San Mateo, CA - Congresswoman Jackie Speier (D-San Francisco/San Mateo/Redwood City) and a coalition of public health, law enforcement and social service organizations are introducing “Operation LIPSTICK,” a groundbreaking new initiative to disrupt illegal pipelines that deliver guns to criminals. The coalition will conduct a public forum, “Empowering Women to Stop Illegal Gun Trafficking: A New Public Health Approach,” Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 1 - 2:30 p.m., at the San Mateo City Council Chambers, 330 W. 20th Ave., San Mateo.

LIPSTICK stands for Ladies Involved in Putting a Stop to Inner-City Killing. Through educational workshops, leadership development and community organizing, LIPSTICK builds support networks for women at risk of being caught up in illegal gun trafficking. Men with criminal records who cannot pass background checks often exploit women with clean records to buy guns for them. Those are the guns that end up being used in street crime, according to law enforcement officials

Speier stated, “LIPSTICK will empower women who are exploited by traffickers to say no to supplying guns to criminals. They often unwittingly contribute to gun deaths in our communities. Education will make them less vulnerable to manipulation, make our streets safer and save lives.”

Speier will be joined by David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Research Control Center, David Chipman, former ATF agent, Nancy Robinson, executive director of Citizens for Safety and ST Mayer, San Mateo County Health System Director of Policy and Planning.

Operation LIPSTICK is based on research by UC Davis and the Harvard School of Public Health showing that guns purchased by women are twice as likely to be used in crime. “Women are easy prey for gun traffickers. They are exploited as ‘straw buyers’ to procure guns for people who cannot pass criminal background checks,” said David Chipman, former ATF special agent in charge and consultant to the new coalition. ATF reports indicate 50 percent of gun trafficking cases involve a straw purchase.   

“LIPSTICK is a new initiative using peer-to-peer education to reduce the willingness of women to engage in straw purchases,” said David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Research Control Center. “As women have helped reduce drunk driving, they can mobilize to reduce firearm violence.”

“This is about crime control,” said coalition President Nancy Robinson. “We let women know that even though they may not be pulling the trigger, they could contribute to someone’s death by providing an illegal gun. We help women say ‘no’ when they’re asked to buy a gun for someone else. Our LIPSTICK stops bullets.”

Who:             
Congresswoman Jackie Speier,
David Hemenway, director of the Harvard Injury Research Control Center,
David Chipman, former ATF agent,
Nancy Robinson, executive director of Citizens for Safety,
ST Mayer, San Mateo County Health System Director of Policy and Planning

What:             
Empowering Women to Stop Illegal Gun Trafficking: A New Public Health Approach      

When:             
Friday, November 22, 2013,
  1 - 2:30 p.m.

Where:          
San Mateo City Council Chambers
330 W. 20th Ave.
San Mateo


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