Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

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Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence
Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence logo.png
FormationJuly 1993; 25 years ago (1993-07) (as Legal Community Against Violence)
Founded atSan Francisco, California, U.S.
HeadquartersSan Francisco, California, U.S.

The Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Giffords Law Center), previously known as the Legal Community Against Violence and as the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (LCPGV), is a national public interest law center which provides legal assistance to elected officials, government attorneys, and activists in the United States to promote gun control and to oppose firearm ownership. The Giffords Law Center publishes information 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.[1]


LCPGV was established in the wake of a shooting attack on a law firm in downtown San Francisco on July 1, 1993. A gunman armed with several weapons, including a 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.[2]

LCPGV started 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.[3][4] By 1999, the organization began to develop a national strategy,[5] initially focusing on Colorado, Illinois, and Ohio, where state law permitted broad local regulation of firearms.[1]

In 2001, LCPGV launched a website to provide access to detailed gun law and policy-related materials such as 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. The website, also called the Firearms Law Center, was designed to aid local efforts to adopt new gun control ordinances.[6][7]

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 promote gun control 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 ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm for lawful purposes, LCPGV has become increasingly involved in Second Amendment litigation by tracking cases raising Second Amendment claims.[8]

In 2016, the organization merged with Americans for Responsible Solutions, led by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Navy combat veteran and retired NASA astronaut Captain Mark Kelly. In 2017, the organization changed its name to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.


  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Mark Mead, "Gun Control Group Empowers Anti-Gun Citizens" Archived 2012-08-31 at the Wayback Machine,, July 7, 2008.
  7. ^ Nancy McCarthy, "10 years after 101 California Street shooting, repercussions reverberate", California Bar Journal, July 2003.
  8. ^ "About Us", Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence official website (accessed 2013-02-14).

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