The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) (and its sister organization, the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (EFSGV)) is a non-profit organization that emerged from the civil rights movement in the mid 1970s to campaign for measures aimed at reducing firearm death and injury. CSGV lists the following as their mission statement: "The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. The organization was originally known as the National Coalition to Ban Handguns. In the early 1980s, the organization's name was changed to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
Guns Democracy and Freedom: CSGV argued against the majority opinion outcome in the DC v. Heller Supreme Court decision, which found that an individual possesses a constitutional right to keep and bear arms against possible future government tyranny. Prior to the Supreme Court's opinion, CSGV's sister organization, EFSGV, had submitted an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court case DC v. Heller opposing the lower court's ruling that the District of Columbia's handgun ban was unconstitutional and opposing the eventual majority opinion ruling that individuals possessed the right to insurrection against a tyrannical government.
Microstamping: CSGV supports, on state and federal levels, the implementation and research relating to firearm microstamping, an emerging ballistic identification technology which purports to allow law enforcement to trace the serial number of a firearm from ejected cartridge case(s) recovered at a crime scene. The technology's effectiveness is much disputed. Microstamping has recently been enacted into law in the state of California.
Closing the "Gun Show Loophole": CSGV is in favor of universal background checks, to include all firearm transactions at gun shows. At one point, an estimated 40% of firearms transactions in the United States are conducted without a background check, due to what CSGV calls a "loophole" in federal and state laws that allow private individuals to sell guns to other private individuals living in the same state without conducting background checks on purchasers. Yet, the majority of such guns, acquired without a background check, is not from gun shows; records indicate only 2% of the guns acquired by inmates prior to incarceration came from gun shows. The majority of such guns (35%) were acquired from family or friends. (See 1997 graphic.)
Federal Legislation: Through federal legislation, CSGV supports repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, renewing the Assault Weapons Ban, closing the "gun show loophole", prohibiting individuals who are on a terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms , and keeping rules that prohibit carrying loaded firearms in National Parks. Proponents of the rule change argue that the federal property upon which national parks are situated should adopt similar laws to state laws for the state in which the federal park is located, that permit duly-licensed and trained individuals to exercise state-permitted carrying of firearms for self-defense against predators. Proponents of CSGV's position believe that an increase in the carrying of loaded weapons in National Parks will lead to more homicides, suicides, and accidents, while also expressing environmental concerns regarding lead bullets and opining that the best way to protect oneself from the danger of wild animals is to follow the park's regulations. The proposed rule change is opposed by some within the National Park Service. However, although weapons are generally banned on most Federal property, National Parks in some parts of Alaska encourage hikers to carry firearms for protection against wild animals; still, the National Park Service notes that "Firearms should never be used as an alternative to common-sense approaches to bear encounters.
Joshua Horwitz is the Executive Director of CSGV/EFSGV. Mr. Horwitz is an attorney who joined the Ed Fund in 1989 as Legal Director.
Ladd Everitt has served as the organization's Director of Communications since May 2006.
Manda Kelley has served as the organization's Development Officer since November 2006.