Josh Sugarmann is an American activist for gun control in the United States. He is the executive director and founder in 1988 of the Violence Policy Center (VPC), a non-profit advocacy and educational organization, and the author of two books on gun control. He has written a blog on these issues for the Huffington Post and publishes opinion pieces in the media.
Sugarmann grew up in Newtown, Connecticut, graduating in the high school class of 1978. He graduated from Boston University with a degree in journalism. He moved to Washington, DC, where he became engaged in public interest activities, serving as a press officer in the national office of Amnesty International USA and as the communications director for the National Coalition to Ban Handguns (now known as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence).
In 1988 Sugarmann founded the Violence Policy Center, a 501(c3) gun control advocacy and educational group based in Washington, DC. The Violence Policy Center is known mainly for its in-depth research on the firearms industry, the causes and effects of gun violence, and recommendations for regulatory policies to reduce gun violence.[page needed]
Sugarmann has opposed the widespread availability of semi-automatic rifles. In 1988 he published a study, Assault Weapons and Accessories in America. It examined the growing popularity of semiautomatic weapons, referring to them as "assault weapons". Together with the response to a mass shooting in Stockton, California, the following year, his study has been credited for popularizing the use of the term "assault weapons." The Violence Policy Center 1988 study documents advertising by the gun industry that specifically refers to these weapons as assault rifles.[page needed]
Together with other gun control advocates, Sugarmann argues that gun control should be approached as a broad-based public health issue, as opposed to solely a crime issue. He suggests that firearms should be held to the same health and safety standards as other consumer products. This approach is developed in the 1994 paper published by the VPC, Cease Fire: A Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Firearms Violence, which he co-authored. In the 21st century, VPC studies have assessed the effects of gun violence on black and Hispanic communities, exploring the health effects for children of communities where the frequency of violence is high.
Sugarmann has written two books on gun control. National Rifle Association: Money, Firepower & Fear (1992) was an exposé of the National Rifle Association. The second, Every Handgun is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns (2000), gives reasons to ban private possession of handguns in the United States.
He maintains a Class One Federal Firearms License in Washington, DC, which makes it legal for him to transfer and handle firearms. In contrast to many gun-control activists, Sugarmann believes a full ban on handguns is necessary. He has also called for bans on semi-automatic rifles and firearm magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds. He regularly writes a blog on gun control issues for the Huffington Post.
- Olinger, David. "War comes home for founder of group fighting for assault weapons ban". Denver Post. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Lourdes, Meluza (1986-03-24). "Release Cuban Activists, Group Urges". Miami Herald. Check date values in:
- Sugarmann, Josh (1986-03-24). "Progress Gives Us Great New Handgun -- Hijacker Special". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "Josh Sugarmann". Huffington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Carter, Gregg Lee (2012). Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law, 2nd Edition. ABC CLIO. ISBN 978-0313386701.
- "Assault Weapons and Accessories in America". Violence Policy Center. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- Blake, Aaron. "Is it fair to call them 'assault weapons'?". Washington Post. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "Cease Fire: A Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Firearms Violence". Violence Policy Center. Retrieved 23 June 2014.
- "National Rifle Assoc (review)". Publishers Weekly. 05/04/1992. Check date values in:
- Broderick, J (1992-01-01). "Book reviews: Social sciences (Reviews the book NRA: Money, Firepower & Fear, by Josh Sugarmann.)". Library Journal. 117 (1): 155.
- "Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns". Publishers Weekly. 03/01/2001. Retrieved 22 January 2013. Check date values in:
- Brustman, Mary Jane (4/1/2001). "Every Handgun Is Aimed at You (Book Review)". Library Journal. 126 (6): 117. Check date values in:
- Stone, Peter (5/7/2001). "Lethal Weapons (Reviews three non-fiction books on gun ban. 'Gun Violence: The Real Costs,' by Philip J. Cook; 'Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics and Symbolism of Gun Control,' by William J. Vizzard; 'Every Handgun Is Aimed at You: The Case for Banning Handguns,' by Josh Sugarman.)". American Prospect. 12 (8): 46. Check date values in:
- "Listing of Federal Firearms Licensees". Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
- ERIC LICHTBLAU; RICHARD SIMON (April 18, 2000). "Gun-Control Movement Split by Ambition to Ban Handguns". LA Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
- [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/josh-sugarmann/ Josh Sugarmann's blogs on the Huffington Post
- Josh Sugarmann, "The Price of Freedom: More Bodies", First Monday, 23 May 2005, Iowans for the Prevention of Gun Violence
- "The Brady Bill won't break the sick hold guns have on America. It's time for tougher measures.", Mother Jones, January 1994