|Type||Nonprofit lobbying group|
|Membership||Over 600,000 (2010):112|
|President||Dan Gross (2012– )|
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence are affiliated American nonprofit organizations that advocate for gun control. Together, they are commonly referred to as the Brady Campaign. They are named after James "Jim" Brady, who was permanently disabled as a result of the Ronald Reagan assassination attempt of 1981, and Sarah Brady, who was a leader within the organization from 1989 until 2012.
The Brady Campaign was founded in 1974 as the National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH). From 1980 through 2000 it operated under the name Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI). In 2001, it was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and its sister project, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, was renamed the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence.
In 1974 the National Council to Control Handguns (NCCH) was founded by armed-robbery victim Mark Borinsky. In 1975, Republican marketing manager Pete Shields, whose 23-year-old son had been murdered, joined NCCH as chairman. In 1980, the organization became Handgun Control, Inc. (HCI) and partnered with the National Coalition to Ban Handguns (NCBH). The partnership did not last long; the NCBH, renamed in 1990 as the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV), generally advocates for stronger gun laws than does the Brady Campaign.:111–112
HCI had few resources until 1980, after the murder of musician John Lennon increased the public's interest in shootings. By 1981, HCI's membership exceeded 100,000. In 1983, the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (CPHV) was founded as an educational outreach organization and sister project. In 1989, CPHV established the Legal Action Project to press its agenda in the courts.
In 2001, Handgun Control, Inc. was renamed the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence was renamed the Brady Center to Prevent Handgun Violence, both in honor of Jim Brady and Sarah Brady. The same year, the Million Mom March (MMM) was incorporated into the Brady Campaign.
In April 2012, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) published a review of the Brady Center (the 501(c)(3) side of the organization) saying that it does not meet five of 20 standards for charity accountability. This report will expire in 2014.
- Mark Borinsky founded the National Council to Control Handguns in 1974. He served as Chair until 1976. Charlie Orasin was a key player in the founding and growth of Handgun Control (HCI). He worked at HCI from 1975 until 1992.
- Nelson "Pete" Shields became the organization's chairman in 1978 and retired in 1989.
- James and Sarah Brady have been influential in the movement since at least the mid-1980s. Mrs. Brady became chair in 1989, and the Bradys became the namesakes of the organization in 2000.
- Richard Aborn served as president from 1992 until 1996 and went on to form the Citizens Crime Commission of New York City.
- Former Maryland Congressman Michael D. Barnes was the president of the Brady Campaign from 2000 to May 2006.
- Former Fort Wayne, Indiana, mayor Paul Helmke served from July 2006 to July 2011.
In July 1976, Shields estimated that it would take seven to ten years for NCCH to reach the goal of "total control of handguns in the United States." He said:
- "The first problem is to slow down the increasing number of handguns being produced and sold in this country. The second is to get handguns registered. And the final problem is to make the possession of all handguns and all handgun ammunition - except for the military, policemen, licensed security guards, licensed sporing clubs, and licensed gun collectors - totally illegal."
However, by 1987, Shields said that he believed "in the right of law-abiding citizens to possess handguns... for legitimate purposes."
In November 2008, Brady president Helmke, a former Republican mayor of Fort Wayne, Indiana, endorsed the American Hunters and Shooters Association saying, "I see our issues as complementary to theirs." He said, "The Brady Campaign is not just East Coast liberal Democrats."
The mission statement of the Brady Campaign is "to enact and enforce sensible gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots activism, electing public officials who support gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence".
The mission statement of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is "to reform the gun industry by enacting and enforcing sensible regulations to reduce gun violence, including regulations governing the gun industry.... We educate the public about gun violence through litigation, grassroots mobilization, and outreach to affected communities."
From the Brady Campaign website:
The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence works to pass, enforce, and protect sensible laws and public policy that address gun violence at the federal and state levels. We do this by engaging and activating the American public, electing officials who support common sense gun laws, and increasing public awareness of gun violence. Through our advocacy campaigns and Million Mom March and Brady Chapters, we work locally to educate people about the risks of gun ownership, honor victims of gun violence, and pass sensible gun laws.
The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence develops and implements extensive public health and safety programs and utilizes the courts to reduce gun violence. Through our Legal Action Project, we represent victims of gun violence in cases against irresponsible gun sellers and owners. Through our public health and safety programs, we inspire safer attitudes and behaviors around the 300 million guns already in our homes and communities and new gun purchases taking place every day.
HCI was the chief supporter of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, commonly known as the Brady Law, enacted in 1993 after a seven-year debate. It successfully lobbied for passage of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, banning the manufacture and importation of so-called military-style assault weapons. A spokesman for the California State Rifle and Pistol Association called the law's details "arbitrary," and gun rights author Dave Kopel called the law "symbolic." The ban expired in September 2004.
Castle and stand-your-ground laws
In May 2005, Florida passed a stand-your-ground law that authorized persons attacked in their homes or automobiles to use lethal force in self-defense without a duty to retreat. Brady Campaign workers passed out fliers at Miami International Airport offering tips like "Do not argue unnecessarily with local people." The group also published ads in The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and The Detroit Free Press saying: "Thinking about a Florida vacation? Please ensure your family is safe." In 2006, when similar laws were enacted or proposed in other states, the Brady Campaign and other critics warned they could result in vigilantism.
Heller and McDonald cases
After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago, Brady president Paul Helmke said he was "pleased that the Court reaffirmed its language in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment individual right to possess guns in the home for self-defense does not prevent our elected representatives from enacting common-sense gun laws to protect our communities from gun violence."
On March 19, 2009, a federal judge ordered a temporary injunction blocking the implementation of the rule allowing concealed carry permit holders to carry firearms concealed within National Park Service lands within states where their permits are valid, based upon environmental concerns, in response to efforts by the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the National Parks Conservation Association, and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees. On May 20, 2009, the injunction was overturned by the passing of an amendment to the Credit CARD Act of 2009, added by Senator Tom Coburn (R, OK) over the objections of the Brady Campaign.
Sandy Hook school shooting aftermath
After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the Brady Campaign gained 100,000 new members and a renewed interest in passing legislation to reduce gun violence. The Brady Campaign has been leading the effort on Capitol Hill to pass a set of reforms, including an expansion of the national background check program. Its leadership has met with President Obama and Vice President Biden to craft a package of bills aimed at reducing gun violence.
In 1988, HCI supported Congress in passing the Undetectable Firearms Act, which banned the manufacture, possession and transfer of firearms with less than 3.7 oz of metal, after the emergence of "plastic" handguns like Glock pistols. Critics pointed out that these handguns contain many metal components (such as the slide, barrel and ammunition), and can be detected by conventional screening technologies. Their response was to say the type of polymer used in the firearms is opaque to X-ray scanners, which would've hidden the metal components.
Writer Richard Lowry said that the term "assault weapon," used in the assault weapons ban that followed the Brady Bill, is a "manufactured term." This term is used by the Brady Campaign to refer to semi-automatic or self-loading rifles. Critics maintain this is done in order to conflate them in the public imagination with assault rifles, and the Brady Campaign uses the terms interchangeably. The Brady Campaign contends that self-loading and select-fire weapons are virtually identical, since a semi-automatic rifle may be fired rapidly.
- Denying Firearms and Explosives to Dangerous Terrorists Act of 2007
- Example of straw buyer controversy
- Spitzer, Robert J. (2012). The Politics of Gun Control (5th ed.). Paradigm Press. ISBN 9781594519871.
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- "Brady Campaign: Biographies: Dan Gross". Bradycenter.org. February 7, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-07.
- "Biographies: Additional". bradycenter.org. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- "Nelson Shields 3d, 69, Gun-Control Advocate". The New York Times. January 7, 1993. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- "Biographies: Sarah Brady". bradycenter.org. Retrieved February 3, 2012.
- "Brady Campaign: Biographies: Additional Biographies". Bradycenter.org. Retrieved 2011-12-08.[dead link]
- vanden Heuvel, Katrina (May 19, 2009). "Richard Aborn for Manhattan DA". The Nation.
- "Brady Campaign: Biographies: Paul Helmke". Bradycenter.org. March 13, 2011. Retrieved 2012-02-07.[dead link]
- Harris, Richard (July 26, 1976). "A Reporter at Large: Handguns". The New Yorker: 53–58. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Sugarmann, Josh (June 1, 1987). "The NRA is right; but we still need to ban handguns". Washington Monthly (Farlex Inc.). Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- Birnbaum, Jeffrey H. (March 18, 2008). "New Pro-Gun Group Hopes to Draw From the NRA". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2008.
- "Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence : About". Bradycampaign.org. Retrieved 2014-01-19.
- "Our Work". Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "2009 Brady Campaign State Scorecard". Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. Retrieved March 28, 2010.
- Barak, Gregg (2007). Battleground. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 335. ISBN 0-313-34040-4.
- Wilkie, Dana (March 20, 2004). "Effectiveness of assault-weapon bans still unclear". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Kopel, Dave (September 13, 2004). "Bait-’n’-Switch: Gun-prohibition lobbyists are after much more than AK-47s". National Review. Archived from the original on September 13, 2004. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Siebel, Brian (September 14, 2004). "The Assault Weapons Ban: Brady Campaign". Washington Post. Retrieved November 14, 2008.
- Sebok, Anthony J. (May 2, 2005). "Florida's New 'Stand Your Ground' Law: Why It's More Extreme than Other States' Self-Defense Measures, And How It Got that Way". findlaw.com. FindLaw. Retrieved February 8, 2014.
- Goodnough, Abby (October 4, 2005). "Tourists to Florida Get a Warning as Greeting". New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Willing, Richard (March 21, 2006). "States allow deadly self-defense". USA Today. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Montopoli, Brian (June 28, 2010). "Supreme Court Gun Rights Decision: A Win or a Setback?". CBS News. Archived from the original on July 1, 2010.
- Eilperin, Juliet; Wilber, Del Quentin (March 20, 2009). "Judge Blocks Rule Permitting Concealed Guns In U.S. Parks". Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2014.
- "Memorandum Opinion". nraila.org. March 19, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
- "Congress Approves Bill Restricting Credit Card Industry, Allowing Guns in Parks". FOX News Network. May 20, 2009. Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved September 12, 2009.
- Palmer, Anna (January 14, 2013). "Brady Campaign raises $5M post-Sandy Hook". POLITICO.
- Slack, Donovan (January 16, 2013). "Brady Campaign: White House showing 'tremendous leadership'". POLITICO.
- "NRA Double-Talk on Guns" (Press release). Brady Campaign. March 3, 2000. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Ruhl, Jesse Matthew; Rizer, Arthur L. III; Wier, Mikel J. (2004). "Gun Control: Targeting Rationality in a Loaded Debate". The Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 13: 424–426. Retrieved February 9, 2014."Plastic Pistols"
- Lott, John. (November 14, 2003). "The 'Plastic Gun' Hysteria". Lewrockwell.com. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Lowry, Richard (2003). Legacy: Paying the Price for the Clinton Years. Regnery Publishing. p. 96. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
- "Federal Gun Laws: Assault-Style Weapons". bradycampaign.org. 2011. Archived from the original on October 20, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Morgan, Eric C. (1990). "Assault Rifle Legislation: Unwise and Unconstitutional". American Journal of Criminal Law (Texas) 17 (143). Archived from the original on July 27, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- "Semi-Automatic Rifle Ban Would Reduce Jobs, Not Crime" (Press release). National Shooting Sports Foundation. PR Newswire. February 26, 2009. Retrieved December 11, 2008.
- "Assault Weapons, Weak Gun Laws Enable Dangerous People Like The Alabama Man Who Killed 10" (Press release). Brady Campaign. March 11, 2009. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- "Gun Lobbyist and Gun Dealer Sandy Abrams Heads To Trial For Illegal Assault Weapon Sales, Cited For 900 Federal Gun Law Violations Over Nearly A Decade" (Press release). Brady Campaign. October 16, 2007. Archived from the original on June 11, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- "What’s The Difference Between A Fully Automatic and a Semi-Automatic Assault Weapon? About 3.5 Seconds.". Brady Campaign. February 26, 2009. Archived from the original on July 25, 2011. Retrieved December 8, 2011.
- Richard Harris (July 26, 1976). "A Reporter at Large: Handguns". The New Yorker. pp. 53–58.
- "First Reports Evaluating the Effectiveness of Strategies for Preventing Violence: Firearms Laws" The CDC, Robert A. Hahn, PhD; Oleg O. Bilukha, M.D., PhD; Alex Crosby, M.D.; Mindy Thompson Fullilove, M.D.; Akiva Liberman, PhD; Eve K. Moscicki, Sc.D.; Susan Snyder, PhD; Farris Tuma, Sc.D.; Peter Briss, M.D. October 3, 2003