Longstanding civil rights icon and gun safety champion passes away at 68
Washington, D.C. October 17, 2019 — Today, it was formally announced that Rep. Elijah Cummings, longtime representative of Maryland’s 7th District, passed away following “complications concerning long standing health challenges.” The gun violence prevention organization Brady remembers Rep. Cummings as a tireless gun safety champion, who battled for equality and justice from his start in the Maryland House of Delegates to Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee.
Brady President Kris Brown said:
“From his earliest days in Congress, Americans could count on Rep. Cummings as a stalwart champion for gun safety. Time and again, our nation witnessed Rep. Cummings put party politics aside and made protecting our communities and future generations a priority. He took action, not sides, and reached across the aisle to combat gun trafficking and address gun violence impacting his Baltimore constituents. His voice of moral clarity and reason united our nation behind a common force and brought us closer to ending the epidemic of gun violence. The loss of Rep. Cummings has broken the heart of the gun violence prevention community, but we will always remember his legacy as a fighter for justice, equality, and fairness. His vision of an America free of gun violence is shared by many and will endure."
The issue of gun violence was deeply personal to Rep. Cummings. In 2011, his 20-year-old nephew was shot and killed. While he had long championed gun violence prevention, his loss ignited a renewed passion within him to stop these senseless acts resulting in so many lives lost and families forever impacted. As Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, he worked to root out the source of crime guns in impacted communities. In August, he sent a letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), to help identify gun dealers that supply the criminal market.
Rep. Cummings also led a bipartisan bill that would make firearms trafficking a federal crime and strengthen penalties for those who participate in straw purchases. He worked within his own community for years, playing an integral role in curbing gun violence in Baltimore.
Brady knows that Rep. Cummings would have wanted his work to continue and urges the next generation of gun violence prevention champions to take up his mantle and finish the battle he waged for most of his life. Today, we celebrate his life of accomplishments and his unquenchable desire for a safer America for all its people.
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.