March rally signs
March rally signs

Firearm manufacturers and dealers play a critical role in protecting the public from gun violence.

Brady supports a comprehensive approach to reforming the gun industry. Gun dealers must adopt safe and responsible business practices like those included in the Brady Gun Dealer Code of Conduct. Gun manufacturers must adequately monitor their distribution chains and require sellers to act responsibly in order to be an authorized dealer of their firearms. Local policymakers must pass legislation around dealer licensing and conduct, and ensure that taxpayer funds are not spent at problematic gun businesses. Law enforcement and local agencies must work to hold irresponsible and non-compliant dealers accountable. These reform tactics will ultimately result in fewer gun injuries and deaths from violent crime.

Gun store rifles

Gun Dealer Code of Conduct

Gun store rifles

The Gun Dealer Code of Conduct is a tool intended to encourage firearm dealers to adopt responsible business practices and take reasonable measures to prevent straw purchases, firearms trafficking, and prohibited purchases from acquiring firearms.

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Many gun dealers have already adopted responsible business practices. Others require pressure.

Reform sometimes means suing dealers on behalf of victims of gun violence to win improved, safer business practices. However, there are also non-legal tactics of pressuring reform. Raising awareness of irresponsible dealers and utilizing community pressure is an effective way to create change. Providing information for consumers to make responsible choices when purchasing a firearm is another valuable tactic for pressuring dealers to reform.

Gov murphy signs gun violence prevention legislation 2022 07 05 152249 sdyv
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 83, which seeks to ensure that NJ is not doing business with the minority of licensed gun dealers that put profit over public safety.

The Power of Procurement

Gov murphy signs gun violence prevention legislation 2022 07 05 152249 sdyv
NJ Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 83, which seeks to ensure that NJ is not doing business with the minority of licensed gun dealers that put profit over public safety.

Cities across the U.S. spend more than $5 billion a year on guns alone; ammunition and other supplies cost a few billion more. There are over one million law enforcement guns in the U.S. Therefore, taxpayers are the number one purchaser of firearms.

Public procurement refers to how a government body purchases goods, services, or works. These public contracts can be a major source of reliable revenue for vendors and are very desirable.

Government agencies and officials that procure firearms should be able to count on their firearm vendors to deal in a way that promotes public safety. Since state and local executive branches have discretion when it comes to choosing which businesses to work with, it provides an opportunity to promote responsible practices from gun industry businesses vying for public contracts.

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By giving business only to firearm dealers who are committed to gun safety principles, problematic gun dealers will face mounting pressure to adopt responsible practices and protect public safety.

IMG 3088
IMG 3088

We aim to see reform in the following areas:

  1. Gun dealers adopting the Brady Gun Dealer Code of Conduct to ensure the supply of crime guns is minimized.
  2. Law enforcement looking beyond the trigger puller to the source of the gun and adopting supply-side tactics in community policing.
  3. Elected officials adopting policies that allow for oversight and active regulation of dealers, such as state and city licensing, as well as publicly releasing trace data at the city and state level.
  4. Taxpayer-funded purchases of weapons and supplies incentivizing gun industry best practices.
  5. Media covering the source of crime guns, rather than focusing only on the shooter.

States and localities play an important role in reforming problematic gun dealers and combating gun crime.

Despite the best efforts of its workforce, ATF has been unable to provide meaningful oversight of the gun industry. From 2021-2022, federal agents inspected less than 7,000 of the more than 130,000 federal firearms licensees — and cited over 45% for violations — yet revoked the licenses of less than two percent. While the Biden-Harris administration has taken steps to improve ATF oversight of the gun industry, gaps remain. Significant progress against gun trafficking and gun crime will be made only if local and state officials take action.

In states where local regulations have not been preempted by state law, localities may have an opportunity to enact significant regulations on dealers operating in their communities. In states with strong firearm preemption laws, local officials can analyze existing local regulations for ways to hold dealers more accountable.

Learn more about supply-side strategies
  • Identifying Problematic Gun Dealers

    Identifying problematic gun dealers through ATF inspection reports and crime gun trace data

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  • Engaging Communities

    Working with local community members to reduce gun violence by stemming the flow of crime guns

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