Washington, D.C., February 7, 2022 – During the State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden again implored Congress to take bolder action to address the issue of gun violence, including a call to pass an assault weapons ban. In 1994, Brady assisted then-Sen. Joe Biden in crafting the original assault weapons ban, which is credited with a 37% decline in gun massacres and 70% decline in assault weapons traced to gun crimes. In the decade after the ban expired, the U.S. experienced a 183% increase in such massacres and a 239% increase in fatalities.
Kris Brown, president of Brady, said:
“Tonight, we echo President Biden’s words: the United States needs continued and increased action to address America’s gun violence crisis.
“And while the White House has already taken historic, and expansive action, it cannot solve this problem alone. Congress should listen to the majority of Americans and pass policies that have overwhelming public support, including universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons – weapons of war with enhanced lethality that have no place in our communities. As we’ve seen time and time again in places like Buffalo, Highland Park, and Uvalde, assault weapons and their tactical accessories, such as high-capacity magazines, are the leading choice for mass shooters because they are designed to kill as many people as possible as quickly as possible. We have the power to prevent these uniquely American tragedies, and a ban on assault weapons and these deadly accessories will be critical to accomplishing that goal.
“We applaud President Biden for further pressing Congress to invest in community violence initiatives (CVI) that address root causes of gun violence and break cycles of generational violence by strengthening communities and for imploring Congress to pass common-sense, justice-oriented police reform. CVI programs have saved lives across the country by investing in public health solutions of the future rather than relying on failed policies of the past. We are encouraged that both parties signaled support for these policies and we are hopeful that can lead to more bipartisan solutions as we head into this divided Congress.
“Additionally, to stem this deadly epidemic, President Biden can further use his existing authority to take decisive, comprehensive executive actions to promote public health and enhance enforcement of existing federal gun laws, especially by improving the operations of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to ensure fair and robust oversight of the corporate gun industry.
“Surrounded tonight by numerous gun violence survivors and their families, the President strongly reiterated his commitment to the issue of gun violence, and Brady applauds such historic commitment and leadership."
We joined @POTUS in his fight to pass a federal assault weapon ban in 1994.— Brady | United Against Gun Violence (@bradybuzz) February 8, 2023
But Congress caved to the NRA and let the ban expire.
Since then, we have seen countless tragedies that involved assault weapons. We aren’t letting up and demand an #AssaultWeaponsBan. pic.twitter.com/ND9YV8EsgS
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.