Washington, D.C., April 28, 2021 - Tonight, Brady applauds President Biden’s clear and moral leadership in calling on Congress to pass common-sense gun violence prevention laws during his first address to a joint session of Congress. President Biden reiterated the scope of our nation’s gun violence crisis, including his recent executive action to prevent the proliferation of ghost guns, and calling on Congress to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, expand and strengthen Brady background checks, and pass a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Brady joins with President Biden in calling for these policies and supports him and all elected officials in the effort to make them the law of the land.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Tonight, President Biden proved again that he is the strongest gun violence prevention champion ever to occupy the Oval Office, becoming the first President since President Clinton in 1993 to highlight the need to prevent gun violence in their first address to Congress. And, the policies he is calling for are just as transformative as the Brady Bill that President Clinton called on Congress to pass. President Biden called on Congress to follow his lead and to take action, just as he has in announcing six executive actions that will tangibly and immediately affect gun violence.

We need the legislative fixes that President Biden called on Congress to pass. He rightly called for Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act to help stop police violence that traumatizes Black and Brown communities across the country. President Biden authored the Violence Against Women act in the 1994 and now, 27 years later, the Senate must follow the House’s lead and pass its reauthorization, including the fix to the so-called ‘boyfriend loophole,’ without delay. The Senate must also pass the two bills sent from the House expanding and strengthening Brady background checks, which President Biden rightly said have the ‘overwhelming support of the American people.’ These policies, a legislative solution for untraceable ghost guns, and a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines will help address the public health epidemic that kills over 100 Americans every day and disproportionately affects Black and Brown Americans. Brady echoes President Biden's clarion call to the Senate: the time is now to take action.

With President Biden, we can again pass transformative public safety laws to protect our families and communities from gun violence. As President Biden said, ‘we’ve done it before.’ President Biden has done it before. He has taken on the NRA and won - and this moment represents the best opportunity in a generation to do it again. We stand with President Biden just as he did with Jim and Sarah Brady in the 1990s and now, just as then, we will pass these life-saving measures.”

About President Biden’s Executive Actions to Reduce Gun Violence:

This month, President Biden outlined six initial actions to address gun violence:

  1. The White House has nominated David Chipman for Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

  2. The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns.

  3. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model extreme risk order legislation for states.

  4. The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

  5. The Administration is investing in substantive evidence-based community violence interventions, directing five federal agencies to modify 26 programs that will route vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. This also adds to the proposed $5 billion investment in the American Jobs Plan that will support community violence intervention programs.

  6. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.

About the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA):

Passed in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act marked a seachange in the way in which our nation thinks about intimate partner violence. For over 20 years, Congress has reauthorized this common-sense bill that has helped to protect Americans from domestic abuse. However, the 116th Congress and notably the U.S. Senate led by Sen. Mitch McConnell allowed VAWA to expire on December 21, 2018. In an attempt to right this wrong, VAWA was temporarily reinstated on January 25, 2019, but was again allowed to expire on February 15, 2019, again due to the gun lobby’s protestations and stranglehold on the Senate. Even so, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill reauthorizing VAWA in April 2019, which was then allowed to languish without a vote in the Senate. Today’s vote to reauthorize VAWA is overdue.

This reauthorization would close what is known as the ‘boyfriend loophole.’ Under federal law, dating partners who do not share a child in common can still legally purchase and own guns, even if they abuse their partners. Additionally, persons convicted of stalking, battery, and assault misdemeanors can still purchase and possess guns. The reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act would update federal law to close these dangerous loopholes. It does not include any language regarding extreme risk laws.

About H.R. 8

Introduced on March 2, 2021 by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5), H.R. 8 makes it unlawful to sell or transfer a firearm in any transaction without a Brady Background Check. This bill expands the current Brady Law to every sale or transfer in private sales, subject to the narrow exceptions.

About H.R. 1446

Introduced on March 2, 2021 by Rep. Jim Clyburn (SC-6), H.R. 1446 provides the background check system with additional time to make a final determination on a potential firearms purchaser before a licensed dealer can transfer a gun, addressing the so-called “Charleston loophole.”

Currently, federal law allows a “default proceed,” whereby a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL) can transfer a gun to a customer if the federal background check is not completed within 3 business days of the background check request to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

The Charleston loophole is named for the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine innocent people. The shooter – who was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm – was able to acquire his gun before the FBI could complete his background check. Although the FBI needed more time to investigate the shooter’s disqualifying records to determine whether the purchase was lawful, federal law allowed the dealer to transfer the gun after three days even though the check was not completed.

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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