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Brady Calls for Congress to Strengthen and Expand Background Check System, Ban Assault Weapons and Enact ERPO "Red Flag" Laws

Proposals reflect the pleas of the majority of Americans, according to new Quinnipiac Poll

Washington D.C., February 21, 2018 — The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today called upon Congress to immediately pass legislation to make it significantly harder for deadly weapons to be used by dangerous people. One week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Brady recommends comprehensive gun violence legislation around three critical legislative initiatives:

1) Brady background checks on all guns sales: Completion of a Brady Background check on every gun sold. Those convicted of gun crimes, assault, or domestic violence should no longer be able to purchase guns without passing a background check in any state, no loopholes and no exceptions. Guns should not be sold if a background check is still pending. While some states have expanded their background checks, approximately half of the population still lives in states without these common-sense laws. Dangerous exceptions to the system that allow private sales to take place without conducting a background check at gun shows or via online sites put all Americans at risk.

2) Pass the assault weapon ban: Shooters in the recent deadly mass shootings like Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, and Sandy Hook have all used assault weapons and high capacity magazines to massacre people. Today you can buy an AR-15 style rifle in as little as 25 minutes. Weapons of war belong in military and police forces, not in our schools and churches.

3) Enact "Extreme Risk Laws": Laws that allow family members and law enforcement to seek court permission to temporarily remove guns from a person in crisis empower families, communities, and law enforcement to help keep guns out of the hands of those at risk of injuring themselves or others. We are taking action to pressure politicians to support these in every state.

Today, Brady Co-President Kris Brown joins with Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the Florida State Capitol today to call for a ban on assault rifles. The direct appeal to the Legislature follows protests outside schools, social media appeals and national television appearances.

These proposals strongly align with the demands of Americans based on new Quinnipiac Poll research published this week, including:

  • Support for universal background checks is now up to 97 percent, including those living in gun owning households.
  • 67 percent now support a nationwide ban on assault weapons.
  • 66 percent of American voters support stricter gun laws, a 19 percent point increase over two years ago.

"Americans of every age and background are calling ‘BS' on the lack of action from Congress and the President. Americans aren't more dangerous or more criminally-inclined than people in other nations, but we have the highest rate of gun deaths in the developed world. That's because our laws continue to allow easy access to the deadliest weapons, and it is well past the time to change those laws," said Brady Campaign co-president, Avery Gardiner. "It is no secret which members of Congress pander to the gun lobby. With all 435 seats in the House and 34 seats in the Senate up for reelection in November, it is time for them to act. If not, we'll vote them out."

"These straightforward initiatives will help prevent violence and save lives, and are meant to stop the next Parkland, Columbine, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, or Orlando," said Brady Campaign co-president, Kris Brown. "The time for platitudes, spin, fearmongering and regurgitating NRA message points is done. Voters and our children say #ENOUGH, and we have a nation that wonders will it be #MeNext ?"

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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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