Washington, D.C., November 19, 2021 - Following the not guilty verdicts in the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, Brady decries this miscarriage of justice and reiterates that armed vigilantism resulting in death of our fellow Americans is murder and is no basis for a valid claim of self defense. Americans have a right to live in a civil society without the fear, or reality, of being shot in a public place while exercising their basic rights, including Constitutional rights protected by the First Amendment. A gun owner's singular right under the Second Amendment cannot and should not be interpreted to deny the rights of other citizens to live and to exercise their fundamental rights while they are alive.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“This is a sad day for the rule of law and for public safety. This out-of state-shooter, who traveled to Kenosha, Wisconsin, from Illinois and obtained an AR-15 before heading into groups protesting the shooting of a Black man by the police, should not be absolved of the murder of two people and the injury of a third. There is no legal justification to travel across state lines, arm yourself withan illegally purchased firearm and murder two people and injure a third. As the counsel for the prosecution stated, ‘you cannot claim self-defense against a danger you create.’ This shooter was emboldened and intoxicated by the rhetoric of the gun lobby and extremists, leading him to create a dangerous situation that resulted in the death of two people. There must be accountability for those actions.”

Brady Chief Counsel and Vice President of Legal Jonathan Lowy shared:

“This verdict is a horrifying reminder of what could happen if NRA’s guns-everywhere vision of our country is enshrined in law. There is no right to carry a firearm - much less an illegally bought assault rifle - across state lines to terrorize and play “police officer.” And this tragedy shows what happens when civilians feel entitled to bring guns anywhere. The Supreme Court recently heard a case that could make this kind of tragedy the norm. This is the world we could live in if the Court decides that the Constitution entitles virtually anyone to carry guns virtually anywhere, to shoot people when they deem it necessary for self-defense. If the Kenosha Killer had not brought an assault rifle to that protest, no one would have died. Because he did, two people were killed.”

About this Case:

On August 25, 2020, the shooter in this case traveled from Antioch, Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where several evenings of protests had garnered national attention following the shooting of Jacob Blake. The shooter acquired the firearm used, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15, from a friend in a straw purchase, as he was a minor at the time of the shooting. The shooter faced five felony charges for his actions in Kenosha, where he shot and killed Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber as well as injuring Gaige Grosskreutz.

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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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