End Gun Violence

Enough is enough when it comes to gun deaths across the United States, the time for moments of silence is over.

At the outset of his campaign, McDermott is taking aim at two issues — the 2010 Citizens United ruling in which the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back virtually all limits on political spending, and the spread of gun violence as a major public health crisis in America. – SeattlePI.com, January 20, 2016

“For too long, politicians in Washington DC have kowtowed to the National Rifle Association. It is past time that we pass tough background checks, ban military style assault weapons plaguing our communities and once and for all hold gun manufacturers liable for the over thirty thousand deaths they cause in our country every year.” – Joe McDermott, Campaign Announcement, January 20, 2016

The fact that over 30,000 people lose their lives to a gun in the United States annually is outrageous and it is past time to tackle this issue head on. Joe is the only candidate who has taken on this issue from day-one in this campaign, and is the only candidate with a track record of delivering real results on the issue here in Washington state.


Joe has delivered

✔ Declared gun deaths a public health crisis.

  • As Chair of the King County Board of Health, Joe led the effort to declare gun deaths a public health crisis in 2013. This now allows King County public health officials to collect data on gun deaths in King County to better inform policy solutions that can keep our families and communities safe.

✔ Created “LOK-IT-UP” program to keep children safe.

  • King County now partners with local retailers to offer discounts on gun safes, trigger and cable locks, and other safe storage devices for firearms.
  • Public health research has demonstrated that safe storage reduces firearm suicides by 78% and unintentional shootings by 85%.

“We have a moral obligation to curb gun violence. Every jurisdiction must do what is within its power to keep our communities safe,” said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, the chair of the Board of Health.”January 17, 2013


The plan for Congress

✘ Declare gun violence and deaths a public health crisis nationally.

  • Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is prohibited from tracking data related to gun deaths in the United States. We can’t come up with creative solutions backed up by sound science and data while this important work is being blocked.

✘ Hold gun manufacturers liable for their products.

  • Gun manufacturers are currently exempt from liability for their products after Congress passed the “Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act” in 2005. This must be overturned.
  • Just like every other industry in the country, gun manufacturers must be accountable for the products they create so they have an incentive to create safer products.

✘ Ban assault weapons.

  • Assault rifles, like the AR-15, are designed for no other reason than to shoot a large number of bullets in a very short amount of time – these killing machines do not belong in our streets.

✘ Expand and enhance background checks.

  • Currently, background checks are only required for purchases from a federally licensed firearms dealer which leaves major loopholes for other methods of purchase.
  • Universal background checks will be the most effective way to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals looking to inflict harm on our communities.


See Joe’s statement and call to action after the tragedy of the Orlando shooting this year – Click Here.