Votes mark strongest legislative step forward for gun violence prevention in a generation
Washington, D.C., February 27, 2019 - Nearly 25 years to the day after the landmark Brady Bill went into effect, the House of Representatives made history by passing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019, a bipartisan bill that will strengthen and expand the Brady Background Check system. Brady, the organization that led the battle for the Brady Bill 25 years ago and continues to fight for gun violence prevention today, hailed today’s vote as a monumental step towards making all Americans safe.
Brady president Kris Brown stated,
“This is a historic occasion to be celebrated by all Americans. As we are poised to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Brady Bill’s enactment, I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Jim and Sarah Brady’s legacy than by strengthening the background system they dedicated their lives to achieving. This bill will save lives. It is a monumental step forward for gun violence prevention in our country, and we are proud of our elected officials for standing up and delivering on their promise to keep our communities safe. On to the Senate!
H.R. 8 and its companion bill, S. 42, will expand background checks to all private gun sales and most transfers, including those online and at gun shows. After the Brady Bill went into effect 25 years ago, gun murders fell by an astonishing 32 percent from 1993 to 2006, and have continued to hold steady or decline every since. Furthermore, among the 21 states and the District of Columbia that have built upon and expanded the scope of the current Brady Background Check system, 53 percent fewer law enforcement officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty, 47 percent fewer women have been shot by intimate partners, and cities in states with expanded background checks have seen a 48 percent reduction in gun trafficking.
For more information on the current Brady Background Check system, please read Brady’s latest report, “How Brady Background Checks Became Law.”
In the weeks leading up to today’s vote, Brady brought together a coalition of more than 30 national organizations in support of H.R. 8 and S. 42. In a letter sent to every member of Congress earlier this month, the coalition urged both chambers of Congress to cosponsor and pass the background check legislation, stating that “Background checks are conclusively effective and have saved countless lives… H.R. 8 and S. 42 will make us all safer by requiring a background check for virtually every firearm sale and transfer.” That letter can be found here: https://brady-static.s3.amazonaws.com/HR8-S42-LetterAndSignatories.pdf
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.