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Brady Looks to a Bright Horizon for Gun Violence Prevention

Washington, D.C., November 7, 2020 - Brady is eager for the opportunity to work with President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, legislators and executives across the country to meaningfully address gun violence.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“This year, Brady worked to expand access to our democracy so that every voice could be heard. In light of this new day, we must immediately begin to enact a gun violence prevention agenda across Congress, Courts, and Communities to stop the violence that claims 100 lives everyday. Brady is ready and eager to do so with all partners. Today is a new chapter in the fight to end gun violence in America.”

About Brady’s Work in 2020:

Throughout this year, Brady has worked to expand access to our democracy through our ‘Voting Access Saves Lives’ campaign, in partnership with Team ENOUGH and March For Our Lives. Throughout this campaign, Brady has worked on the ground to help ensure that all Americans can participate in our democracy, recognizing that historic and continued discrimination and suppression have silenced the voices of millions of Americans, including and especially those disproportionately affected by gun violence. Without direct action to remedy this issue, lawmakers will not be responsive to the needs of their constituents, allowing special interest groups like the NRA to stop needed gun violence prevention reforms.

Through this campaign, Brady activists helped to secure additional ballot drop boxes for voters across multiple states, funding for personal protective equipment (PPE) for poll workers, and legislative reforms such as eliminating voter ID laws in Virginia. These reforms are necessary to ensure that all Americans can participate in our democracy.

About Gun Violence Prevention in 2021:

In 2021 and beyond, Brady will continue to work across Congress, courts, and communities to help carry out its mandate. The challenges that we all face in tackling this epidemic are large, but they are not monolith nor are they insurmountable.

In 2021, among many pressing priorities, our movement will continue to call on the Administration and legislators to:

Update the Brady Background Check System:

Our federal background checks system, or our namesake Brady Background Check system, is the foundation upon which all other gun laws are built. But, gaps have emerged in this almost-25 year old system as technology has progressed and businesses and individuals have exploited loopholes for profit.

While background checks prevent hundreds of thousands of prohibited transactions each year, today approximately 1 in every 5 gun sales occur without background checks, due in large part to the rise of gun shows and websites that facilitate private sales online. Also, under current law, a licensed dealer may transfer a gun to a buyer after three days, even if the background check has yet to determine if they are legally allowed to purchase a gun. Between 2013 and 2017, over 18,500 firearms were transferred to prohibited buyers as a result of this loophole.

While closing such loopholes will not fix the issue of gun violence on its own, this common-sense step must be a priority in order to work towards that safer future. These changes will help keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them.

Address Gun Suicide:

Suicide by gun is both the leading manner of death by suicide and the largest proportion of death by gun violence. An average of 63 people die by suicide with a gun every day, accounting for approximately 60 percent of all gun deaths. Only 6 percent of attempted suicides involve a firearm, but they account for more than 50% of all suicide deaths. Every day, more than two children and teens will shoot and kill themselves, half of whom are under the age of 16. Attempted suicide by gun results in death more than 90 percent of the time, compared to less than 3 percent for the most common attempted method, drug overdose.

By limiting or delaying access to guns many suicides could be prevented. Research has shown to that the critical variable of completed suicide attempts is access to lethal means. Access to a gun in the home increases the risk of suicide death by 300 percent. While mental health strategies will be critical as well, we need leadership to approach this issue with all legislative solutions such as extreme risk laws.

Regulate ‘Ghost Guns’ and Ghost Gun Kits:

Ghost guns are unregulated firearms that are constructed by individuals using unfinished frames or receivers. Ghost guns are often sold in “kits” that contain all the necessary parts to construct a fully-functioning firearm, allowing anyone to create an unserialized and therefore untraceable, functioning firearm. Ghost guns undermine all existing gun laws. You do not need a background check to purchase a ghost gun kit or parts, allowing prohibited and dangerous individuals to build fully functioning and untraceable firearms.

Ghost gun use in crime has increased exponentially in recent years. The number of ghost guns recovered in Washington, D.C. increased from 3 in 2017, to 25 in 2018, to 116 in 2019. Nearly half of recent cases seen by the Los Angeles ATF field division involved ghost guns including three mass shootings, which killed twelve people and injured dozens more.

The President of the United States has the Executive Authority to instruct ATF to broaden its interpretations of the term ‘firearm’ to include unfinished frames and receivers which are designed and marketed to be converted into firearms. In short, treat “Ghost Guns” like all other guns.

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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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