The open letter, led by Brady and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering, urges federal action as Americans remain under threat of gun violence
Washington, D.C., July 4, 2023 – Today, one year since the July 4th mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill., Brady along with Mayor Nancy Rotering, and 80-plus national and state organizations, gun violence survivors, and local and state officials have released a letter urging federal lawmakers to pass an assault weapons ban.
One year ago a gunman killed seven people and injured 48 others with an assault weapon during a Fourth of July parade. With support from Brady, Highland Park, Naperville and Illinois passed assault weapons bans, but federal action has remained stagnant, continuing the threat of assault weapons purchased out-of-state.
The letter stressed that the Highland Park shooting was an attack on the sense of safety and freedom for all Americans, not just Highland Park, and that no community in the U.S. is safe from assault weapons without a federal ban. Signers include March For Our Lives, Newtown Action Alliance, National Education Association, American Federation of Teachers, and Gays Against Guns.
Kris Brown, president of Brady, said:
“We are all Highland Park. Every American is at risk of being shot, whether we are marching in a parade, shopping at a grocery store, making a deposit at the bank, or simply walking home.
“Assault weapons represent a unique threat to our communities, being designed to kill as many people as quickly as people, which is why they are the choice weapon of mass shooters. Highland Park and Illinois have taken strong steps to prevent the next mass shooting, but weak laws in other states leave us all vulnerable. Sadly, since last year’s unconscionable tragedy, our country has continued to experience nearly nonstop mass shootings with assault weapons.
“Congress has a duty to protect the safety, health and wellbeing of Americans. We must put a stop to the fear of losing our lives, our loved ones, and our fellow Americans and reauthorize the federal assault weapons ban. Our freedom – the soul of our nation – requires it.”
Nancy Rotering, Mayor of HIghland Park, stated:
“On this uniquely American holiday, we look back at the devastating shooting that shook our community to its core, and we continue to remember and honor the seven individuals taken from their loved ones and the dozens more who were injured. The pain and grief from this senseless act of violence still resonates deeply for so many of us. It is a day that will forever be etched in our minds.
We are so grateful to all who have stepped up, including Brady to generously share their expertise, support, and guidance as we have navigated our way through our darkest days and defended our human right to live free from this pervasive threat of mass gun violence. We know that this journey is long and our individual and collective need for support will not end just because a date has passed. We will continue our fight together.”
Kris Brown, president of Brady, also joined the mayor, survivors, and local activists and community leaders in a walk commemorating last year’s shooting. Brady has long called for a federal assault weapons ban and has been integral in defending the Highland Park, Naperville, and Illinois assault weapons bans in court. Brady is also representing victims of the shooting in their lawsuit against gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson.
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.