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Where we stand on gun violence

Despite common fears, Democrats are not “coming for your guns.” We respect the Second Amendment and recognize that lawful gun ownership is an established American tradition. Most gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens who use their guns for recreational purposes. They handle them safely and secure them properly when not in use. However, in an average year in North Carolina, 1,588 souls die by guns, making it clear those with violent motivations can too easily gain access to powerful weapons never intended for civilians. The result is children and adults slaughtered in cold blood, leaving survivors with horrific wounds and tearing families and communities apart.

Our schools, colleges, places of worship, concerts, nightclubs, workplaces, movie theaters, grocery stores, and banks are no longer safe. Our law enforcement officers know that every day could be their last when they respond to a mass shooting. Our medical personnel know their skills are often no match for the destruction exacted by assault rifles. We’re all too aware that thoughts and prayers cannot stop the senseless bloodshed in America. We are locked in an unending national trauma.

Democrats believe that we need meaningful, universal background checks to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill, those with violent or criminal history, and those with homicidal or suicidal intentions. We are in favor of “red flag” laws to allow state courts to remove guns temporarily from the hands of individuals deemed dangerous to themselves or others. We also support a ban on assault weapons.

While Democrats support these common-sense measures, MAGA Republicans view any gun safety legislation as an assault on the Second Amendment. Many have accepted vast sums of money from gun lobbyists as gun violence proliferates. We cannot continue to accept the resulting loss of life from gun violence as “normal.” We need to elect legislators who recognize that life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the rights of all Americans, not just gun owners.


Here’s what DEMOCRATS are doing to REDUCE gun violence:

  • Enacted the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (2922), which requires enhanced background checks for young adults ages 18 to 21 and narrows the “boyfriend loophole” to keep guns away from convicted domestic violence abusers. It invests $1 billion for crisis interventions like a) “red flag” laws, b) community-based violence prevention measures, and c) mental health. The law clarifies federally licensed gun dealer registration and background check requirements, and makes gun trafficking and straw purchases distinct federal crimes.

  • Introduced the Assault Weapons Ban of 2023 bill in January.

  • In March of 2023, President Biden signed an Executive Order to increase the number of background checks done before firearms are sold.

Here’s what MAGA REPUBLICANS are doing to PRIORITIZE GUNS over people:

  • In 2004, the 10-year ban on assault weapons passed by Congress – significantly reducing U.S. mass-shooting deaths – expired. MAGA Republican lawmakers continue to reject Democratic-led attempts to reinstate a nationwide ban.

  • North Carolina and many other states with Republican-run legislatures have implemented “Stand Your Ground” laws allowing an individual to use deadly force to protect themselves from intruders in their home, vehicle, or workplace. These laws imperil anyone mistakenly knocking on the wrong door, entering the wrong car, or turning into the wrong driveway.

  • Overriding a veto by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper, the MAGA Republican-led NC state legislature made it legal to purchase a pistol without a permit.


Find all of our "Where We Stand" positions, along with legislative data on the issues, on this website, top menu ("Our Values"), in the drop-down ("Where We Stand"): Our Values: Where We Stand


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