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WHEREAS, easy access to guns is a major and deadly problem in the United States today; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, every day, on average more than 42 Americans were killed by gun violence; there were more than 31,000 firearm-related injuries that year; and
WHEREAS, "survivors" of gun violence are often crippled, with many in constant pain; children are left as orphans; parents and family members are left broken and destroyed, unable to learn, study, or make a living; and whole communities are terrorized, fractured, and scarred; and
WHEREAS, gun violence disproportionately impacts communities of color in the United States. Despite the fact that African Americans make up only 12% of the U.S. population, we represent nearly 50% of all gun homicide victims; and
WHEREAS, researchers conservatively estimate that gun violence costs the American economy at least $229 billion every year, including $8.6 billion in direct expenses such as for emergency and medical care. Gun violence costs more than $700 per American every year, more than the total economic cost of obesity and almost as much as the annual price tag for the entire Medicaid program; and
WHEREAS, the NAACP has passed comprehensive resolutions supporting numerous initiatives which, if fully implemented, would dramatically decrease the damage caused by and costs associated with gun violence including its 2013 resolution, "NAACP Supports Safe, Sane and Sensible Laws to Prevent Gun Violence" and its recent 2018 resolution, "Gun Control in the Wake of the Parkland High School Massacre"; and
WHEREAS, ammunition is currently easier to purchase in many places than cold medicine: across the nation bullets are subject to fewer regulations than guns. They are sold everywhere from vending machines to jewelry stores; and
WHEREAS, government surcharges have been a standard policy lever used to limit and address the harms associated with potentially dangerous goods such as cigarettes and alcohol; and
WHEREAS, a few local jurisdictions have begun to levy surcharges on ammunition, including Seattle, Washington and Cook County, Illinois; and
WHEREAS, there is no way of accurately assessing the amount of ammunition currently sold in the U.S. every year: estimates of the number of rounds sold are anywhere from 8 to 15 billion.
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP reaffirms its gun violence prevention resolutions, and is committed to ending the damage done by firearms to our families, our communities, and our nation.
THEREFORE BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP further supports a national surcharge on ammunition, the proceeds of which should go towards our local, state, and national health care needs and systems to help alleviate the high monetary cost of gun violence.