Washington, D.C., February 19, 2020 - Tonight, in a city that saw the worst mass shooting in modern United States history less than three years ago, there was too little discussion of America’s gun violence epidemic and few solutions offered on how these candidates would address it.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Just this year, two common-sense gun violence prevention policies passed by the Nevada legislature have gone into effect, expanded background checks on private sales and extreme risk protection orders. These two policies will keep Nevadans safe from gun violence, yet the moderators of tonight’s debate did not ask questions about them or any gun violence prevention policies from candidates hoping to win the caucuses this Saturday. What we did hear was the question ‘why can’t anything be passed in Washington’ several times tonight. We’d like to know why that is true for gun safety policies and what these candidates would do to solve it. We didn’t get to hear anything on that tonight.

The CDC released the latest data available on gun violence in the United States this month, showing us that there was little progress made to reduce death due to gun violence. 39,740 people were killed by firearms in our country in 2018, the latest year where data is available. Any other epidemic that claimed that many lives would have consumed the debate tonight. The silence is unacceptable.”

On October 1, 2017, at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, a gunman opened fire from the Mandalay Bay Hotel, firing over 1,100 rounds of ammunition in 10 minutes, murdering 58 people and injuring more than 800 others.

It is the worst mass shooting in modern American history, underscoring the need for comprehensive federal action to address gun violence and close loopholes and gaps in our gun safety laws.

Recent polls show that improving gun laws remain a top priority for a majority of Americans, including a marked increase since 2017.

Yet, on the debate stage tonight, the issue was barely mentioned.

Brown concluded:

“After the discussion on gun laws in the last debate, after fervent debate across multiple states over gun laws, and, almost exactly one year after the U.S. House of Representatives passed two laws to expand and strengthen background checks. It is astounding and deeply disappointing that this issue was not substantively addressed tonight.

Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.


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