RED, BLUE, AND BRADY
ANNUAL REPORT FISCAL YEAR 2020
There’s red, there’s blue, and then there is Brady. The title of this report is not only the name of Brady’s podcast; it represents a way of thinking. At Brady, we take action, not sides, and this past year has shown us how important empathy and compassion are to our movement. Brady’s mission to prevent gun violence and save lives is possible only when we listen to the voices of those most impacted and learn from their stories. From coast to coast, liberal and conservative, red and blue, young and old — even when faced with what seems like insurmountable differences, we must come together. We can find resilience within one another, and together we will create a better, safer country for all.
2020 has felt, and continues to feel, overwhelming. The pandemic has impacted our health, our economy, and has changed the landscape of gun violence in our country. At Brady, it has also sharpened our focus in the wake of unprecedented surges in gun sales to mitigate risks associated with increased gun violence during this unprecedented time.
As a nation, we’ve watched those who should be leading us sow division and fear rather than unity and hope as rules are broken, public safety is ignored, misinformation is spread, and common decency is trammeled upon. But through the bleakest hours, we’ve still seen moments of hope and beauty. The best of America, and indeed the American way, is defined by standing together for one another and for what is right — it’s about taking action, not sides.
We’ve witnessed the American people rising like never before to demand the right to live free from the uniquely American epidemic of gun violence, including police violence. We saw the continued, egregious murders of Black Americans and we at Brady are committed to continuing our work to end all forms of gun violence so that all Americans can live in communities, walk down the street, live their lives without the fear of being shot.
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.
“Brady’s work in state legislatures and Congress sets us apart.”
Brady has focused on setting policy at the federal level since our inception. In 1993, we led the way as the organization most influential in passing the Brady Bill and establishing the Brady Background Check System. In 1994, it was Brady that led the charge in working with Congress to pass the federal assault weapons ban that was in effect for a decade. Since that time, now nearly 30 years ago, we have continued our efforts, working with state legislatures across the country to enact life-saving legislation — and nowhere have those efforts been more successful than in the state of California...Read more
- Brady provided expert testimony on three bills in Congress — the Extreme Risk Protection Order Act, the Disarm Hate Act, and the Keep Americans Safe Act — all of which were passed by the powerful House Judiciary Committee. When signed into law, they will grant family members an avenue to lawfully remove guns from a person in crisis, prevent individuals convicted of hate crimes from accessing firearms, and prohibit the sale or possession of magazines containing more than ten rounds.
- Brady helped secure $25 million for gun violence research for the first time in two decades. Our Shorty Award-winning #WeNeedToKnow campaign elevated the desperate need for gun violence research in America by engaging with key members of Congress like Sen. Warren, Rep. Katie Hill, Sen. Durbin, and more!
- In coalition with racial justice groups, Brady sent a letter to Congress urging members to support the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act of 2020, a bill to reform police tactics and permissible use of force — and which the House of Representatives went on to pass with bipartisan support.
- While Brady testified and assisted in the governor’s legislative package in Virginia, we also created a groundswell of support through our #ProtectVirginia social media campaign, gaining support from key influencers like David Hogg of March For Our Lives.
Shots echoed on the streets of Buffalo, New York on a summer night in August 2003. Daniel “Bud” Williams, then 16 years old, was shot and severely injured in a mistaken drive-by shooting while playing basketball outside of his home. His eyes had been firmly set on an NCAA Division I scholarship, but that all ended with a single bullet...Read more
- Brady Legal expanded its racial justice work to focus on the disproportionate impact that gun violence has on Black and Brown communities. Most notably, our lawsuit on behalf of Black children in Chicago proceeded on the basis that gun violence, and the state’s failure to adequately regulate gun dealers, deprives them of their right to an education and causes PTSD.
- A number of Brady Legal’s cases continue to gain steam and manifest change in the courts. This includes our case on behalf of Gary, Indiana, which will move forward after two decades of litigation. The case seeks to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their complicity in supplying the criminal gun market.
- Brady Legal secured significant grants to pursue its work, including $50,000 from the Impact Fund for Gary for our legal work in Gary, Indiana, and $20,000 from the Sustainable Grantmaking Partners Fund — both of which will fund Brady Legal’s life-saving efforts in the courts.
- Brady Legal filed or joined nine new landmark cases, including against major gun dealers like Cabela’s and Academy Sports, and filed a complaint against Smith & Wesson’s marketing of assault weapons before the Federal Trade Commission, as well as a call for the IRS to investigate the NRA’s tax-exempt status.
The “communities” aspect of Brady’s work is often the most difficult to describe because it can take many forms. In its simplest form, Brady’s work in communities propels forward the movement to prevent gun violence, even when Congress fails to act or court action stalls. One outstanding example of Brady’s community work is our Combating Crime Guns Initiative, created to reduce the flow of crime guns into impacted communities and ensure that the suppliers of crime guns, including the irresponsible dealers who profit at the expense of human life, are held accountable for their actions...Read more
- Brady is expanding its grassroots presence in communities across the country, creating new state executive councils in Illinois, Ohio, Florida, New York, Nevada, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, as well as expanding councils in California and New Jersey.
- Team ENOUGH continues to lead the way in youth activism with new chapters in Rhode Island, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Oakland, and Fairfax, Virginia.
- Survivors and grassroots activists Aalayah Eastmond and Amanda Wilcox provided inspiring and meaningful testimony to Congress. Eastmond testified before the House Judiciary Committee in the first hearing on guns in three Congresses, while Wilcox testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee as an expert on extreme risk laws.
- Brady’s End Family Fire campaign has continued to gain momentum, accruing more than $30 million in donated media thanks to heavy-hitting partners who are committed to saving lives.
COVID-19 AND GUN SALES
Gun violence is a uniquely American epidemic. No other industrialized country in the world experiences the level of gun violence that occurs in America on a daily basis. It’s an epidemic each of you has worked alongside us to end. But the backdrop of COVID-19, and the horrific toll it is taking on us all, has only worsened the epidemic of gun violence.
Gun stores — listed as “essential businesses” — are seeing record high sales, while health care professionals desperately attempt to stem the loss of life from both COVID-19 and our gun violence epidemic.
One thing is clear: Even after this pandemic, gun violence will not have paused. That’s why Brady is active on all fronts to prevent gun violence during COVID-19: supporting local government public safety efforts, educating citizens on gun safety, and fighting against the gun industry’s efforts to sell weapons to anyone, anywhere...Read more
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” African proverb
Partnerships, whether with individuals, organizations, or larger coalitions, are almost always more productive than working by oneself. They are also an intrinsic part of Brady’s approach to forwarding our mission and the gun violence prevention movement.
One has only to witness the incredible efficacy of Brady’s groundbreaking social norm change campaign, End Family Fire, produced in partnership with the Ad Council, to see the truth of this statement. By combining the research and content expertise of Brady with the vast network of donated media suppliers and campaign know-how of the Ad Council, we have shared the term “family fire” with millions of gun owners across the country via TV advertisements, print, radio, digital, and roadside billboards...Read more
GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION IS A RACIAL JUSTICE ISSUE
Racism and gun violence have always been interconnected. It’s impossible to ignore the facts: Black Americans are twice as likely as white Americans to die from gun violence and 14 times more likely to be wounded. The bottom line is that gun violence reduces the life expectancy of Black Americans by four years.
Black-led, community-based groups have worked relentlessly to develop community-based solutions that successfully reduce gun violence. As an organization dedicated to saving lives and preventing gun violence, Brady is committed to matching these grassroots, community-based efforts with upstream, systemic change. We’ve been fortunate to have the support of our donors in ensuring that this work receives the necessary resources...Read more
A YEAR OF RED, BLUE, AND BRADY
“Red, Blue, and Brady has been so helpful to pass onto lawmakers as a primer on major gun violence issues and gun violence prevention methods. The conversations are quick and personable while also detailed and nuanced. To be able to give legislative offices a thirty minute conversation they can listen to while they work that breaks down something complex like the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), and how it impacts survivors of gun violence, is incredibly valuable." - Christian Heyne, Brady VP of Policy
“Some people might find this content disturbing...don’t worry, we find it disturbing too.” With those words, host JJ Janflone launched Red, Blue, and Brady in October 2019 — the first national gun violence prevention podcast series in history! In just over one year, Brady has released nearly 100 episodes of original content, with contributions and insights from some of the leading experts on gun violence prevention in our nation.
Red, Blue, and Brady discusses current events and shares personal narratives in its exploration of America’s gun violence epidemic. Although covering often tragic and difficult subject matter, survivors, activists, academics, and political and civic leaders have come together to share their stories of joy and sorrow — stories which further our common purpose of fully understanding the nation’s long history of gun violence...Read more
BRADY ACTION AWARDS
In April of 2021, the Brady Action Awards will be going virtual We invite you to join us in honoring all those who support Brady's work to end gun violence and save lives. More information to come!