Center for American Progress

RELEASE: Guns Are Fueling the Rise in Domestic Extremist Violence, New CAP Column Finds

RELEASE: Guns Are Fueling the Rise in Domestic Extremist Violence, New CAP Column Finds

Washington, D.C. — Violent domestic extremism is on the rise, and the United States’ weak gun laws have only made matters worse. According to a new column released today by the Center for American Progress, guns are the weapon of choice for domestic extremists, leading to more frequent and lethal hate crimes, mass shootings, and political violence. The tolerance of extremist propaganda not only led to the January 6 insurrection—in which white supremacists, militia groups, and right-wing extremists targeted lawmakers and law enforcement—but, combined with easy access to guns, has also led to violent hate crimes, including this year’s horrific mass shooting targeting Black people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.

“Americans should not have to live with the threat of domestic extremism—especially when those radicalized individuals can easily access firearms,” said Marissa Edmund, senior policy analyst for Gun Violence Prevention and author of the column. “It’s time for lawmakers to listen to the overwhelming majority of Americans who believe in commonsense gun laws and laws to prevent political violence.”

The column recommends that Congress and the Biden administration take the following steps to keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous, radicalized individuals:

  • Require permits to purchase firearms with enhanced screening
  • Reinstitute the federal assault weapons ban and limit high-capacity magazines
  • Enact a federal extreme risk protection order law and improve implementation at the state level
  • Prevent individuals convicted of violent or threatening hate crimes from purchasing firearms

Click here to read: Guns Are Fueling the Rise in Domestic Extremist Violence Across the Country” by Marissa Edmund

For more information or to speak with an expert, please contact Tricia Woodcome at twoodcome@americanprogress.org