Epidemics are epidemics because they defy easy answers. Just when you think you know what makes it spread, it changes shape.
Gun violence is an epidemic. We celebrate the Brady Law keeping guns out of dangerous hands, but with the birth of the internet, a new channel for selling guns was created. One that hadn’t been protected by the Brady Law when the legislation was enacted in 1994.
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 they can't be traced back to their producer or owner, its possible for the producers of 3D-printed gun to repeatedly violate gun manufacturing and restrictions on gun sales without fear of consequence. 3D-printed guns are made almost completely of plastic, which means they avoid conventional security methods like metal detectors. Lastly, unlimited access online to blueprints for 3D-printed guns and the potential export of untraceable firearms is a threat to 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. The 2018 amicus brief filed by Brady 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.
Emerging dangers are one of the most frightening parts of the epidemic because while we know they are coming, we don't know from where, or in what shape. It’s time we take action, not sides.