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Congresswoman Yvette Clarke

Representing the 9th District of New York


Gun Violence Prevention










The United States has an issue with the illegal use of firearms, this cannot be denied. According to the National Center for Injury Prevention & Control and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, guns took the lives of 32,163 Americans in homicides, suicides and unintentional shootings in 2011. This is the equivalent of approximately 88 deaths each day and almost 4 deaths each hour. Additionally, 73,505 Americans were treated in hospital emergency rooms for non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2010. As we consider these statistics, we must also recognize that they do not take into account the hundreds of thousands of lives that are impacted by gun violence as it ripples across our communities.

Furthermore, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Vital Statistics, the United States had 3.6 gun-related homicides, and 5.1 overall homicides per 100,000 people in 2011. These statistics, while eye opening on their own, are truly shocking when compared to other Western developed nations with comprehensive gun legislation. The United Kingdom, one of our oldest and closest allies and a country with a rich and vibrant culture like our own, is reported to have a rate of .07 homicides due to guns per 100,000 people - a rate over 50 times lower than the United States. Its homicide rate overall is also reported to be 1.2 per 100,000 people, suggesting that there is a definite correlation between easy access to firearms and their propensity to aggravate the outcome of violent crime.

While New York has relatively strong gun safety laws - at least in comparison to other states - much of the nation does little to address gun safety. The illegal trafficking of weapons across state lines, therefore, continues to be one of the most salient factors perpetuating gun violence in New York. According to 2010 statistics from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives, 66.5% of guns used in crimes in New York originated from other states compared to the national average of 29.8%.  These statistics reinforce the absolute necessity of passing federal legislation that addresses firearm acquisition and illegal trafficking on a national level.

In recent years, we have far too often seen the devastating and heartbreaking effects of our lax approach to gun safety. From an unstable man attacking Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, killing six men, women, and children simply at the supermarket meeting their Congresswoman, to the recurring incidence of mass shootings of the young and innocent in our schools and public places, our nation has seen time and time again the horrendous tragedy that results when we allow access to firearms without taking into consideration the intent of the individual seeking to obtain a weapon. This is clear not only to me, but to millions of Americans who are reaching out to their elected officials, signing petitions, and working diligently to enact comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation in this country.

We are in need of a national solution and I stand in solidarity with my constituents, my colleagues, and the millions of others that are passionate about this issue. I know that there are responsible gun owners across our nation, and am cognizant that tragedies due to gun violence that continue to tear apart our communities are not a reflection of the character of the majority of gun owners. I cannot in good conscience, however, allow the irrationality of fringe elements pushing for laissez-faire access to weapons of incredible power to sway my desire to seek fair and comprehensive gun violence legislation.

In the first seven years of the U.S.-Iraq War, over 4,400 American soldiers lost their lives in service to our nation. It should give us pause, therefore, to consider that almost as many civilians are killed with guns in the U.S. every seven weeks. I urge you to consider this perspective as we work to determine the route our nation needs to take on gun violence prevention in order to provide for the general welfare of our entire population.

More on Gun Violence Prevention

Jan 6, 2016 Press Release

Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in support of President Obama's executive order expanding background checks on the sale of guns and encouraging the expanded use of smart gun technology. 

Oct 20, 2015 In The News

"The NYPD responds to a staggering number of domestic violence reports — 770 every day — according to U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, who recently held a forum with experts and elected officials to come up with ways to address the problem."

May 5, 2015 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. - Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the passing of Officer Brian Moore, who had been shot on Saturday in Queens, at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.

May 27, 2014 Press Release

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in honor of those brave military patriots who gave their lives for our nation, to protect and preserve our way of life and the freedoms we cherish as Americans, on this Memorial Day.

May 7, 2013 Press Release

BROOKLYN, NY – U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke has become a co-sponsor of legislation that will prevent convicted criminals and people with dangerous mental illnesses from buying firearms.


The proposal – the Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013 – would expand the existing background check program to almost every purchase of a firearm. Representative Peter King, a Republican from New York, and Representative Mike Thompson, a Democrat from California, introduced the legislation.


Mar 29, 2013 In The News

More than 3,000 Seventh-day Adventist youth and supporters marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in New York last Saturday in a demonstration calling for compassion and an end to violence.  Adventist youth march across the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday March 23 in a call for compassion and an end to violence.