On Thursday, May 23rd, two representatives of Organizing for Action ("OFA"), the national nonpartisan group working for passage of legislation involving major national issues, delivered petitions to Congressman Lance's Westfield office concerning the issue of reducing gun violence. OFA circulated a petition on its website during a 10-day period and received one and a quarter million signatures that were delivered to Congressional leaders. Thirty two hundred (3,200) of the signers were in Congressman Lance's 7th Congressional District and those names were in the package provided.
The signed petition read:
"The vast majority of Americans from all corners of the country are united in support of expanded background checks for gun sales. I'm calling on you to listen to the American people and act to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. It will make our communities and schools safer. Please take action to expand background checks today."
Congressman Lance has stated he supports expanding criminal background checks to gun show sales, but has not committed to requiring background checks for other commercial sales on the internet and by classified ads. OFA is seeking to have him agree to support those criminal background checks as well, and to actively support legislation in the House of Representatives containing these provisions.
The Westfield Patch circulated information concerning the Mayors Against Illegal Guns poll that established that 92% of voters [polled] in the 7th Congressional District support expanded criminal background checks. One of Congressman Lance's aides has belittled that poll--claiming that it only polled 400 voters. The OFA representatives gave one of his other aides literature documenting the fact that the company that did that poll, Douglas L. Schoen, LLC, is one of the premier strategic research firms in the world and its polls are highly respected. They discussed the fact that selecting a representative sample is a typical procedure for polling.
The aide agreed to contact the gun violence expert in Congressman Lance's office and inform the OFA representatives whether the Congressman is willing to also support expanding criminal background checks to internet and classified ad sales and work actively to secure passage of that legislation.