Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions Merging

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly at the Law Center's 21st Anniversary Dinner in 2014.

We’re so excited to announce a powerful new relationship between the Law Center and one of our strongest allies in the battle for smart gun laws, Americans for Responsible Solutions. We’re forming a new force for gun safety legislation, education, research, and advocacy that stretches from coast to coast, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to forge ahead in the fight against gun violence under the tireless leadership of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly.

The merger between the Law Center and ARS builds on years of collaboration between the two organizations—our legal, policy, and advocacy teams have worked in concert to advance the smart gun laws that save lives and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals. Some examples of our coordinated efforts include:

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. Effective immediately, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence will now operate as part of the Americans for Responsible Solutions Foundation, the 501(c)(3) arm of Americans for Responsible Solutions.

“By teaming up with Americans for Responsible Solutions, our legal experts will now have a much larger platform to help bring key policies like universal background checks to more states,” said Robyn Thomas, the Law Center’s executive director. “Since ARS’s founding in 2013, our movement has experienced unprecedented momentum, with 125 new smart gun laws passed in 41 states. America is taking action to stand up to the gun lobby and save lives from gun violence, in large part due to the commitment of Gabby, Mark, and the rest of the ARS team, and we couldn’t be more excited to join forces with them.”

By uniting our unmatched legal acumen with ARS’s nationwide legislative, communications, and advocacy expertise, both organizations will be better able to advance smart gun laws that the vast majority of Americans support, and continue to drive the national conversation forward when it comes to saving lives from an epidemic that kills over 30,000 each year and leaves more than 80,000 injured.

Learn more about Americans for Responsible Solutions at

Law Center and ARS Release Commonsense Solutions Toolkit on Protecting Kids from Unintended Shootings

We know the fight to end gun violence cannot be won alone—which is why we’ve spent the last year partnering with one of the movement’s most powerful, active organizations, Americans for Responsible Solutions. We’re proud to release the latest in our series of Commonsense Solutions toolkits—this installment addresses the urgent need to protect children from firearms.

Commonsense Solutions: State Gun Laws to Protect Kids from Unintended Shootings is a comprehensive legal resource that offers detailed proposals for smart gun laws and in-home best practices to keep kids from accessing firearms. Our recommendations include child access prevention laws, safe storage methods, and requirements that gun dealers provide safety information.

Too many families have needlessly suffered the devastation of a child lost to an unlocked gun. Almost 1.7 million children under the age of 18 live in homes with loaded, unlocked guns, making them 16 times more likely to be killed in unintentional shootings than in other high-income countries. Commonsense requirements for gun storage and handling can protect the littlest among us from preventable tragedies.

Check out our other Commonsense Solutions toolkits:

State Laws to Address Gun Violence Against Women

State Laws to Expand Background Checks for Unlicensed Gun Sales

How State Laws Can Reduce Gun Deaths Associated with Mental Illness

Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Expand Background Checks for Unlicensed Gun Sales

The single biggest gap in our nation’s gun laws is the lack of a background check requirement when a gun is sold by an unlicensed individual. Unlike licensed gun dealers, unlicensed “private” sellers are not required to conduct background checks on gun purchasers. This gap allows thousands of dangerous people, including convicted felons, domestic abusers, and the dangerously mentally ill, to acquire guns every year, even though they are legally ineligible to possess them.

As part of our ongoing partnership, the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence and Americans for Responsible Solutions have created the third in our series of Commonsense Solutions toolkits. These comprehensive resources for legislators and advocates explore the many facets of America’s gun violence epidemic through distinct lenses, such as domestic violence and mental health. Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Expand Background Checks for Unlicensed Gun Sales addresses the private sale background check gap and provides detailed, real-world solutions for state legislators to pass universal background checks and save lives.


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Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions Release Second Commonsense Solutions Toolkit on Guns and Domestic Violence


One of the most overlooked aspects of the gun debate in America is the deadly connection between guns and domestic violence. As part of our ongoing partnership with Americans for Responsible Solutions, the Law Center has developed Commonsense Solutions: State Laws to Address Gun Violence Against Women. This toolkit for legislators and advocates both documents existing laws on guns and domestic violence and offers suggestions for commonsense gun laws to better protect victims of domestic violence.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and we strongly believe that by implementing smart gun laws, we can reduce the number of domestic violence incidents that end in firearm-related deaths or injuries. While men and children can also be victims of domestic violence, women are particularly at risk.


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The Commonsense Gun Laws Partnership: A Collaboration Dedicated to Preventing Gun Violence


Earlier this year, we announced an exciting new partnership between the Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS), the organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, retired combat veteran and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. Together, we are committed to bringing some sanity to our nation’s gun laws.

With our more than 20 years of research and knowledge on the nation’s gun laws, and the powerful grassroots network cultivated by Americans for Responsible Solutions, together we are producing tools that will empower lawmakers and community members to stop gun violence before it happens.

The Law Center and Americans for Responsible Solutions will assist legislators by creating a series of toolkits that will aid in developing solutions to protect communities from gun violence while ensuring that the legislation complies with the Second Amendment. The toolkits on each topic will provide:

  • Evidence of the particular gap in current laws that perpetuate gun violence;
  • Effective, tested solutions to close the loophole;
  • Policy rationale for action;
  • Legal basis for new laws; and
  • Most importantly – straight-forward features of the policies that will guide legislative drafting.

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The Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner – June 25, 2014


Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner. We were honored to have the opportunity to award Anne Marks from Youth ALIVE! and Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly for their meaningful work. If you missed the event, watch the highlights and hear what Gabby and the other speakers wanted to share with the crowd:

Thirteen-year-old Sukari Wright, a poet with Youth Speaks, also shared her incredibly moving experience with the crowd:

The Law Center’s Anniversary Dinner is always a meaningful event that brings together our community to honor the exceptional efforts of a few key individuals for their outstanding leadership in the gun violence prevention movement. The dinner, with an audience of 500 – 700 attorneys, legal and business professionals, and advocates for smart gun laws from all over the country, is a truly remarkable event without parallel.

We were pleased to honor Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly as well as Youth ALIVE! for their courageous work on this issue at this year’s event.

Thank you to all who joined us on June 25th as we marked 21 years of the Law Center’s work saving lives with smart gun laws, honored outstanding leadership in our community, and energized the efforts of the national movement.

The Law Center’s 21st Anniversary Dinner
June 25, 2014
The Westin St. Francis | San Francisco

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Senate Judiciary Hearing on Gun Violence:
An Important Step Forward for America


Today marked an important step forward for our country, as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee met to begin the discussion in Congress about gun violence in America. At the hearing, Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly advocated for smart solutions, like requiring background checks with all gun sales. Other panelists, however, suggested that we simply need more guns in our schools and in our communities.

The good news is that the Judiciary Committee reports to YOU. As panelist Baltimore County Chief of Police Jim Johnson, Chair of the National Law Enforcement Partnership to Prevent Gun Violence, said today:

Generations of Americans, including our youngest ones, are depending on you to ensure they will grow up and fulfill their roles in the great human experience. None of us can fail them.

I urge you to follow the will of the American public and stand with law enforcement to enact these common-sense public safety measures. 

It is time for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear from you. Tell them that we need these sensible measures to keep our communities safe from gun violence:

  1. a criminal background check with every gun sale;
  2. a ban on weapons of war like assault weapons and high capacity ammunition magazines; and
  3. a gun trafficking law to make it easier for law enforcement to prosecute criminals.

Call the Senate Judiciary Committee and tell them that you support these smart solutions to curb gun violence now. Then share this post with your friends and family.

Majority Office
Phone: 202-224-7703

Minority Office 
Phone: 202-224-5225

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