No more than 2022 was our country’s relationship with gun violence at a precipice. It was a year with historic legislative wins and devastating losses of life. We saw legal shifts that could save more lives and epic failures from our country’s leadership.
But through it all, we persevered.
You joined Brady in taking action, not sides, to demand a safer future for all Americans. And thanks to your support and tireless advocacy, we made historic strides across Congress, the courts, and our communities to end America’s raging gun violence epidemic.
Please join us as we reflect on Brady and Team ENOUGH’s 2022 top accomplishments in the movement to end gun violence.
1. We Ended a 30-Year Hiatus on Federal Gun Safety Legislation
Uvalde. Buffalo. Highland Park.
These senseless tragedies, which claimed the lives of 38 people, including children, enraged Americans and created a groundswell of support for gun violence prevention. Seizing this momentum, we united our partners, including March for Our Lives, the American Federation of Teachers, This Is Our Lane, and more, on Capitol Hill to showcase the impact of gun violence — and demand Senate action.
And while we continue to fight for universal background checks, the U.S. Senate heard our cries and passed the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act into law: The most significant gun violence prevention legislation since Jim and Sarah Brady passed the Brady bill nearly 30 years ago.
Just like the Brady Bill has done for decades, the Bipartisan Safer Community Act will save lives, investing millions in community violence intervention, funding the implementation of state-based extreme risk laws, and mandating enhanced background checks for individuals under the age of 21.
And though much work remains to strengthen our nation’s gun laws, we are also proud to have helped pass a bill to expand Brady Background Checks and ban assault weapons in the U.S. House, secure the first permanent director of the ATF in six years, and get President Biden’s rule to regulate ‘ghost guns’ over the finish line. In 2023, in the name of Jim and Sarah Brady, we will build on these victories and continue to find common ground in common-sense solutions.
2. Brady Legal: Reforming the Gun Industry and Saving Lives
Brady Legal is the longest-standing public interest law group fighting for victims and survivors of gun violence in America — and 2022 was our most active year yet. In states across the country, we filed numerous new cases to hold the gun industry accountable, defend our nation’s gun laws, and make America a place where no one lives with the fear of being shot and killed.
New Case: Baltimore v Polymer80
In June, Brady Legal and the Brady Legal Alliance filed a lawsuit on behalf of the city of Baltimore against the largest manufacturer of homemade ‘ghost guns,’ Polymer80, for fueling gun violence in the city. This landmark lawsuit builds on our legal efforts in California, where we filed the nation’s first civil lawsuits against the ghost gun industry on behalf of victims and survivors of gun violence.
The danger posed by ghost guns cannot be understated. These homemade weapons have proliferated across Baltimore, sparking gun violence in the city's most underserved neighborhoods. Prior to 2018, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) had never recovered a ghost gun. As of May 2022, the BPD has recovered more than 187 ghost guns — nearly double the amount recovered in 2021 for the same time period.
It’s why our lawsuit, which we filed alongside Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, seeks to hold Polymer80 accountable for the harm it has caused in Baltimore. Not only are we fighting to stop the sale of ghost gun parts in Baltimore, but we’re calling for compensatory damages for the injuries and trauma inflicted on the city.
“This suit will hold Polymer80 accountable for the harm it has caused in Baltimore, sending a message to all others, not in our town, not in our city.”
— Mayor Scott and Brady President Kris Brown
An Update: Gustafson v. Springfield Armory
In 2016, 13-year-old J.R. Gustafson was tragically unintentionally shot and killed by a young friend with an unsecured gun in the home. We filed a lawsuit on behalf of J.R. and his family against the manufacturer of the weapon. For years, they avoided accountability even though the defective design of the firearm contributed to J.R.’s death. How? The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA), a special gun industry protection that has been used to stop J.R. 's case from advancing.
But this year, that changed: A Pennsylvania court ruled in Gustafson v. Springfield Armory that the PLCAA does not apply in this case, allowing J.R. 's case to advance!
This is a BIG deal. For years, PLCAA has been interpreted to shield the gun industry from civil lawsuits, often creating lengthy legal battles that can take years, if not decades, to settle. But now, this victory brings J.R.’s family steps closer to the justice they deserve and creates a landmark precedent so more victims and survivors can bring cases against the gun industry. We know we can never bring back J.R., but we’re proud to have helped advance this case in his honor.
New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen
Entering 2022, the Supreme Court was slated to hear the first Second Amendment case in a decade: New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen (NYSRPA v Bruen.) The crux of this case came down to a longstanding New York law that required residents have “proper cause” to obtain a concealed carry license. The NRA-backed group that brought this case wanted New Yorkers to be free to carry concealed firearms virtually anywhere without a permit or gun safety training.
Understanding the stakes of this case, Brady and our partners at Giffords, March For Our Lives, and Everytown united to combat the court’s far-reaching decision. We submitted an amicus brief to the Supreme Court, defending all Americans' constitutional right to live without the fear of being shot and killed. And leading up to the decision, we united partners, gun violence survivors, and advocates to rally outside of the Supreme Court to show our solidarity for gun safety.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled in the NRA’s favor, effectively greenlighting their ‘guns everywhere’ agenda. This decision has far-reaching implications. Not only does it have the power to upend countless state gun safety laws, but it also impacts everyday Americans’ public safety: More firearms in public spaces, like parks, daycares, and public transport, will inevitably lead to more gun homicides and mass shootings. But don’t worry, you’ll read in the next section about how our grassroots activists are passing gun safety laws in states across the country to combat this reckless decision
All of these victories in the courts reaffirm what Brady Legal has championed since the 1980s: Even if Congress grinds to a halt, we can make real, life-saving progress in the courts to address this epidemic.
3. Our Grassroots Activists Bolstered Gun Safety Laws Across the Nation
In 2022, it felt like there was a mass shooting every day. Paired with everyday gun violence and a devastating Supreme Court ruling that has the potential to flood our communities with more firearms, we saw a groundswell of support for gun violence prevention in states across the country. With momentum on our side, Brady and Team ENOUGH’s efforts in statehouses across the country resulted in the recent passage of more than 35 life-saving gun violence prevention laws — the most in Brady’s history.
We entered the year poised to regulate homemade ghost guns. Led by Brady California and Team ENOUGH, grassroots activists helped institute our nation’s first bans on such weapons — and the parts and kits used to build them — in numerous localities across California. Meanwhile, Brady activists in four other states (NY, MD, WA, and IL) also shepherded life-saving bans on ghost guns into law. Coupled with President Biden’s Rule to regulate ghost guns, these laws will save lives and help end the proliferation of these weapons, once and for all.
Safe Gun Storage
Led by California grassroots activists like Ruth Borenstein, Mattie Scott, and Loren Lieb, Brady worked on a slate of common-sense gun bills that have now become law, including landmark legislation requiring schools to notify parents and guardians about the state’s safe firearm storage law — the culmination of 12 years of activism. Every day, eight children and teens are unintentionally injured or killed by an unlocked or unsupervised gun in the home. Additionally, 76% of school shootings are facilitated by kids having access to unsecured and/or unsupervised guns at home. To protect loved ones from family fire, it’s crucial that parents and guardians understand safe gun storage laws — and that's exactly what this law achieves.
As summer drew to a close, the Supreme Court’s unconscionable decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen further galvanized advocates to combat the ruling’s consequences. Most notably, we worked hand-in-hand with the governors of New York and New Jersey to bolster both states’ concealed carry systems and create sensitive place restrictions to keep firearms out of sensitive public places, like malls, public transportation, and more. Come 2023, as we continue to witness the fallout of Bruen, this will be a top priority for Brady in other states, including California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Maryland.
Giving Victims and Survivors the Right to Hold the Gun Industry Accountable in Court
In both Delaware and California, we played an integral role in passing landmark laws enabling victims and survivors of gun violence to hold negligent gun makers and dealers accountable in court. Now, for the first time since the passage of the 2005 federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Armerce Act (PLCAA), victims and survivors’ families have the tools to hold the gun industry accountable for their role in the gun violence epidemic. These victories cannot be understated. For years, PLCAA has been interpreted by some courts to shield the gun industry from civil lawsuits, leaving victims and survivors with an uphill battle in their pursuit of justice. The laws we helped enact will work to hold the gun industry accountable and pressure its adoption of life-saving reforms.
These state and local victories serve as both a national model for other communities to follow and as a reminder that, even in the absence of federal action, we can make significant progress in our communities.
4. We Opened the Brady Store!
Brady’s online store is a one-stop shop for Brady and Team ENOUGH merchandise and apparel. And with the holiday season among us, NOW is the perfect time for you to buy a gift for your friends, family, and loved ones. From t-shirts, hoodies, travel mugs, and more, visit our online store to shop and show the world that you care about ending gun violence.
5. We Launched A New Campaign Solely Dedicated to Reducing Gun Suicide in Missouri
When Americans think of gun violence, they immediately think about gun homicides or mass shootings. But America’s deadliest shootings are the ones we rarely talk about: Over half of all gun deaths are suicides. Unintentional shootings, suicide, and intentional shootings are all forms of family fire, which refers to a shooting caused by someone having access to a gun from the home when they shouldn’t have it. This includes children as well as those who display behavior that indicates they could harm themselves or others. Family fire is preventable.
It’s why, this year, we launched End Family Fire (EFF) Missouri — a two-year campaign in partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) and the Ad Council to raise awareness about unsecured firearms in the home. In a coordinated effort, we launched this campaign to reach Missourians through a variety of mediums, including digital PSA, billboards, and posters across the state. Our ads have reached thousands, spreading the importance of safe gun storage, which means storing firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition.
We are so proud of the work we accomplished with MFH and the Ad Council in 2022. We know it will take all of us — gun owners and non-gun owners alike — to end family fire, and thanks to our efforts, more states have a blueprint to follow in their state.
6. We Released Never-Before-Seen ATF Gun Data to the Public
This year, Brady’s Combating Crime Guns Initiative launched the Gun Store Transparency Project. Our interactive map displays the largest database of ATF gun store inspection reports ever released to the public. It exposes gun stores cited for breaking the law, including whether federal authorities are failing to hold them accountable.
Brady fought for years to obtain this data, which was shielded by special gun industry protections. But now, the Gun Store Transparency project will help ensure the American public is no longer kept in the dark about businesses that contribute to gun violence in their communities. The Gun Store Transparency Project builds on our jaw-dropping, years-long investigation into the ATF, which revealed that even when gun dealers knowingly break the law, they are rarely held accountable.
But with this vitally important resource, advocates, policymakers, and researchers alike can use this data to make our communities safer. Please learn more now: Simply enter a zip code and find gun stores that have been cited for violations in your community and across the country.
7. We Welcomed New Youth Leaders to the Team ENOUGH Executive Council
Over the summer, Team ENOUGH, our youth-led initiative, welcomed eight new leaders to its Executive Council. Founded in the wake of the Parkland shooting, Team ENOUGH empowers and mobilizes youth to end America’s gun violence epidemic. This was by far the most competitive year as dozens of students applied to join the governing body of Team ENOUGH.
We are delighted to welcome Riley Reed, Maria Telleria, Lea Nepomuceno, Catherine Tiddy, Mia Tretta, Olivia Shull, and Christopher Zoeller to Team ENOUGH.
Members of the Executive Council have impressive backgrounds in organizing, policymaking, and lobbying. More than two-thirds of the Executive Council are people of color, LGBTQ, and from diverse faith backgrounds. These youth leaders, many of whom are also gun violence survivors, will help ensure an inclusive youth-led movement that addresses all forms of gun violence — not just mass shootings that capture national attention. Please join us in learning more about the new members of the Team ENOUGH Executive Council — the leaders of the generation that will end gun violence!
8. We Won a Prestigious Shorty Award!
Brady’s podcast, “Red, Blue, and Brady,” won gold for the Shorty Award’s best podcast! Our podcast is the first podcast devoted solely to gun violence prevention and racial justice — and now, the only one to win a Shorty Award in the gun violence prevention movement.
With over 40,000 Americans dying of gun violence each year, we created Red, Blue, and Brady in 2019 to raise awareness about this pressing public health crisis. Each week, hosts JJ Janflone and Kelly Sampson convene survivors, academics, gun owners, and lawmakers to discuss sensible solutions to this epidemic, and what listeners can do to effect change and make our country safer.
9. We Got Out the Vote and Maintained Our Gun Safety Majority in the U.S. Senate
Gun violence prevention was on the ballot in 2022. And in what was the most consequential Midterm Election in the past decade, we were determined to prepare Americans to get out the vote for gun violence prevention champions in local, state, and federal races. And so, in the weeks leading up to the midterms, Brady and Team ENOUGH activists mailed over 10,000 postcards to voters, encouraging them to vote for gun violence prevention champions.
But we didn’t stop there. We knew the youth vote would be crucial in electing candidates who support gun violence prevention. So, just two days before the Midterm Elections, Team ENOUGH, our youth-led initiative, hit the roads with Brady for a Florida Bus Tour with Maxwell Frost, the first Gen Z candidate elected to Congress, and our partners at Change the Ref to engage students on our issue and help get out the vote.
Brady, Team ENOUGH, and activists like you helped maintain our gun safety majority in the U.S. Senate, and we also welcomed new gun violence prevention champions to the U.S. House, like Maxwell Frost, a former leader at March For Our Lives and a strong advocate for gun violence prevention.
The Midterm Elections reaffirmed that young people have had ENOUGH of gun violence — and if lawmakers refuse to act, they will vote them out of office. As we begin preparing for the 2024 election, Brady and Team ENOUGH look forward to engaging more youth on our issue.
10. We United the Medical Community to Address Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue
Brady has long viewed gun violence as a public health issue — and over the years, we’ve made real progress in tackling it. But there’s a group that understands this public health crisis better than anyone else — and that’s medical professionals.
Trauma surgeons, emergency medicine doctors, pediatricians, and more bear witness to the impact of gun violence and trauma first-hand. They are on the front lines of our nation’s gun violence epidemic and often have to deliver the worst news a family will ever hear: your loved one isn’t coming home.
Tackling this complex public health crisis requires a number of solutions — and one of the most important is banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. That’s why, in the final days of 2022, we spearheaded an open letter with medical professionals from across the country demanding the U.S. Senate ban assault weapons before the end of the 2022 session.
We convened medical professionals to speak out because they understand the lethality of these weapons. Medical professionals witness the impact of gun violence each day — so that means that must have a say in solutions to our nation’s gun violence epidemic. And while the Senate has yet to ban these weapons of war, we’re proud to have had over 150 medical professionals sign on to our open letter demanding they take action. In 2023, we look forward to furthering our public health and physician work through a new partnership with @ThisIsOurLane and Johns Hopkins Trauma Surgeon and Brady Board Member Dr. Joseph Sakran.