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MoveOn Gun Owners Appear Beside President Obama at White House As He Announces Executive Actions to Curb Gun Violence

Joining the president in the East Room today are gun owners and survivors representing the millions of responsible gun owners nationwide.

WASHINGTON, DC – Members of Gun Owners for Gun Control, a 32,000-member initiative by MoveOn.org to mobilize responsible gun owners in the fight for stronger gun safety laws, are joining President Obama at the White House today as the president announces executive actions to expand background checks and curb gun violence.

MoveOn members who will appear beside President Obama are:

David Taylor—a retired Army officer and two-time All American in rifle shooting from Roswell, GA. A former dues-paying member of the National Rifle Association for more than a decade, David resigned his membership “when their agenda turned from promoting gun safety and responsible ownership to one of uncompromising opposition to any kind of gun control.”

Emily Landers—a responsible gun owner and survivor of gun violence from Granby, CT. Emily suffered a permanent spinal cord injury when she was shot in the back during a robbery, and she has been a victim advocate and victim service office for two governors and a lieutenant governor in Alabama.

Also joining the President today at the White House are MoveOn members Mark Carman (Hampton Roads, VA), Grant Short (Paint Lick, KY), and gun owner and survivor Karen Kelley (Nashville, TN).

Gun owners applauded President Obama for the executive actions today, which also included directing the FBI to overhaul and accelerate its processes for conducting background checks—including conducting checks 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—and hiring more than 230 new examiners. In addition to restricting guns from violent people, this change benefits responsible gun owners.

“As a gun owner and former member of the NRA, I fully support President Obama’s actions today,” said David Taylor. “Congress has failed to act to reduce gun violence. As the only elected official who represents every American, President Obama is duty bound to take these meaningful actions. He has my full support and that of the majority of responsible gun owners in this country.”

“Despite a Congress that has refused to act on this issue, President Barack Obama is bold and courageous enough to take action,” said Emily Landers. “If today’s measures save the life and health of even one person–one of our children, neighbors, friends, siblings or parents–President Obama’s actions will embody the change for which responsible gun owners have been campaigning.”

Taylor and Landers were two of 15 gun-owning MoveOn members from across the country who traveled together to Washington, D.C. in November to urge the Obama administration and members of Congress to take meaningful action to stem the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. During the trip, the gun owners met with White House Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett and delivered more than 1 million signatures in support of stronger gun safety laws to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

See Getty photos from the delegation to DC here: http://gtty.im/1PH0hBd

See a video of the delegation here: https://www.facebook.com/moveon/videos/10153117269890493/

“Today’s executive actions to strengthen background checks are important steps to fight the epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Jo Comerford, campaign director for MoveOn.org. “The overwhelming majority of Americans support stronger background checks, including gun owners. And the voices of responsible gun owners hell-bent on breaking the NRA’s choke hold on gun-safety will be crucial to overcome the mounting opposition to this executive action and to make our country safer.”

Through Gun Owners for Gun Control, MoveOn members are committed to engaging the millions of responsible gun owners to challenge the NRA and build the political support needed to keep our communities safe from gun violence.

The NRA says it speaks for our country’s gun owners, but it has just 5 million dues-paying members—only about 6 percent of all U.S. gun owners. And even many NRA members disagree with the organization on policy. For instance, the NRA opposes requiring background checks for private and gun show sales, but 72 percent of NRA members support it, according to a November 2015 poll commissioned by MoveOn.org and the Center for American Progress.