Gun Violence

Women’s Voices opposed guns in the Missouri State Capitol Building!

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, January 4, 2019: “When Gov. Mike Parson’s administration proposed a plan to allow visitors to carry guns in the Missouri Capitol, they asked for comments about the policy from the public.”

“The response was an outcry of opposition. Every one of the 50 comments that flowed in between mid-November and mid-December opposed the plan, saying firearms should not be allowed in the building, even if the owners have concealed carry permits.”

Quoted in the article were Women’s Voices co-presidents, Mary Clemons and Ruth Ehresman, from the points made here in the letter submitted on behalf of 1,600 supporters opposing a rule change to allow gun owners with concealed carry permits the right to carry their gun into the MO State Capitol building.

Reasons we strongly opposed gun owners with concealed carry permits to carry their guns into the Missouri State Capitol building include:

  • Visitors to the State Capitol are required to go through metal detectors. This is to ensure a safe environment in the building; there is no need for people to carry firearms to protect themselves on this site.
  • Many school groups visit the Capitol. Children and teachers should not be subjected to people with firearms roaming the building. We have heard comments from parents that if guns are allowed in the Capitol, they will not allow their children to go on field trips.
  • The rule states that guns would not be allowed in the chambers or committee meetings. There is no logical way that this can be enforced.
  • At the present time, visitors are not permitted to bring knives into the Capitol building. Balloons are not allowed either. What is the rationale for allowing firearms, the most deadly weapons of all, on the property?

For now, the change has taken affect; however with the public outcry of opposition, the rule may face review by the panel of lawmakers responsible for reviewing administrative rule changes. So now you can bring guns, but please no dogs in the Capitol! Read here.


No More Thoughts and Prayers

Documentary film about the March for Our Lives produced and edited by Women’s Voices members Angela LambMichele Steinberg. This 19 minute film, made with documentary film maker Angela Lamb, includes interviews with Becky Morgan of St Louis Mom’s Demand Action and some of the teen leaders of the St. Louis march. Available on Amazon (free for Prime members) and on Vimeo


Gun Violence Against Women Act about to expire

August 11, 2018

The Violence Against Women Act — which directs the national response to crimes of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence and stalking — will expire at the end of September if lawmakers don’t act fast.

In late July, House Democrats introduced a measure to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, or VAWA. Then House lawmakers went on recess. When they return on Sept. 4, they will have only a few weeks before the law expires.

Read more here.

Success! Bill That Would Allow Concealed Firearms In Schools Fails

HB 1936, a dangerous bill that would force colleges to allow hidden, loaded handguns on their campuses, and allow guns in private schools, bars, and day care centers, did not come up for a vote in the Missouri legislature.

Women’s Voices president Lise Bernstein and Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions co-chairs Barbara Harris and Mary Schuman wrote House Speaker Todd Richardson and MO House Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo asking them to not bring HB 1936 to the floor for a vote. They said the bill would allow concealed weapons on college campuses, churches, daycare facilities and bars will put more people at risk of being injured or killed. Read the letter here.

NRA Sues Florida Over New Gun Law

March 9, 2018 – The Florida Governor signed a new law that prohibits gun sales to anyone under 21. The law also imposes a three-day waiting period for any gun purchase, and includes stricter gun ownership measures for those with mental health problems. Read more about the new law here. As soon as the bill was signed the NRA sued the state for “violating the constitutional rights of 18- to 21-year-olds.” Read about the law suit here.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Stops Selling Assault Style Rifles and Calls For Common-Sense Gun Reforms

One of the nation’s largest sports retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, said Wednesday morning it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores.The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws. Read their media statement here.

Walmart raises minimum age to purchase guns and ammunition to 21

Walmart, the largest seller of firearms and ammunition in the U.S., announced Wednesday that it would no longer sell guns or ammo to anyone under the age of 21. The move comes the same day that Dick’s Sporting Goodsannounced it would no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 and said it would stop selling assault-style weapons.

Tell Senator Blunt: Vote No on Concealed Carry Reciprocity 

Missouri Senator Roy Blunt has received $4,551,146 from the NRA….the third largest Senate recipient of NRA funds. 

Yet another school shooting on February 14 has left at least 17 students and adults dead in Parkland FL.

Now, the NRA is trying to gut our gun laws — putting our communities and our families at risk. We must block the NRA’s extremist agenda of more guns in more places for more dangerous people, no questions asked. If the NRA gets their way, states would be forced to abide by the weakest gun laws in the nation. The NRA wants to force all 50 states to recognize the decisions other states make about who can carry a gun in public — even rock-bottom standards that allow people who have never passed a background check or had any safety training whatsoever.

This policy — what they call “Concealed Carry Reciprocity” — is a dream for gun extremists and a nightmare for our country’s public safety. Stand with the majority of the American people, block concealed carry reciprocity, and fight back every time the NRA tries to gut our gun laws.

This bill is the NRA’s number one priority. And it is headed to the Senate for a vote. 

Here’s what Senator Blunt said after the Las Vegas massacre: “Saddened by the tragic loss of life in #LasVegas. My thoughts are with all of the families affected by this horrific attack.” Words are not enough….his actions speak louder than words. 

Call Senator Blunt and let him know you oppose concealed carry reciprocity. Clayton office 314-725-4484 Washington DC office 202-224-5721

And, click here to take send him an e-mail.



1 – Register to vote and VOTE for candidates who advocate for comprehensive gun control reform! If you’re in Missouri, find out how to register here.

2 – Contact your legislators and urge them to vote for gun control measures, but also for mental health coverage. Not sure who to contact? Look up your elected officials here. 

3 – Sign this petition to ban assault weapons and high capacity magazines.

4 – Volunteer for an organization that works to reduce gun violence

5 – Donate to Gun Control Organizations

6 – Be SMART

  • S – Secure all guns in your home and vehicles
  • M – Model responsible behavior around guns
  • A – Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in other homes
  • R – Recognize the risks of teen suicide
  • T – Tell your peers to be SMART
  • Source: Mom’s Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Newtown Parents Action Alliance Calls for Assault Weapons Ban

October 2, 2017–We are horrified by the deaths and injuries this morning in Las Vegas. Women’s Voices is a member of the Newtown Action Alliance. The Alliance will be resurrecting the Campaign Against Assault Weapons and will be contacting the sponsor of HR 4269, Representative David N. Cicilline. Click here to see the 149 co-sponsors of this bill.

Rep. Lacy Clay of St. Louis is a co-sponsor. Call Rep Ann Wagner at 202-225-1621 and urge her to sign on as a co-sponsor.

The Truth About Suicide & Guns

There are 20,000 gun suicides in the U.S. every year, more than 50 every single day. That’s more than half of all suicides and two-thirds of all gun deaths, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Research shows a gun in the home makes a suicide three times more likely. There are a few reasons why the presence of a gun in the home is a risk factor for suicide. First is the surprising impulsivity of many suicide attempts. Guns are also so much more lethal than other methods. Most people who survive a suicide attempt do not go on to die by suicide, but only one in 10 people who attempt suicide by gun get that second chance.

Limiting easy access to a gun for someone who considers or even attempts suicide can literally be the difference between life and death. Read more

September is National Suicide Prevention Month. Click here for more information.

Stolen Guns Pose Substantial Risk to Public Safety 

Missouri ranks 14th highest in the nation for the number of guns stolen from homes–30,697 between 2012-2015. A recent study study identified a few common traits of gun owners who are victimized by theft: Those who own many guns, those who regularly carry their guns outside their homes, and those who do not employ safe storage practices while at home face a higher risk of gun theft. Read more

Women’s Voices’ “Lock it for Love” project provides free gun locks in the St. Louis area. For more information click here.


Women’s Voices Participated in a Gun Violence Forum

June 19, 2017

Womens Voices participated in a panel discussion at the St. Louis Safety Group Meeting at the Carondelet Park ‘Y’ moderated by Dee Brown who founded this group four years ago. The four panel members each spoke about the group they represented and how the group addresses gun violence.

Andrea Bauman, member of the Women’s Voices Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions Committee, spoke about our Lock it for Love program and the ASK event at City Hall on June 21. The national ASK day reminds parents to ask if there are unlocked firearms in areas where children play and is sponsored by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

16 Children Hospitalized Daily for Gunshot Wounds

The majority of the children under 15 hospitalized with gunshot wounds were unintentionally injured and said these accidents could easily have been prevented if the guns had been locked up. An estimated one out of three US homes with children has a gun, and about 1.7 million US children live in homes with unlocked and loaded guns. Read more

 Keeping Our Kids Safe: Doctors Call for Action

Pediatric trauma surgeon Martin Keller, MD, and pediatric emergency physician Bo Kennedy, MD, reported that between 2002-2015, St. Louis Children’s Hospital cared for 916 children who were injured or killed by firearms. Thirty-five percent of these were younger than 15. The doctors spoke on March 7 at the Pediatric Firearm Injury Symposium: Keeping Our Kids Safe, sponsored by the Washington University Institute for Public Health.

Among the children treated for gunshot injuries were:

  • 9-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet while she sat in her room doing her homework;
  • 12-year-old boy accidentally killed by his friend when playing with his grandfather’s pistol kept under his pillow;
  • 2-year-old boy paralyzed when his father accidentally discharged his gun during loading;
  • 5-year-old girl caught in a cross-fire as she sat on her front porch;
  • 10-year-old boy killed by his mother overwhelmed with mental illness;
  • 5-month-old girl shot by her father’s pistol when it fell from his coat;
  • 4-year-old boy who found a handgun at home and placed the barrel into his mouth and pulled the trigger as he had often done to get a drink from his water-pistol.

Presenters called for greater public awareness about the danger of loaded, unlocked guns in the home, as well as gun lock programs. Women’s Voices is proud that its “Lock It For Love” program provides awareness, education, and preventive measures as well as free gun locks to families in our community. Pictured above are Women’s Voices members Harriet Kopolow, Lise Bernstein and Dede Berg. 

New law Jan. 1, 2017: No permit necessary for concealed carry in Missouri

In Missouri, anyone able to own a gun legally is able to open carry. Starting Jan. 1, 2017, you don’t have to have a permit in order to conceal your weapon. Read more

Vigil to Remember St. Louis Area Gun Violence Victims

December 2016

Facebook cover social media The Common-Sense Gun Solutions Committee invites you to CLICK HERE to remember every man, woman and child who fell victim to gunfire in St. Louis city or St. Louis county this year. Some were murdered, some were suicides, and some were victims of accidental shootings. All of them were our neighbors.

Gun Safety Technology Exists. Why Isn’t it Used?

Technology that allows only the rightful owner to use a gun is available. And guidelines have been drafted on how to put this technology into practice. “Smart” guns could save lives, including the thousands of teens who use guns to commit suicide. Click here to see how opposition from the NRA has blocked smart guns from the marketplace.

Loopholes Give Domestic Abusers Access to Guns

  • Domestic violence episodes involving guns are 12 times more likely to result in death than those using other weapons or bodily force.
  • Domestic abuse situations are five times more likely to be fatal if the abuser has access to a gun.
  • Women in the United States are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than women in other high-income countries.
    In spite of these horrifying statistics, federal law remains full of deadly loopholes that allow domestic abusers to buy guns and use them to terrorize their partners and even their children. Especially troubling is “the boyfriend loophole.” In many states, abuse of a dating partner doesn’t disqualify an individual from buying a gun the way abuse of a spouse does. My team and I are working tirelessly to pass legislation to modernize the law and recognize that domestic violence is unacceptable, no matter the marital status of the perpetrator. Read more

Accidental shootings kill a child every other day

October, 2016

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that 74 minors died from accidental discharges of firearms in 2014, the latest year for which comparable data are available. The AP and USA TODAY analysis counted 113 for that year, suggesting the federal government missed about a third of the cases.

Read article here

Missouri’s Weak Gun Laws; High Rate of Gun Deaths

Click here to see Missouri’s rating as an F from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

Tragedy of Kids & Guns: Preventing Accidental Shootings

Last year at least 278 children unintentionally fired a gun and injured or killed someone. Kids such as the 5-year-old in Missouri who was playing with his grandfather’s handgun when he fired it, killing his infant brother. Read more

About Our Gun Violence Work:

Campaign for Common-Sense Gun Solutions

Launched on Mother’s Day 2013 with a full-page ad in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch See ad.

Lock it for Love

Provides gun safety information and free gun locks to parents and others to prevent accidental shootings. See Lock It For Love page.

Position Paper: Gun violence and gun control. Approved by a vote of Women’s Voices’ members, February 2013

Programs: April 2014 – a forum “Safe & Sound: Smart Strategies to Protect Children from Gun Violence.”; March, 2015 Stolen Childhoods: The Emotional Toll of Gun Violence
April 14, 2016 Gun Violence Through the Lens of the Law