As State Senator, Jay Chaudhuri will take on Republicans to push for stronger gun control laws that will keep guns out of the hands of those who commit domestic violence and those who are on the terrorist watch list.
PREVENTING AND REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE
Columbine. Blacksburg. Newtown. Charleston. San Bernadino. In 2015, we had 329 mass shootings resulting in more than 13,000 deaths and more than 26,000 injuries. That’s almost one shooting per day during the year. And in North Carolina alone, a gun kills somebody every eight hours. Jay supports a commonsense approach to address gun violence, including expanding background checks for all guns, barring access to those on the terrorist watch list and domestic abusers, and preventing school violence.
JAY HAS A RECORD OF PREVENTING AND REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE
- As Special Counsel to Attorney General Roy Cooper, he designed a nationally-recognized school safety kit. In partnership with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) and Center for Prevention of School Violence, Jay developed the Critical Incident Response Kit that helps educators and law enforcement develop and prepare an emergency plan for a school shooting. The kit was distributed to every private, public and charter school in the State. In 2013, after the Newtown school shooting, a national task force led by Vice President Joe Biden recommended that all schools develop an emergency response similar to the Attorney General’s school safety kit.
- As Special Counsel to Attorney General Roy Cooper, he helped put in place a new law enforcement training that has saved lives. To help law enforcement respond to school violence, Jay worked with the North Carolina Justice Academy and SBI to introduce rapid deployment training. This technique teaches law enforcement officers – who are first on the scene in a shooting – to assemble a team, enter the building, and locate and subdue the assailant. During a school shooting, such training can save lives, and in September 2006 it did. An Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy responded immediately when a former student began shooting at a high school and was able to stop the shooter before any students were seriously injured. “Orange High School is proof that [rapid deployment training] works,” he said.
- As Special Counsel to Attorney General Roy Cooper, he led the Attorney General’s Campus Safety Task Force. Two days after the Virginia Tech shootings, Attorney General Cooper established the Campus Safety Task Force designed to recommend ways to prevent and respond to similar shootings. Specifically, the Task Force recommended that court clerks enter mental health commitments into a national database that provides information for gun permit background checks. In 2008, that recommendation became law, closing the same loophole that allowed the Virginia Tech shooter to obtain guns.
AS STATE SENATOR, JAY WILL:
FIGHT TO MAINTAIN BACKGROUND CHECKS AND REQUIRE A BACKGROUND CHECK FOR ALL GUN SALES
- Fight to maintain background checks for handgun sales. During the last legislative session, extreme gun rights activists tried to undo a requirement to obtain a permit and undergo a background check before purchasing a handgun, even for unlicensed dealers. Jay will fight to make sure that such background checks for handgun sales remain in place.
- Require a background check for all gun sales. According to the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the biggest gap in federal firearms laws is the “private sale” loophole. Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to carry out background checks on potential firearms purchasers; however, it does not require “private” unlicensed sellers to run such background checks. Today, 40 percent of all guns transferred in our country take place through these unlicensed sellers. The lack of such checks has real consequences for North Carolina: according to Mayors Against Illegal Guns, North Carolina is a top 20 crime gun exporter. While North Carolina requires a background check for handgun sales, it does not extend to all gun sales, including military-style weapons and weapons sold at gun shows. The most commonsense way to make sure guns are not sold to terrorists and domestic abusers is to require all private sales to be processed through a licensed dealer or law enforcement.
CLOSE THE LOOPHOLE FOR THOSE ON THE TERRORIST WATCH LIST AND DOMESTIC ABUSERS
- Close the terrorist watch list loophole. In December 2015, Attorney General Cooper borrowed an idea from Republican Governor Chris Christie and urged the legislature to pass legislation that prohibits any suspected terrorist on the FBI watch list from purchasing firearms. According to the United States Government Accounting Office, between 2004 and 2014, more than 2,000 suspected terrorists were allowed to purchase guns, a 91 percent success rate. Jay will fight to close the terrorist watch list loophole.
- Stop domestic abusers from buying guns. Many tragic incidents could have been prevented if North Carolina had a law that stopped domestic violence abusers or stalkers from possessing a gun. Jay will fight to make sure that our State closes the domestic violence loophole.
PREVENT SCHOOL VIOLENCE BY FUNDING MORE PSYCHOLOGISTS AND COUNSELORS
- Provide funding for more school psychologists and counselors. Behavioral specialists such as school psychologists and counselors are critical in identifying students that may ultimately pose a threat. However, our state average of one school psychologist for every 2,000 students is below the national standard of one for every 700 students. Our state average of one school counselor for every 375 students falls below the average of one for every 250 students. Jay will push for more funding for school psychologists and counselors so school districts have the assistance they need.