Epidemics are epidemics because they take many different forms, and while there may be common-sense answers, solutions to address the underlying causes of gun violence are varied and complex.
Gun violence is an epidemic. We celebrate the Brady Law having stopped approximately 4 million firearm sales to prohibited gun purchasers, but we also acknowledge the internet, an unforeseen channel for selling guns.
At the same time, additional threats have arisen — both on and offline.
Brady is a leading voice in the fight to block 3D-printed guns, which represent a supreme threat to our safety and security. Anyone, anywhere can build a 3D-printed gun on demand — with no background check or without going through a licensed gun dealer. 3D-printed firearms are untraceable. This makes the jobs of law enforcement more difficult.
What's more, because authorities cannot trace 3D-printed guns back to the producer or owner, it's possible for 3D-printed gun producers to repeatedly violate gun manufacturing laws and restrictions on gun sales without fear of consequence. Worse yet, 3D-printed guns are almost completely made of plastic, which means they evade conventional security methods like metal detectors. Lastly, unlimited access online to blueprints for 3D-printed guns and the potential export of untraceable firearms threatens national and international defense and security.
We're committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this threat from continuing further. Brady filed the first legal action to stop the wave of dangerous actors seeking to illegally post 3D-printed gun blueprints online. Brady's 2018 amicus breif argues that the Second Amendment doesn't grant Defense Distributed the right to publish the blueprints, nor does it protect the right to create or own 3D-printed guns.
In December 2018, Brady filed a lawsuit against the United States Department of State to force it to produce documents regarding its inexplicable, sudden decision to allow blueprints for 3-D printed guns to be uploaded and widely disseminated on the internet. Brady earlier sued to stop the Trump Administration’s settlement of a lawsuit brought by Defense Distributed, which would enable anyone to print untraceable and undetectable guns at home.
In response to school shootings, some federal and local lawmakers have considered funding to purchase guns for teachers. A 2018 study from Pew Research Center found that only 39 percent of U.S. teens ages 13 to 17, and parents with children in the same age range believe arming teachers and school officials would prevent school shootings.
Make no mistake, the greatest beneficiary of spending taxpayer dollars on guns for schools is the gun industry itself. Teachers are already on our front lines for educating our children, and guns in their classrooms won’t make them safer. Brady believes the way to prevent shootings isn’t adding more guns to our schools — it’s taking action to keep them out of the hands of dangerous people.
The high number of firearms in the U.S. means more and more guns are being “left” to family members after a loved one’s death, often inadvertently. For example, moving boxes from your grandparent’s home could be bringing guns into your own home, without your knowledge.
Although these emerging dangers are one of the most frightening parts of the gun violence epidemic, Brady is undeterred. We know there are solutions to these problems and if we unite, we will achieve them. It’s time we take action, not sides.