Tell State Legislators: Ban Firearms in Legislative Buildings!

Guns do not belong in our democratic process, plain and simple. With armed threats looming, it urgent we act now.

Take Action!
press

Brady, Giffords Law Center File Amicus Brief to Compel ATF to Regulate “Ghost Guns”

Brady and Giffords have filed an amicus brief in support of a suit brought by four cities and represented by Everytown for Gun Safety in federal court

For Questions Contact:
Arnold & Porter: Issara Baumann, [email protected]
Brady: Liam Sullivan, [email protected]
Giffords: Jason Phelps, [email protected]

Washington, D.C., December 23, 2020 - Brady and Giffords Law Center join in supporting the cities of Syracuse, New York, San Jose, California, Chicago, Illinois, and Columbia, South Carolina and Everytown for Gun Safety in their lawsuit seeking to compel the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to regulate the parts used to make ‘ghost guns’ as firearms under the federal Gun Control Act (18 U.S.C. § 921 et seq.). Brady and Giffords have filed a joint Amicus Brief in support of the suit, which is being heard in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Brady Legal Counsel, Christa Nicols stated:

“Ghost Guns undermine our existing, common-sense gun violence prevention laws and create a completely unregulated gun market. This is not an abstract issue, as these untraceable weapons have already been used in mass shootings in just the past few years and in the murder of law enforcement officers this summer by far-right extremists in California. ATF can act immediately to address this crisis. Brady joins with these cities and with Everytown in demanding they do so, as the ATF’s decision that ghost gun kits are not subject to regulation will allow this crisis to deepen, disproportionately affecting communities who already bear the brunt of our national gun violence epidemic, such as Black and Brown Americans. For all of our safety, the ATF must act.”

Giffords Law Center Senior Staff Attorney David Pucino stated:

“Ghost gun purveyors design their products to evade critical gun safety laws. They give those who cannot pass a background check the opportunity to obtain a firearm, and they are increasingly providing gun trafficking rings with the materials to quickly and easily manufacture caches of weapons for sale on the black market. ATF must acknowledge that these products are firearms and treat them as such. We are proud to join Syracuse, San Jose, Chicago, Columbia, and Everytown to close this deadly gap in the law.”

Roberta Horton, partner at Arnold & Porter, stated:

“ATF’s determination that ghost gun receivers (in long guns) and frames (in handguns) need not be regulated under the Gun Control Act contravenes the agency’s mandate in detecting and deterring illegal firearms trafficking. Arnold & Porter continues to provide pro bono counsel and support to the Brady and Giffords Law Center in fighting ATF’s arbitrary determination.”

The brief highlights the critical need for ATF to recognize ghost guns as what they are – fully functioning firearms. Ghost guns evade the federal regulatory framework designed to prevent firearms from getting into the hands of people who are prohibited from possessing them. ATF’s misinterpretation of the Gun Control Act nullifies the responsibility of licensed gun dealers to prevent prohibited persons from acquiring guns and functionally eliminates ATF’s ability to detect dealers that supply the secondary criminal gun market and hold them accountable.

About Brady and Giffords Law Center’s Work on Ghost Guns:

Brady and Giffords are also leading lawsuits to combat the threat of ghost guns in California.

Brady, with co-counsel at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, are representing victims in two landmark lawsuits filed in Orange and San Bernardino County Superior Courts in California against the ghost gun industry. The plaintiffs are survivors and families of people killed in a November 2017 shooting rampage that left eight crime scenes, including a California elementary school. The 13 defendants named in the lawsuits make and sell ghost gun kits like those used in the shootings that injured plaintiffs. In advertising their gun kits for sale in California, many of the defendants emphasize that no Brady background check or registration is required – unlike when buying a gun.

Brady Legal Chief Counsel, Jonathan Lowy stated:

“We shouldn’t have to say that those convicted of violent felonies and other people who are legally prohibited from possessing guns should not be able to possess guns. But some businesses put us all at risk by selling to virtually anyone DIY kits that can then be easily assembled into illegal, deadly, and untraceable assault weapons, all without a Brady background check or paper trail. Unregulated ghost gun sales can arm prohibited purchasers, fugitives, traffickers, and domestic abusers, and they are becoming the criminals’ weapon-of-choice. People and businesses must be held accountable when they choose to put profits over people, and innocent people are hurt or killed as a result.”

In September, Giffords Law Center filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration demanding that ATF correctly identify the parts used to make ghost guns as firearms, along with California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and Bryan Muehlberger, and Frank Blackwell, the fathers of Gracie Anne Muehlberger and Dominic Blackwell, respectively, who were tragically murdered with a ghost gun in the November 2019 Saugus High School Shooting in Santa Clarita, California.

About Arnold & Porter:

With nearly 1,000 lawyers practicing in 14 offices around the globe, Arnold & Porter serves clients across 40 distinct practice areas. The firm offers 100 years of renowned regulatory expertise, sophisticated litigation and transactional practices, and leading multidisciplinary offerings in the life sciences and financial services industries.

About Brady:

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.

About Giffords:

For over 25 years, the legal experts at Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence have been fighting for a safer America by researching, drafting, and defending the laws, policies, and programs proven to save lives from gun violence.

###

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.


Back to Press Releases
Related Posts