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Washington, D.C., February 1, 2016 – Tomorrow, February 2, the Reform Jewish Movement will join the Metro Industrial Area Foundation for an interfaith press conference at the region’s largest crime-gun dealer.
When: Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 10:15 a.m. (event will be brief)
Where: Realco Guns, 6108 Marlboro Pike, District Heights, Maryland
What: As part of a national day of action on gun violence on Tuesday, February 2, religious, civic and youth leaders will gather at Realco Guns in District Heights, Md. to demand that the CEO’s of the largest gun manufacturers improve their industry’s distribution practices, and to announce steps to move them to act. Nationwide, a small percentage of gun dealers sell the vast majority of guns used in crimes. The manufacturers that sell their products through these stores are fully aware of the problems, yet continue to do business with them. The Washington Post revealed in 2010 that 1 out of 8 guns sold at Realco between 1992 and 2010 was later recovered by police at crime scenes, a ratio far higher than every other major dealer in the region. Yet the major gun manufacturers continued to use Realco as a distribution outlet. “It’s time for Gaston Glock, Ugo Beretta, James Debney and the other gun CEO’s to set standards of responsible conduct for their industry, and to ensure that all of their sales outlets meet those standards,” said Bishop Douglas Miles, national co-chair of Do Not Stand Idly By. “This is a step that will save lives across America.” DNSIB will ask Realco on Tuesday to describe any incentives, concerns or pressure from their major suppliers to upgrade their practices.
DNSIB is asking federal, state and local officials – who collectively purchase 40% of the nation’s guns and ammunition – to use this market power to push manufacturers to act. To date, 83 cities, counties and states have taken initial steps to press the major manufacturers. On January 4, President Obama implemented a key DNSIB recommendation by directing federal agencies to encourage the development of “smart guns.” “The same market leverage that can move gun manufacturers to innovate on safety technologies can also get them to improve their distribution practices,” said Reverend Tim Tutt of Action in Montgomery. On Tuesday, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett will formally join the DNSIB effort by releasing a letter to seven major gun CEO’s asking for information about their distribution practices and safety technologies.
Who: 40 multi-faith religious, civic and youth leaders representing organizations in the region participating in the Do Not Stand Idly By campaign – including Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), Action in Montgomery (AIM), People Acting Together in Howard (PATH), and Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD). Speakers will include key clergy leaders from across the region, including Fr. Patrick Smith of St. Augustine Church in D.C., Rabbi Susan Shankman of Washington Hebrew Congregation, Rev. Timothy Tutt of Westmoreland Congregational UCC, and the national co-chairs of Do Not Stand Idly By – Bishop Douglas Miles of Baltimore and Rabbi Joel Mosbacher of New Jersey. Rabbi Esther Lederman will speak on behalf of the Union of Reform Judaism. DNSIB was launched in 2013 by the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation and its national network of faith and citizens’ organizations.
The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 2,000 Reform rabbis. Visit www.rac.org for more.