SURVIVORS IN ACTION: BRADY'S LEGACY OF LEADERSHIP
ANNUAL REPORT FISCAL YEAR 2021
At Brady, gun violence is personal. From our founder, to our namesakes, to today, we are survivor-led — it’s our legacy, it’s our lineage, and it’s our present.
It has been another challenging year — continued disruption from the pandemic to rising gun violence and an unprecedented assault on our nation’s Capitol. At Brady, we are more resolved than ever to make this the safer country that we all deserve. There are still many obstacles to ending America’s gun violence epidemic, but Brady’s data-driven approach is bearing fruit.
Every year, we try to share a handful of stories about our work with a focus on hope and promise. We hope you’ll feel as inspired reading them, as we have been watching them unfold.
Our work takes place on many fronts — across Congress, the courts, and communities — and in our Annual Report we’ll highlight an example of Brady’s work in each of these areas. The solutions vary, but together they represent Brady’s holistic approach to tackling the epidemic of gun violence.
With your continued support, we can have the America that Jim and Sarah Brady fought so tenaciously to achieve.
The Time is Now
Over the last 12 months, Brady has worked closely with President Biden’s team to advance a number of key Brady priorities to address our nation’s gun violence epidemic.
During the 2020 presidential election, Brady issued a report detailing executive actions the next president should take to protect Americans from gun violence. In early 2021, only months into his administration and after meetings between White House staff and Brady leaders, President Biden executed several of those proposals and announced tangible ways the White House would address gun violence. Among them were a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns, an investment in community violence intervention strategies, and plans to curb gun trafficking....Read more
IN THE HOUSE
Brady has been a leader pushing the Congressional legislative agenda on gun reform. The House has passed a number of Brady priority bills including H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 to expand and strengthen Brady Background Checks, as well as a number of bills to expand and protect voting rights. Brady also supported the House passage of legislation to protect communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence, including the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act, the For The People Act, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, and the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
IN THE SENATE
In addition to becoming a leader on filibuster reform, Brady prepared witnesses for multiple Senate hearings on topics like safe gun storage, where End Family Fire Director Ted Bonar testified. The Senate also held hearings on Brady priority issues including ghost guns and other common-sense steps to reduce gun violence.
IN THE STATES
Brady was integral to the passing of life-saving legislation in a number of states, including priority legislation in California, Colorado, Nevada, New York, and Virginia. These bills ranged from empowering extreme risk protection orders and stopping the proliferation of ghost guns to closing loopholes in the background check system and strengthening safe storage laws. Perhaps most notably, in New York Brady was deeply involved with the inception and passage of a landmark bill to allow lawsuits (as an exception to PLCAA) against gun manufacturers, distributors, and dealers who irresponsibly contribute to gun violence. The bill is the first of its kind in the nation.
Fighting for Public Safety Across the Country
Brady Legal is led by its long-time visionary, VP of Legal and Chief Counsel, Jonathan Lowy. Jon’s work and passion for the cause were deftly summed up at Brady’s 2021 Action Awards Ceremony by former Attorney General Eric Holder: “At our best, lawyers are foot soldiers in the fight for justice, accountability, and a more perfect union. Jon Lowy, Brady’s Vice President of Legal and recipient of this year’s Legal Action Award, is just that type of lawyer.”...Read more
Brady represented the village of Deerfield, Illinois in a case that challenged the village’s regulation on assault weapons. Thanks to Brady’s work, an Illinois appeals court vacated a previous injunction and upheld the village’s right to enact a ban on assault weapons while the case continues to work its way through further appeals.
Brady Legal attorneys represent the King family whose son Anthony was shot and killed. The lawsuit alleges that Cabela’s wrongfully sold handgun ammunition to a minor, who then used it in Anthony’s death. A New York appeals court allowed the case to proceed and affirmed that federal law does not shield gun dealers from being held accountable for illegal and negligent ammunition sales.
- In one of six new gun industry liability cases filed this past year, Brady is representing Marquise Johnson. At 21 years old, Marquise’s football career ended tragically when he was unintentionally shot and had his leg partially amputated. The firearm involved in the shooting was designed and sold without numerous safety features and warnings.
- In January 2018, a domestic violence abuser reached out to a 19-year-old on Armslist.com to purchase a handgun that had been listed on the site. Ultimately, he met the seller the next day and paid for the gun in cash. A day later, the abuser shot and killed his wife and then himself. Brady Legal has filed a complaint alleging that Armslist knew, or should have known, that facilitating anonymous online gun sales creates foreseeable danger and a likelihood that prohibited purchasers would use their site to illegally acquire guns.
Leading from Experience: Gun violence survivor Maisha Fields joins Brady as the Vice President of Organizing
It’s a club that no one wants to join. For Brady’s new Vice President of Organizing Maisha Fields, her day unwillingly came on June 20, 2005. Less than a month after graduating from Colorado State University, her brother, Javad, and his fianceé, Vivian, were shot and killed in Aurora, Colorado...Read more
- Our fully remote five-day California conference recognized the tireless work of our Brady CA chapters and provided volunteers and supporters with the tools to end all forms of gun violence. We were joined and recognized by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. David Chiu, and Brady veterans like Amanda Wilcox and Mattie Scott.
We launched Voting Access Saves Lives, a campaign to dismantle voting rights barriers in communities disproportionately impacted by gun violence. We helped secure $3 million to expand voting access, restored voting rights for parolees in California, and defended vote-by-mail amidst a global pandemic.
- After the brutal murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, we demanded change: Team ENOUGH Executive Council Member Aalayah Eastmond spoke in front of thousands calling for police accountability and criminal justice reform at the National Action Network’s Commitment March in Washington, D.C.
- Then-17-year-old Team ENOUGH Executive Council member Stephan Abrams led a video campaign showing the ease of purchasing unregulated ghost gun parts. The video was utilized by legislators and media from across the country to prevent the proliferation of ghost guns.
- Seeing the grave threat ghost guns pose, Ruth Borenstein of Brady CA led legislators in five cities (including San Diego and San Francisco) to introduce local ordinances to ban ghost guns. Once passed, these cities will be the first in the nation to combat ghost guns on the local level.
JANUARY 6TH: SHOCKING BUT NOT SURPRISING
In early 2020, members of Brady planned to lobby for gun violence prevention at the Virginia General Assembly, but instigators toting assault-style rifles and a corrupt understanding of the Second Amendment infringed on Brady supporters’ First Amendment rights to advocate for gun reform. Just a year later, the country was in the grip of COVID-19, everything had changed, and anti-government extremism had only grown.
On January 6, 2021, Brady supporters and gun violence prevention advocates, though physically separated due to the ongoing pandemic, were united in dismay as fellow citizens attacked Congress in an attempt to undermine the 2020 presidential election. And though this was our first time witnessing a breach of our nation’s Capitol, even as the scene unfolded, it was clear that the seeds of the attack had been planted in armed conflicts at state capitols, fomented by a sitting president, warped Second Amendment rhetoric, and threats of gun violence....Read more
COMBATING CRIME GUNS
Using innovation to hold the gun industry accountable
Did you know that nearly 90% of guns recovered from crimes are traced back to about 5% of gun dealers? We count on government oversight to keep us safe in so many areas: what we eat, where we work, the medicines our doctors prescribe. Shouldn’t the sale of something as lethal as guns have the same rigorous oversight? Shouldn’t we know who these 5% of gun dealers are — and intervene?
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is the only federal agency with oversight of the gun industry in the United States. However, unlike the industries listed above, there is little transparency into how the ATF holds the gun industry accountable. In October 2017, Brady took the ATF to court to obtain inspection reports of gun industry businesses that violated firearms laws. This litigation resulted in the ATF producing 55,000 pages of reports detailing inspections of over 2,000 federal firearm licensees (FFLs) since July 2015 — and the production of documents continues today, because what we found was deeply disturbing...Read more
TEAM ENOUGH TAKES OVER FLORIDA TO HONOR WITH ACTION
Team ENOUGH, Brady’s youth-led initiative, was founded in the immediate wake of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. In a matter of minutes, 17 students and staff were shot and killed.
Fast forward three years and, through the generous support of our donors, Team ENOUGH returned to Florida to honor the lives lost to gun violence and help prevent further loss of life. Through conversations about police violence, events with elected officials, and dialogues with communities hit hardest by gun violence, we established new partnerships and recruited 130 diverse youth activists to Team ENOUGH!...Read more
END FAMILY FIRE
America's deadliest mass shooting is the one we don't talk about
Every day in America, an average of 63 people die by firearm suicide — nearly two-thirds of all gun deaths.
In September of last year, Brady launched the latest iteration of End Family Fire, our national safe storage campaign which began in 2018. The campaign first focused on the safety of the 4.6 million children living in homes with unsecured firearms. Our September 2020 launch layered in additional content focusing on suicide as a form of family fire — a shooting involving an improperly stored or misused gun in the home resulting in death or injury. The shift to suicide was bold, coupling two conversations the public typically does not, but should, have — access to weapons in the home and suicide prevention...Read more