a higher caliber

Our supporters are gun owners and non-gun owners, veterans, police officers, parents, teachers, medical professionals and clergy members united in the belief that Universal Background Checks and safer storage of guns can reduce gun violence. Together, we can make South Carolina a safer place to live, learn and worship. These are our stories.

It takes a few minutes to engage a school lockdown. It takes just seconds to fire a weapon. In the midst of single shooter drills, I think about the safety of my kids, and the weight of that responsibility.
Rives Poe
Teacher, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
I’m a veteran, and own several guns. I had a background check before buying each of my guns — we should all follow the same rules. Saving lives is well worth the effort.
Butch Kennedy
Veteran, Gun Owner, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
South Carolina firearm homicide increased by 94 victims from 2014 (266) to 2015 (360). That is a statistically significant 35% increase, reflected in a notable rise in the firearm homicide death rate from 5.5, within the range of the previous 10 years, to 7.4.
Margaret M. Kelly
PhD Genetics, Head of Legislative Committee, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
I own a virtual gun range, and I teach Conceal Carry Permit classes and gun safety classes for kids, so guns are literally my business. As I tell my students, safety first. Always. And that extends to our state’s laws.
Paul Gangarosa
Owner of Lowcountry Virtual Firearms Range, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
I’m a proud gun owner, and believe in my right to protect my family. But I also know that responsible gun ownership includes advocating for Universal Background Checks.
Lisa Raheim
Domestic Violence Victim Advocate, Arm-in Arm Supporter
Most of the intentional injuries we see as surgeons at our trauma center are from gun violence, and most suicides and suicide attempts are committed with firearms. These are preventable causes of injury and death. We are failing our communities, our neighbors  and our children until we treat gun violence as a public health crisis.
Ashley Hink, MD, MPH
General Surgery Resident and Arm-in-Arm Supporter
I’ll never forget the day of the shooting at Mother Emanuel AME — in part because my son’s preschool was next door. I support AIA to honor those we lost, and to protect my family.
Lasley Steever
Mother, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
I’ve seen up close the impact gun violence can have on people, and on prayerful congregations. And I have a moral duty to promote peace in my community.
Reverend Jeremy Rutledge
Pastor, Arm-in-Arm Supporter
Every time a dangerous person buys a gun without a background check, we put officers and our community in greater danger. SC Law Enforcement needs Universal Background Checks to address the gun violence crisis and have a chance to stop prohibited purchasers from buying guns.
Gregory G. Mullen
Former Charleston Chief of Police; Past President South Carolina Law Enforcement Association; Air Force Veteran, 22 years of combined active and reserve service
My mother killed herself with a gun. Four years later, my brother took his life as well — gunshot wound to the head, same as my mother. My sister and I came home from school and found him. He was a handsome, popular, smart 18-year-old kid with a bright future. Guns and mental illness are a deadly mix. Secure your weapons, be a responsible gun owner and be aware of the emotional and mental health of people with access to your guns.
Lynn Van Tiem
Arm-in-Arm Supporter