Washington, D.C., March 23, 2021 - Following remarks from President Joe Biden on the urgent need to pass common-sense gun violence prevention reforms, Brady joins the President in urging the U.S. Senate to immediately pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 as a first step in the effort to keep Americans safe. The mass shootings in Boulder and Atlanta over the past week, as well as the less publicized mass shooting in Chicago last week, have highlighted the urgency to pass gun violence prevention reforms, even though this crisis raged on before these events.
Brady President Kris Brown shared:
“Today, President Biden demonstrated once again why we have repeatedly said that he is the strongest gun violence prevention champion to occupy the Oval Office. In speaking with the nation, President Biden rightly reiterated that we cannot wait to take action to stop the public health crisis that kills over 100 people every day across the country.
Brady joins with President Biden in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446. These bills were passed in a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives less than two weeks ago. Expanding and strengthening Brady background checks enjoys overwhelming bipartisan support from the American public. Though Majority Leader Schumer has pledged to hold a vote on expanding background checks, if these bills cannot pass the Senate due to outmoded rules, we need institutional reforms to Senate procedure, namely the filibuster. The Senate cannot be the only room in America where support from over 90 percent of Americans isn’t enough to pass a law. People are dying.
While those bills are only the beginning, Brady is heartened by President Biden’s commitment to ending gun violence, as he reiterated today in calling for a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. Those policies, in addition to needed executive actions that President Biden can take immediately, as well as funding for community violence prevention, will significantly aid in the effort to prevent gun violence and protect Americans. President Biden stated today that this is not a partisan issue, it is an American issue. He is right. It is also a moral issue, as a vanishingly small minority of Senators beholden to the gun lobby stop progress while Americans die. We are proud to have President Biden on our side in this fight and look forward to his continued work and attention to this issue.”
About H.R. 8:
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.