Advocating for Gun Safety
We all deserve to live in communities that are safe for ourselves, our children, and our neighbors. Gun violence robs us of this right and has reached the level of a public health crisis, and one that we have felt here in Vermont. I stand with Vermonters in supporting common sense gun laws that will keep our communities and loved ones safe while respecting the rights of law-abiding, gun-owning Vermonters.
As the Legal Advocacy Director for Steps to End Domestic Violence, I was in court with survivors weekly helping them get relief from abuse. I brought this experience with me to the legislature, advancing legislation to remove weapons from households in domestic violence cases and eliminate dangerous loopholes putting Vermonters and their families at risk. I was the lead sponsor of our landmark human trafficking legislation and, in 2013, I was one of just 12 co-sponsors on legislation to establish routine background checks.
I will also be a strong advocate for giving our communities additional tools to take on gun violence stemming from a lack of police accountability, which can often further escalate tensions around firearms. As someone arrested by police when I was young for “curfew,” I know what it’s like to feel criminalized and racially profiled at a young age and tempted to live into that stereotype about who you are. I have worked to dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline by addressing violence with restorative justice outside of the criminal justice system and will continue this fight in the State House.
Finally, I am married to a responsible gun owner who has been trained in gun safety, including safe storage practices. Our state has the highest rate of gun ownership in the Northeast, and passing gun safety legislation here inevitably involves working with responsible gun owners and getting buy-in from a wide range of voters. I will be a strong messenger for bipartisanship on this issue in the State Senate, using my own experience in a gun owning family to work across party lines.