The Human Rights Campaign endorses gun control reforms

The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has endorsed stricter gun control measures to protect the LGBTQ community.

On Thursday the group announced their support for stricter gun control as a way to increase safety for the LGBTQ community.

The HRC is one of the largest LGBTQ civil rights organisations in the US.

The endorsement comes following the Orlando massacre which killed 49 people and injured 53.

The organisation said that easy access to deadly weapons had “compounded the threat” of hate crimes against LGBTQ people.

In a statement, the group vowed that they will continue to challenge gun laws and people targeting the LGBTQ community.

They called for access to assault-style rifles to be restricted. The group also stressed the importance of more in depth background checks to prevent suspected terrorists and people with a history of domestic abuse from acquiring guns.

For the first time in HRC’s 36 year history, a board session was called to adopt a broad policy decision on the matter by HRC.

Chad Griffin, president of the Human Rights Campaign said: “49 members of our community were murdered on Sunday morning because of a toxic combination of two things: a deranged, unstable individual who had been conditioned to hate LGBTQ people, and easy access to military-style guns. It is imperative that we address both issues in order to mitigate safety risk to our community.”

“The safety of the LGBTQ community depends on our ability to end both the hatred towards our community and the epidemic of gun violence that has spiralled out of control,” he added.

HRC called for lawmakers, religious leaders and public officials to be held accountable for targeting the LGBTQ community through “hateful rhetoric and legislation.”

53 LGBTQ and gun violence prevention advocates signed a petition on Thursday calling for more stringent checks to keep guns “out of dangerous hands.”

The petition calls for laws to be enacted which close loop holes which allow suspected terrorists and people on the no-fly list to buy guns.

Whilst groups like the HRC are moving towards stricter gun control, other groups like Pink Pistols are encouraging people in the LGBTQ community to arm themselves.

The pro-gun organisation encourages members to set up ‘task forces’ to protect gay centres, sponsor shooting courses and help LGBTQ people get licenses to carry guns.

1500 people joined the Pink Pistols in the days following the Orlando attack.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) – a republican backed group – argued that gun laws had nothing to do with attacks like the one in Orlando.

6,232 people have died from gun related incidents in the US so far this year.