Mayors Against Illegal Guns University is a quarterly web-based training program for mayors, their staff, and other municipal leaders on local gun safety and gun violence prevention efforts.
Targeting the Source: Cities Taking Aim at Gun Violence Through Civil Litigation
December 14th at 2:00 PM EST
City attorneys are often the front-lines for protecting their city’s residents from threats to public safety through the courts. Even though few threats are more urgent than stemming the epidemic of gun violence, the path to accountability is not always clear. This is in large part due to gun-lobby backed laws that make it harder to hold the gun industry accountable in the courts, leaving bad actors in the industry to believe they can act with impunity. However, recent settlements and court decisions prove that this assumption of complete immunity is incorrect. In addition, eight states have recently passed laws that provide an additional pathway to hold the industry accountable.
This 75-minute program led by three Everytown Law attorneys will highlight the creative approaches to civil litigation that have proven increasingly successful in holding bad actors in the gun industry accountable in courts, as well as guidance on how to build a successful case under the new state laws. The panel will cover a range of topics from various stages of litigation, including identifying bad actors through publicly-available evidence, building complaints that survive motions to dismiss, working within restrictions on utilizing crime data, litigating under state and federal immunity laws, and overcoming challenges to jurisdiction.
Previously Recorded Sessions
These sessions are password protected for security purposes and available for MAIG members, their staff and other local officials. If you are a MAIG member and need the password, please send us a message.
Inside the Gun Shop: Firearms Dealers and their Impact (07/27/2023)
In 2022, there were nearly 78,000 licensed gun dealers in the US, more than all McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway and Wendy’s locations combined. This MAIG U session is an overview of Everytown’s latest report, “Inside the Gun Shop: Firearms Dealers and their Impact” that details the facts and realities of licensed gun dealers across the nation and further outlines the relationship between gun sellers and gun trafficking. The expert panel discusses major findings from the new FFL report and how cities, law enforcement, and elected officials can use this data to crack down on gun violence.
ATF Gun Trafficking Report (03/16/2023)
In Febuary 2023, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) released a new report that presents and analyzes data on “crime guns.” This report is a crucial tool in identifying the origins of crime guns. It has also revealed how quickly guns are trafficked into the wrong hands and used in crimes (“time-to-crime”), sometimes as quickly as three months. Emerging trends in the report paint a clear picture of the challenges cities and law enforcement tackle with ghost guns and glock switches. In this session of MAIG U, the expert panel discusses the major findings from the ATF report and how cities, law enforcement, and elected officials can use this data to crack down on gun trafficking.
Addressing the Rise of Firearm Suicides in Cities Across the Country (09/08/2022)
Six out of every ten gun deaths in the US are suicides. Alarmingly, the suicide rate among young people has increased almost every year since 2007 and is now at a near-record high. Firearm suicide is often the untold story of gun violence prevention, and is becoming an increasing issue for cities and rural communities. This session explores the growing prevalence of gun suicides in cities, areas most affected, and city-level solutions. An expert panel covers new and existing research on firearm suicides and provides strategies local leaders can implement in their communities to help curb the rise in firearm suicides.
Utilizing Federal Funding to Reduce Gun Violence (03/31/2022)
In 2021, cities across the country received American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds to support their response to COVID-19 and recovery from the pandemic’s social and economic effects, including gun violence. Federal guidance explicitly stated that ARP funds can be used to support community violence intervention strategies like street outreach, youth employment, and trauma-informed wraparound services for victims of crime. In 2022, cities will receive their second ARP payment, and will also be eligible to apply for federal grants that President Biden directed could be used for community gun violence intervention. This session explores how cities and community-based organizations can use ARP funds and other federal grants to reduce gun violence in their communities.
Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook: A Resource for U.S. Mayors and City Managers (11/18/2021)
After the Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto proposed the need for a mass shooting protocol to help mayors respond to a mass shooting. In response, UnitedOnGuns, an initiative of the Public Health Advocacy Institute at Northeastern University School of Law, conducted research with mayors and other first responders from Dayton, El Paso, Orlando, Parkland, Pittsburgh, and San Bernardino. The result is the Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook, a resource city officials can use to prepare for, respond to, and help their communities recover from a mass shooting and other mass casualty incidents. In this session the expert panel discusses the role of a mayor’s office following a mass shooting, and best practices based on their experience.
Connecting Silos: The Intersection of Domestic Violence and Gun Violence (10/14/2021)
This session explores the intersections of gun violence and domestic violence, and how local leaders can address the issue through targeted investments, coordinated services, and community partnerships.
- Bindu Oommen-Fernandes, Executive Director at Narika
- Hailey Nolasco, Director of Community-Based Violence Prevention at the Center for Court Innovation
- Alice Hawks, Executive Director at New York City Family Justice Center
- Sarah Burd-Sharps, Senior Director of Research at Everytown for Gun Safety
Invisible Wounds: Gun Violence and Community Trauma among Black Americans (08/19/2021)
This session addresses the disproportionate burden of gun violence that many Black communities bear, and provides mayors, state legislators, and members of Congress with culturally affirming, evidence-informed solutions—from the development of equitable mental health resources to the expansion of economic opportunities for young people—to help Black communities heal from individual, family, and community-level trauma from gun violence.
Cracking Down on Illegal Guns: Using the Courts to Hold the Gun Industry Accountable (06/03/2021)
Nearly 60,000 crime guns are trafficked across state lines each year, and countless others enter the black market or are assembled as unserialized ghost guns without ever leaving their home state. This session focuses on groundbreaking litigation that cities are advancing, in partnership with Everytown Law, to crack down on illegal guns and hold bad actors in the gun industry liable.
The American Rescue Plan and Other Federal Funding Opportunities to Combat Gun Violence (04/20/21)
President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) into law authorizing $130 billion in funding for local governments to counter the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic. After a year of surging gun violence in cities across the United States, local governments can allot COVID relief dollars to local efforts to reduce gun violence in America’s most impacted communities. This session explores how some cities have used previous COVID relief funds to combat gun violence, and what expanded federal funding opportunities exist this year for cities.
Gun Violence Research and Trends with Everytown Research (3/30/21)
Everytown Research conducts groundbreaking original research that seeks to understand the causes of gun violence in order to develop evidence-based solutions. This session explores the latest research on gun violence in cities such as the impact of COVID-19 on gun violence, the economic cost of gun violence, and more.
Re-imagining Public Safety: Violence Intervention Programs (10/29/20)
This session provides an in depth discussion of group violence intervention and intimate partner violence intervention strategies. Both strategies are focused deterrence-based and target chronic violent offenders—individuals who have been identified by law enforcement, criminal justice data, and community members—and include three sets of intervening actors: law enforcement, community representatives, and social service providers. The National Network for Safe Communities has successfully implemented both strategies across the country.
- David Kennedy, Executive Director, National Network for Safe Communities
- Fatma Zahra, Associate Director, Intimate Partner Violence Intervention
- Naureen Kabir, Senior Policy Advisor, Everytown for Gun Safety
Armed Militias, Extremists and Vigilantism During the 2020 Elections and Beyond: What Cities Can Do to Address This Threat (10/8/20)
In 2020, there was a significant rise in armed intimidation and vigilantism by extreme-right militias in American cities. This session addresses the public safety risks associated with these groups, and the actions local officials can take to address this threat–especially as it relates to safe and secure elections.
- Mary B. McCord, Legal Director, Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection
- Raúl Torrez, District Attorney, Bernalillo County, New Mexico
- Oren Segal, Vice President of the Center on Extremism, ADL
- Justin Wagner, Senior Investigations Counsel, Everytown for Gun Safety
- Janet Carter, Director of Issues and Appeals, Everytown Law
Re-imagining Public Safety: Alternative Dispatch (8/27/20)
This session focuses on alternative dispatch and crisis response models, and feature a dynamic conversation between Benjamin Brubaker from Eugene, Oregon’s White Bird Clinic and CAHOOTS program — the nation’s longest running alternative dispatch model– and Sarita Nair, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Albuquerque, where they are in the throes of developing their city’s first-ever Community Safety Department.
- Sarita Nair, Chief Administrative Officer, City of Albuquerque
- Benjamin Brubaker, Administrative Coordinator, White Bird Clinic
- Naureen Kabir, Senior Policy Advisor, Everytown for Gun Safety
Re-imagining Public Safety: Violence Intervention Programs Description (7/16/20)
This session features leaders from throughout the country who specialize in community-based violence intervention programs. The session will highlight innovative public safety strategies that center community trust, accountability, and transformation; and that have achieved impressive results.
- Marcus McAllister, International Trainer & Implementation Specialist, Cure Violence Global
- Julius Thibodeaux, Jr., Strategy Program Manager, Advance Peace Sacramento
- Reggie Moore, Injury and Violence Prevention Director, City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention
- Michael-Sean Spence, Director of Policy & Implementation, Everytown for Gun Safety
Unlocking VOCA Funds for Local Gun Violence Prevention (4/2/20)
Since 2015, the federal government has allocated an annual average of $2.3 billion in Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) victim assistnce funds to states and territories. But states routinely fail to spend up a third of available funds even as gun violence victims and their communities are in desparate need of resources. This session explains how municipalities can access millions of dollars in VOCA victim assistance funding and utilize it for gun violence prevention efforts in your community.
- Melissa Paquette, Counsel, Policy & Implementation, Everytown for Gun Safety
- Sunny Schnitzer, Deputy Chief of Staff, Public Safety, Baltimore Mayor’s Office
- Anthony Smith, Executive Director, Cities United
- Andrew Woods, Executive Director, Hartford Communities That Care