OUR MISSION

Together, we'll dramatically reduce gun violence.

Mission: To address the public health crisis of gun violence by educating citizens, building awareness, and supporting nonpartisan legislation.

Who we are: Galvanized by the Emanuel AME tragedy, Gun Sense SC is an independent, grassroots group of South Carolinians working to reduce gun violence. Together, we’ll close the loopholes in laws that make it too easy for guns to fall into the wrong hands, while supporting the Second Amendment right of citizens to lawfully own guns.

Gun Violence Is a Public Health Issue

South Carolina has the 11th highest number of gun deaths per capita in the nation (Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2013) and is the sixth leading supplier of guns used in crimes in other states (Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 2009).

Only accidents and chronic disease cause more deaths in South Carolina. (Center for Disease Control/CDC, Leading Causes of Death , 2012)

In 2015, the number of deaths due to gun violence is expected to surpass the number of fatalities in car accidents. ( Ibid , CDC, 2012)

More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1970 than in all the wars in American history combined, back to and including the Revolutionary War. ( New York Times , 2015)

What Has Been Done

From 1984 to 1993, gun murders increased by 55% in the U.S. After background checks were required on the federal level, gun murders decreased by 32% from 1993 to 2006. (Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, 2008)

The Current Problem

Gun regulations today apply only to federally licensed gun dealers. As a result, a large percentage of guns sold in America—believed to be 40% or more—are purchased at gun shows or via the Internet, with no background checks required. (U.S. DOJ, National Institute of Justice Research, 1997)

California closed this loophole in 1990, requiring background checks for all gun purchases. By 2013, California experienced a 57% decrease in its firearm mortality rate. (Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, Griffin Dix, 2015)

Missouri, on the other hand, repealed a state requirement for background checks for gun purchases in 2007, and subsequently experienced a 23% increase in its gun murder rate.
(Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy & Research, 2014)

What Can Be Done

AT THE FEDERAL LEVEL, we support the Thompson-King Bill (H.R. 1217) in the House as well as new legislation being developed in the Senate. We also support improving the computerized national database by decreasing the time it takes to complete background checks. While these initiatives have bipartisan support, they face uphill climbs.

AT THE STATE LEVEL, we need legislation now in order to:

  • Close loopholes relating to gun show and online sales.
  • Mandate that no guns be sold until background checks are completed.

  • Prosecute illegal or “bad apple” gun dealers. 90% of guns used in crimes are supplied by 5% of the dealers. All gun dealers should have to follow the same laws. (ATF Bureau, Commerce in Firearms, 2000 )

Conclusion

Eighty-nine percent of South Carolina voters support background checks on all gun purchases, including 91% of Republicans and 90% of Democrats (Public Policy Polling, 2015), virtually the same numbers as voters across the U.S. This is not a partisan issue. Background checks are proven lifesavers, but loopholes must be closed on state and federal levels. Informed by conclusive evidence and supported by an overwhelming majority, we are committed to addressing this urgent public health issue with sensible solutions that do not jeopardize our Second Amendment right to lawfully possess firearms.

To make donations:
Gun Sense SC, 1000 Johnnie Dodds Blvd, 103-129, Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
Or donate online .

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Percentage of SC voters who support background check legislation!

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Percentage of all guns purchased in the US without a background check!