Washington, D.C., December 14, 2021 - On the ninth anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Brady echoes the statement made by President Joe Biden calling on the U.S. Senate to pass common-sense gun violence prevention legislation and calls on President Biden to clearly support eliminating the filibuster to pass such legislation. President Biden stated in his remarks today that it was “frustrating” that the Obama-Biden administration could not pass gun violence prevention legislation and that it is “frustrating now” that the Senate has not passed such legislation during this Congress. President Biden has the largest megaphone in the world. His call to eliminate the cause of that ‘frustration,’ the filibuster, would be a clear signal that enough is enough and the Senate cannot wait to act. President Biden cannot and should not wait to make that signal. Brady urges him to do so immediately.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“We hear too often that our nation ‘gave up’ on preventing gun violence when the Senate failed to pass common-sense legislation following the Sandy Hook shooting. Nothing could be further from the truth. State legislatures have passed hundreds of common-sense laws since then, while the chorus of voices demanding change -- from Democrats, Republicans, gun owners and non gun owners alike -- has only grown louder and larger. President Biden is the strongest gun violence prevention champion ever to occupy the White House. He has made historic investments in gun violence prevention and taken needed steps to address this crisis through executive action. We are grateful for his leadership and moral clarity, but it is time for him to add his voice to the call to eliminate the filibuster to pass gun violence prevention legislation in the Senate. This outmoded procedural rule is stopping the change that President Biden supports and has called for. He must stand on the right side of this issue with us and call for the Senate to amend its rules around gun violence bills to allow them to pass with a simple majority. This anniversary is a brutal reminder of what’s at stake. The filibuster is killing us. We cannot delay.”
About the Bills Languishing in the Senate Because of the Filibuster:
Currently, multiple common-sense bills that the U.S. House of Representatives passed with bipartisan support are awaiting a vote in the Senate. These bills, H.R.8 and H.R.1446, have broad public support and are almost universally popular, but Senate rules require a 60-vote threshold, the procedural filibuster, to move each to a full floor vote. As recently as 1975 the Senate has altered its institutional rules regarding cloture and the filibuster, it must do so again to pass important legislation such as these life-saving bills. When it comes to gun violence, the filibuster is literally killing Americans by preventing change that could stop the more than 100 deaths from gun violence every day across the country.
About President Biden’s Historic Actions to Prevent Gun Violence:
In his first year in office, President Biden has taken immediate and decisive steps using his executive authority to address gun violence in all of its forms. Since taking office, President Biden has announced three packages of executive actions, a suite of executive actions announced in April, a comprehensive violence reduction strategy that takes a supply side approach, and an emphasis on Veterans and suicide prevention that includes safe storage guidance. These packages specifically include:
A proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns
A proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act
The publication of model extreme risk order legislation for states
Instructing the Justice Department to issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today
Historic investment in substantive evidence-based community violence interventions by directing five federal agencies to modify 26 programs that will route vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible.
Instructing the ATF to establish a zero tolerance for rogue gun dealers that willfully violate the law
Instructing the ATF to designate a specific point of contact in every field division to better coordinate with state and local officials to address the supply of firearms that show up at crime scenes
Formalizing the use of data-driven prioritization of inspection resources
Equipping states that have their own gun dealer licensing systems with data from ATF inspections
A comprehensive military and veteran suicide prevention strategy
Finalizing a proposed rule from 2016, instructing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to clarify firearms dealers’ statutory obligations to make available for purchase compatible secure gun storage or safety devices.
Providing a best practices guide to all federal firearms dealers, including a reminder of actions they are legally required to take as well as additional actions dealers can and are recommended to take to keep their customers and communities safe.
In sum, President Biden’s attention to this issue and steps taken to address it are without parallel for a first year in office. He has clearly and rightly championed this issue. These actions likewise supplement needed funding for communities and community violence intervention included in the American Rescue Plan as well as a historic $5 billion for community violence intervention called for in the President’s Build Back Better agenda.
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.