Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
The Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), previously known as the Legal Community Against Violence, is a national public interest law center dedicated to preventing gun violence. LCPGV provides legal assistance to elected officials, government attorneys and activists across the United States to promote effective, legally defensible laws and policies to reduce gun violence. LCPGV also educates the public via print publications and media outreach about gun laws and gun control. The organization has been active in promoting gun control ordinances in California and elsewhere, as well as conducting litigation to defend gun control laws against challenges.
History and gun violence prevention
LCPGV formed in the wake of the July 1, 1993, massacre at a law firm in downtown San Francisco. On that date, a gunman armed with several weapons, including a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, shot 14 people at the law firm of Pettit and Martin at 101 California Street in San Francisco before turning a gun on himself. In response, Bay Area lawyers established LCPGV.
LCPGV began its work in 1993 by focusing on the local regulation of firearms in California, adopting a "local ordinance project" that successfully promoted the adoption of local gun laws in many municipalities. By 1999, the civil rights organization began to develop a national strategy, initially focusing on Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio where state law permits broad local regulation of firearms.
In 2001, LCPGV launched its website to provide access to the organization’s detailed gun law and policy-related materials, including: summaries of federal, state and local firearms laws; detailed discussion of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; summaries of firearm-related policies; research and analysis on firearms law and policy; amicus curiae briefs filed in firearm-related litigation; and model legislation for states and localities to utilize, among many other resources. The website, also called the Firearms Law Center, was designed to aid local efforts to adopt new gun control ordinances. With the launch of the site, LCPGV formally began offering legal support to activists and officials across the country. LCPGV launched a membership program to strengthen the legal community’s role in helping to stop gun violence and continues to publish comprehensive reports and analyses of gun violence. Following the landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago, which interpreted the meaning and scope of the Second Amendment, LCPGV has become increasingly involved in Second Amendment litigation by tracking cases raising Second Amendment claims.
- Carter, Terry (April 2001). "Battles Won, War Continues: Lawyers' group succeeds locally with firearms initiatives, looks to branch out". ABA Journal (American Bar Association) 87: 24–25.
- Richard C. Paddock, "Gun Control Push Begun at Law Firm : Massacre: Employees return to San Francisco building targeted by gunman. Some have formed a group that will call for stricter legislation." Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1993.
- Laura Linden, "Disarming Tactics: Why is a group of well-heeled lawyers helping empower local communities to pass stricter gun control ordinances? Take a look behind-the-scenes of the unusual grass roots organizing project that's been successfully outwitting the California gun lobby." Mother Jones, March 3, 1997.
- Kristin A. Goss, Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control in America (Princeton University Press, 2006), ISBN 978-0691124247, pp. 180-182. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Gregg Lee Carter, ed., Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, (ABC-CLIO, 2002) ISBN 978-1576072684, vol. 1, pp. 354-355. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Mark Mead, "Gun Control Group Empowers Anti-Gun Citizens", CNSNews.com, July 7, 2008.
- Nancy McCarthy, "10 years after 101 California Street shooting, repercussions reverberate", California Bar Journal, July 2003.
- "About Us", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence official website (accessed 2013-02-14).