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Now is the time to act.


October 5, 2017 -- San Francisco -- The Bar Association of San Francisco is deeply saddened and shocked by the violence and senseless tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas on the night of October 1. With heavy hearts, we will remember the victims and we mourn along with their families and loved ones.

As Americans, we cannot be silent in this moment and now is the time for us to have a conversation about gun violence and its impact on our communities. While there are no easy answers, it is our responsibility as a community of lawyers and legal professionals to effect constructive change through legislative action, through regulatory oversight and through judicial action when necessary. With respect to gun violence, our existing laws and the existing regulations have fallen short.

We have learned that the shooter had 47 guns – twelve of those firearms were modified with a “bump stock,” an inexpensive, readily available device which allows a gun to simulate rapid fire. We further learned that even though federal law requires notification to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms when sales of multiple weapons occur, that law only applies to hand gun sales. The shooter’s purchases of dozens of rifles triggered no such notifications.

In the wake of the 1993 shooting at 101 California Street, then BASF President Karen D. Kadushin called on the legal community to get engaged: “Lawyers must be in the forefront of the support of the rule of law over the rule of force. We must act and act now.” In the coming weeks, BASF will be engaging with its members about the impact of existing gun legislation and the protection of our citizens from acts against humanity such as those witnessed in Las Vegas this past week. We encourage you to be part of the conversation and help us find a way to bring about change. To connect with us, email editor@sfbar.org and stay tuned.

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The Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) is a nonprofit voluntary membership organization of attorneys, law students, and legal professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area. Founded in 1872, BASF enjoys the support of more than 7,300 individuals, law firms, corporate legal departments, and law schools. Through its board of directors, its committees, and its volunteer legal services programs and other community efforts, BASF has worked actively to promote and achieve equal justice for all and oppose discrimination in all its forms, including, but not limited to, discrimination based on race, sex, disability, and sexual orientation. BASF provides a collective voice for public advocacy, advances professional growth and education, and attempts to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, and respect in the practice of law.