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Brady Applauds the Selection of Judge Merrick Garland as Attorney General With Seasoned Leaders to Steward the Department of Justice

Washington, D.C., January 8, 2020 - Brady welcomes the selection of Judge Merrick Garland to serve as Attorney General in the Biden-Harris Administration. Brady likewise welcomes the announcement that President-elect Biden has named Lisa Monaco to serve as Deputy Attorney General, Vinita Gupta as the Associate Attorney General for the Civil Division and Kristen Clarke to head the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Each of these candidates has demonstrated that they recognize the Department of Justice’s vital role in preventing gun violence and will not hesitate to use that authority to keep our nation safe.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“Each of these nominees are outstanding advocates for common-sense gun safety regulations and have shown that they understand the Department of Justice’s role in preventing gun violence and holding the actors and industries that drive this crisis accountable. We are ready to work with the Department of Justice and Attorney General-designateGarland immediately to tackle pressing concerns such as regulating untraceable ghost guns that are proliferating across the country. Perhaps just as importantly, we welcome a return to the clear principled mission of the Department of Justice, devoid of political interference or the pursuit of personal vendettas by the President of the United States. A President Biden and Attorney General Garland will uphold the rule of law and work to keep our nation safe.”

Brady Chief Legal Counsel Jonathan Lowy shared:

“Judge Garland has shown time and again that he understands that our nation's gun safety laws are Constitutional and are in keeping with our nation’s long history of preserving public safety. Brady looks forward to an Attorney General Garland returning to the long-standing precedent of the Department of Justice supporting and participating in gun industry reform impact litigation. Brady previously worked with the Clinton Administration to obtain a landmark settlement against Smith & Wesson in March of 2000. We hope that AG Garland will join us and with the many advocates across the country in suits seeking to hold the gun industry accountable for its role in our country’s gun violence epidemic.”

Brady Vice President of Policy Christian Heyne stated:

“Brady looks forward to working with these nominees to make our nation safer on day one. Each of these seasoned nominees is prepared to begin governing immediately and will quickly and effectively use the Department of Justice’s authority to keep our nation safe from gun violence. For too long the gun industry has been provided protections no other industry has been afforded and our communities have felt those impacts. These nominees will have the opportunity to ensure the gun industry has adequate oversight and accountability to better combat the diversions of guns that continue to proliferate in cities across the country. We look forward to working with them all to help regulate untraceable ghost guns, to work with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to help better enforce gun laws and regulations while increasing access to critical enforcement data. These nominees are ready. They are exceptional. And, we look forward to getting to work.”

Brady Senior Counsel and Director of Racial Justice Kelly Sampson shared:

“We are excited for the Department of Justice’s new era to begin under the leadership of these nominees. Over the last four years, the Trump Administration has hollowed out the Office of Civil Rights, a devastating move considering that our nation’s laws are neither fair nor equally applied to all residents. That is why I am excited to see each of these nominees, and especially Attorney Clarke, who will head the Civil Rights Division. This office is an essential partner in our effort to prevent gun violence, as we know that Black and Brown Americans and other marginalized groups such as Trans people are disproportionately affected by gun homicide. We look forward to again having a partner in the Office of Civil Rights to help address these disparities and make our country safer for all of its residents, particularly its most vulnerable.”

About Actions the Executive Branch Can Take to Prevent Gun Violence:

Brady hopes that the Department of Justice works in concert with the entire Executive Branch to help prevent gun violence and make our nation safer. In 2020, Brady released a suite of 23 recommendations for the Executive Branch and the office of the President to address gun violence in a report, “Leading with Action: Addressing Gun Violence with Executive Authority.” The report lays out immediate actions that the Executive Branch can take without Congressional action and with existing authority to reduce gun violence, many of which will fall under the authority of the Department of Justice and the Attorney General.

Specifically, the report outlines recommendations that can accomplish five, overarching goals:

  1. Enhance and strengthen the Brady Background Check System;
  2. Improve gun industry oversight and accountability;
  3. Prevent the diversion of firearms to the illegal market;
  4. Reform the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); and
  5. Promote public health and safety.

These actions should work in concert with comprehensive, Congressional efforts to prevent gun violence, which affects all Americans, albeit in varied and unequal ways. In anticipation of those comprehensive actions, the Executive Branch can and should take these steps immediately to reduce gun violence across the country and relieve the extraordinary burden and loss that gun violence imposes on every American, and in particular on communities of color that bear disproportionate and deleterious costs from gun violence.

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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.


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