For more than two decades, the Law Center has worked to reduce the toll that gun violence has on the United States. In that time, we’ve become the leading resource on firearms law in the country, educating legislators and the public on the smart gun laws that save lives.
On July 1, 1993, an assault weapon rampage at a law firm Pettit & Martin in downtown San Francisco ended with eight dead and six wounded, sending shockwaves through the Bay Area’s legal community. Within days of the shooting, a group of local attorneys responded by forming the Legal Community Against Violence.
LCAV immediately got to work, mobilizing the Bay Area legal community to support the enactment of the 1994 federal assault weapons ban. We then concentrated our resources on improving the state of California’s gun policy by providing legal assistance to communities seeking to adopt and defend local gun safety ordinances, which eventually led to a dramatic decrease in gun deaths—a 56% drop over two decades, statewide.
This powerful work in California led other states to seek our help. In 1999, we began extending our services to include nationwide assistance to advocates, lawmakers, and community leaders working to prevent gun violence through policy reform. The tremendous need for our expertise led to our organization’s expansion over the years, and in 2012, we rebranded to better reflect the national breadth of our work—the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence now works in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Our work has expanded dramatically over the last two decades to include producing detailed gun violence prevention research and analysis, filing amicus briefs in critical Second Amendment cases across the country, and working with lawmakers and advocates to craft and promote legislation that will reduce gun violence and save lives. In 2016, we announced an exciting opportunity to further expand our influence by merging with Americans for Responsible Solutions, led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly, forming a new force for gun safety legislation, education, research, and advocacy that stretches from coast to coast.
Joining forces with ARS is the natural evolution of so many successful joint initiatives, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have the opportunity for greater impact. As of March 2016, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence now operates as part of the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of Americans for Responsible Solutions.