Following yet another deadly gun massacre, we urge the Senate to pass H.R. 8, H.R. 1446, and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act — all common-sense, bipartisan solutions to prevent gun violence.
Washington, D.C., April 16, 2021 - Today, Brady joins President Biden in calling on the U.S. Senate to immediately pass needed and comprehensive gun violence prevention legislation, following a mass shooting at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis. The three bipartisan bills H.R. 8, H.R. 1446, and the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, that the House sent to the Senate last month will save lives and keep our communities safe. The Senate must pass them without delay.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“Tomorrow will mark exactly eight years since the Senate failed to pass gun violence prevention reforms after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut. Today marks 14 years exactly since the mass shooting at Virginia Tech.
That we woke up today to reports of another mass shooting in Indiana overnight underscores the cost of inaction following both of those events and so many thousands of others that often receive less attention but are tearing communities apart across this nation We cannot accept inaction. We need change. President Biden is right in calling for Congress to act. Specifically, the Senate must pass the bipartisan bills sent by the House of Representatives last month. They will save lives. President Biden continues to prioritize and lead on gun violence prevention, including his historic inclusion of $5 billion for community violence prevention funds, arguably the largest amount in our nation’s history, in his American Jobs Plan and the suite of proposals and executive actions he unveiled in the Rose Garden last week.
Congress must protect the funds President Biden has asked for and they must listen to his call to pass common-sense policies like the repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) and universal background check. We would say today was a wakeup call, except we know that we will continue to wake up every morning to reports of violence in our communities until Congress acts. We cannot wake up in another eight years or 14 years to the same reality. Frankly, we can't afford another day of it.”
About the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)
The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is a federal law that provides the gun industry with special protections from civil lawsuits, at the expense of victims of gun violence who would otherwise be entitled to compensation for the damages they have suffered. PLCAA removes key incentives for the gun industry to adopt life-saving business practices and instead provides cover to irresponsible gun dealers who supply the criminal gun market. This small minority of gun dealers profits from dangerous business practices with no accountability to their victims. No other American industry enjoys such sweeping civil immunity.
Since PLCAA was enacted, Brady has fought to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable when their statutory violations contribute to gun trafficking and gun crime. Brady and the law firm Perkin Coie currently represent the City of Gary in the nation’s last remaining city lawsuit against the gun industry. This case has the potential to reform the industry’s high risk business practices and prevent the flow of illegal guns into the communities most impacted by gun violence.
Introduced on March 2, 2021 by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 11, H.R. 8 makes it unlawful to sell or transfer a firearm in any transaction without a Brady Background Check. This bill expands the current Brady Law to every sale or transfer in private sales, subject to the narrow exceptions.
About H.R. 1446
Introduced on March 2, 2021 by Rep. Jim Clyburn (SC-6), H.R. 1446 provides the background check system with additional time to make a final determination on a potential firearms purchaser before a licensed dealer can transfer a gun, closing the so-called “Charleston loophole.”
Currently, federal law allows a “default proceed,” whereby a federally licensed firearm dealer (FFL) can transfer a gun to a customer if the federal background check is not completed within 3 business days of the background check request to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The Charleston loophole is named for the 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Charleston, S.C., that killed nine innocent people. The shooter – who was prohibited by law from possessing a firearm – was able to acquire his gun before the FBI could complete his background check. Although the FBI needed more time to investigate the shooter’s disqualifying records to determine whether the purchase was lawful, federal law allowed the dealer to transfer the gun after three days even though the check was not completed.
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.