thought that the bill does little to truly address violent crime. 

While these are national fixes, what is happening locally? Well, in 2021, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed Senate Bill 631 into law, making Oklahoma a “Second Amendment sanctuary.” This means we are one of the most gun friendly states in America. The most recent bill that has been passed in the Senate’s regular session is SB 1341. This bill actually promotes that gun control policy not be funded with public money. This hinders gun control advocacy from being supported in an official way. The bill will become effective in November. 

Oklahoma isn’t doing enough to combat America’s problem with gun violence. We need more, we need a change in legislation so that citizens actions are backed up by law enforcement. The only way to bring that about is to come together and request that Congress make a change.

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