For Immediate Release
On 17th Anniversary of the Brady Law, 17 Ways to Reduce Gun Violence
Seventeen years after the Brady Law went into effect on February 28, 1994, Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, expressed pride in the law's accomplishments, but also urged political leaders to do more to protect Americans from gun violence.
Helmke outlined 17 common sense measures, including closing loopholes allowing too many gun sales to be conducted without background checks, holding gun dealers and manufacturers accountable, slowing illegal gun sales and trafficking and more.
"In the 17 years since the Brady Law took effect, we have witnessed the power of a gun law to stop hundreds of thousands of dangerous people from easily getting their hands on dangerous weapons," Helmke said. "But 17 years later, we are not satisfied with what our elected leaders have done to protect our families and our communities. That's why on this anniversary, I've outlined 17 common-sense measures that easily and quickly can be put in place to reduce gun violence."
From its effective date in 1994 through the end of 2008, the Brady Law stopped nearly 1.8 million prohibited gun purchasers -- including felons, the mentally ill, domestic violence abusers -- from buying guns from federally licensed dealers. According to state and local agencies, because of the Brady Law, nearly 1,300 people were arrested in 2008 for an outstanding warrant or for submitting false information on a gun permit application.
According to U.S. Department of Justice figures, gun homicides dropped 37 percent during the first 10 years of the Brady Law. Other gun crimes dropped 73 percent over that same period.
In the wake of the January 8 mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona, there have been renewed calls for a ban on military-style large-capacity ammunition magazines and other common sense measures to prevent gun-related tragedies. The following 17 recommendations would make Americans safer by closing loopholes in existing laws, enhancing the ability of law enforcement to investigate gun crimes, and reducing the flow of illegal guns.
17 Common Sense Recommendations for Change:
- Close the" Gun Show" Loophole: Extend Brady Background Checks to All Gun Purchases
- Close the Terror Gap: Prohibit Gun Sales to Suspected Terrorists
- Stop the Sale of Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines (aka Big Bullet-Blasting Boxes)
- Restore Justice to Gun Violence Victims: Repeal the Gun Industry Legal Protection Act
- Repeal Tiahrt Restrictions on Disclosure of Crime Gun Data
- Require Licensing of Gun Owners and Registration of Gun Purchases
- Strengthen ATF Authority to Regulate Gun Dealers and Crack Down on Corrupt Dealers
- Require Gun Owners to Report Lost or Stolen Guns
- Improve the National Violent Death Reporting System Date, and restore firearms research funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Restrict Large-Volume Gun Sales
- Require Licensed Dealers to Adopt Safeguards to Prevent Gun Thefts
- Require Licensed Dealers to Perform Background Checks on Employees
- Prohibit The Transfer of Gun Inventory Without Background Checks After a Dealer's License Has Been Revoked
- Prohibit Gun Possession by People Convicted of Violent Misdemeanors
- Prohibit Gun Possession by Persons Convicted of Violent Acts as Juveniles
- Repeal the 24-hour Brady Record Destruction Requirement
- Support new technologies to help law enforcement more effectively trace crime guns and supporting development of safety features to childproof guns
Most Americans, law enforcement officials and a majority of NRA members agree with the Brady Campaign's goal to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of criminals, domestic abusers, the dangerously mentally-ill and others who should not have them. None of these 17 recommendations would prevent or impede law-abiding citizens from owning firearms.
"The American people overwhelmingly support common sense laws to reduce gun violence," Helmke added. "After 17 years, we can see that the Brady Law has been a major success. Now, it is time for our political leaders Washington to have the courage and wisdom to enact new legislation and make existing gun laws even more effective to help make our families and communities safer."
Brady United formerly known as The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence and its legislative and grassroots affiliate, the Brady Campaign and its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence.
We are devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.