Gun Violence

About Our Gun Violence Work:

Our 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

Our Lock it For Love program began in 2015 and provides gun safety information and free gun locks to parents and others to prevent unintentional shootings.

See Lock It For Love page here

What makes the Virginia Beach shooting different from other massacres

June 3, 2019 – The PBS NewsHour

Amna Nawaz of PBS talks with former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem about the use of a suppresser (gun silencer) in the Virginia Beach shooting.  “…you have a situation in which not only do people not know how to respond, but, as importantly, the police officers and the first-responders have both a muted sort of noise level and a capacity to know where that noise is coming from.”

Kayyem ends with, “Legislation has worked in the past, and it will work in the future.”

Click here to read the transcript or watch the 7 minute segment.

Removing Guns From Those Deemed a Danger to Themselves or Others

February 10, 2019

Several bills have been filed during the current Missouri legislative session that would temporarily remove guns from people deemed a danger to themselves or others. Nine states have passed “red flag” laws during the last year and “courts are issuing an unprecedented number of seizure orders across the country. Supporters say these “red flag” laws are among the most promising tools to reduce the nearly 40,000 suicides and homicides by firearm each year in the U.S. Gun advocates, though, say such measures undermine their constitutional rights and can result in people being stripped of their weapons on false or vindictive accusations.”  Read more here

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

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.


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

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.

16 Children Hospitalized Daily for Gunshot Wounds

May, 2017

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

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

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