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President Biden Speaks with Moral Clarity in Announcing Executive Actions to Prevent Gun Violence

Washington, D.C., April 8, 2021 - Today, President Biden announced a historic suite of executive actions to address gun violence in all of its forms in a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden attended by Vice President Kamala Harris, Attorney General Merrick Garland, members of Congress, and gun violence activists and survivors. Brady applauds President Biden’s continued prioritization of gun violence prevention, his clear care and concern for the victims of this on-going epidemic, and his comprehensive proposals to address gun violence in all of its forms.

Brady President Kris Brown shared:

“With today’s announcements, President Biden showed once again why he is the strongest gun violence prevention champion ever to occupy the Oval Office. He has championed gun violence prevention for decades and taken on the gun lobby by working to pass the Brady Bill with Jim and Sarah Brady to authoring the Violence Against Women Act, to helping to pass the federal assault weapons ban. There is precisely why President Obama trusted then Vice President Biden to oversee their work on gun violence prevention in their second term and why the gun violence prevention movement rallied around his nomination for President.

President Biden’s actions and the agenda that he outlined will tangibly affect gun violence in all of its forms. From updating regulation to stop the proliferation of ghost guns in our communities to directing funds for community violence prevention programs, each of these actions will stop emerging threats to public safety while taking a public health approach to ending this epidemic.

Brady echoes President Biden’s calls for Congress to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act and to pass a federal ban on assault weapons. Brady likewise joins with President Biden in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446, two bills to expand and strengthen the Brady Background Check System that a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed in March.”

Gun violence survivors and Brady Vice Presidents of Policy, Organizing, and Development Christian Heyne, Maisha Fields, and Liz Dunning shared:

“We wake up every morning with the pain and trauma caused by having our loved ones taken from us because of our country’s unfettered access to firearms. Today, our survivor community feels truly represented in the Oval Office. As gun violence survivors and activists, we applaud President Biden’s clear commitment to this issue. He has shown once again that he understands the urgency of acting to end America’s gun violence epidemic, and he has demonstrated that he will not hesitate to act to, as he said today, ‘turn pain into purpose.’ We thank President Biden, Vice President Harris and Attorney General Garland for standing up with survivors and standing up to the gun lobby so we can create a future where Americans can live free from the fear of gun violence."

About President Biden’s Executive Actions:

President Biden outlined six initial actions to address gun violence:

  1. The White House has nominated David Chipman for Director of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

  2. The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of ghost guns.

  3. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model extreme risk order legislation for states.

  4. The Justice Department will issue a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking and annual updates necessary to give policymakers the information they need to help address firearms trafficking today.

  5. The Administration is investing in substantive evidence-based community violence interventions, directing five federal agencies to modify 26 programs that will route vital support to community violence intervention programs as quickly as possible. This also adds to the proposed $5 billion investment in the American Jobs Plan that will support community violence intervention programs.

  6. The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.

About the President’s On-Going Call for Comprehensive Reform:

President Biden also called for continued action to prevent this “on-going crisis,” particularly legislative actions. In his remarks, President Biden called for:

  1. The repeal of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)

  2. For a legislative fix to the Charleston Loophole, such as the policies included in H.R. 1446 which a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed in March 2021

  3. For the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 8 to expand and strengthen the Brady Background Check system, which a bipartisan majority of the U.S House of Representatives pass in March 2021

  4. For the U.S. Senate to pass the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed in March 2021

About Brady’s First-of-its-Kind Lawsuit McFadyen v. Ghost Gunner Inc.

Represented by Brady and the international law firm Orrick, Herrington, & Sutcliffe the survivors and the families of the people killed in the 2017 mass shooting in Rancho Tehama, California, recently brought forward McFadyen v. GhostGunner Inc., the nation’s first two civil lawsuits by victims of gun violence against the ghost gun industry.

Brady alleges in the complaint that the defendants have chosen to engage in a business that utilizes online loopholes that enable prohibited purchasers to acquire weapons without a Brady Background Check or any interaction with a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL). In doing so, Brady alleges that the defendants have chosen to intentionally undermine federal and state gun laws by designing, marketing, and selling ghost gun kits and firearms parts, which allowed the Rancho Tehama gunman, who was barred from purchasing or possessing a firearm, to obtain two AR-15-style ghost guns. During the gunman’s shooting spree in November 2017, he killed five people and injured 18 others at eight separate crime scenes, including an elementary school.

About the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act:

PLCAA, or the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, 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.

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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.


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