For Immediate Release: November 13, 2013 Contact: Jennifer Fuson 202-289-5779 media [at] bradynetwork [dot] org
Hill Meetings Culminate Three-Day Activist Engagement Summit, Largest Ever
WASHINGTON, DC—Hundreds of gun violence prevention advocates from around the country took to the halls of Congress today calling on members to expand effective Brady background checks to online and gun show sales. The lobby day is the culmination of a three-day summit put on by the Brady Campaign that brought in hundreds of leaders and activists in the gun violence prevention movement and related organizations to discuss solutions in the areas of policy, legal action, and health and safety education. The theme of the event is "Make Your Voice Matter."
"We are here to show Congress the voice of these victims and survivors of gun violence matters. The voice of the America people matters. We are here to hold Congress accountable; to put the will of the American people before the money of the corporate gun lobby; and to make this the safer nation we all want," said Dan Gross, President, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "We will not go away until Congress finishes the job and extends effective Brady background checks, which have already saved so many lives, to online and all gun show sales."
This month marks the 20th anniversary of Congress passing, and President Clinton signing (November 30th) the Brady law that requires individuals seeking to buy a gun at a licensed dealer to pass a background check.
"Background checks work and they save lives," said Sarah Brady, Chair, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. "Twenty years ago this month Congress had the will to take on the corporate gun lobby and pass the Brady law. Since then, two million purchases have been denied to people like convicted felons, domestic abusers, and fugitives. There is still work to be done, thousands of sales go unchecked every day at gun shows and on the internet," added Mrs. Brady. "Now it's time for Congress to finish the job and extend background checks to all commercial gun sales.""With every new story of terror, every senseless act of gun violence, with every life cut short, we are reminded of our need for action to keep our families safe and our communities secure," Leader Pelosi said. "Today, victims of gun violence stood up to advance the cause of gun violence prevention. Congress must find the political courage to do the same."
"Twenty years ago the Brady bill was passed and signed into law. Now it's time for Congress to finish the job by passing my bipartisan bill that will expand comprehensive and enforceable background checks to all commercial gun sales," said Congressman Mike Thompson, Chair, House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force. "If this bill is passed, criminals, terrorists, domestic abusers and other prohibited purchasers wouldn't be able to bypass a background check by simply buying a gun online, through a classified ad or at a gun show. This bill will save lives and respects the Second Amendment. It deserves a vote. And, it deserves to be signed into law."
Polls show 90 percent of Americans support expanding background checks to online and gun show sales, including over 80% of gun owners. "We know from Jim and Sarah Brady's tireless efforts it took six votes over seven years and three presidencies to pass the original Brady law," added Gross.
"We have six 'A-rated' NRA members supporting the Senate legislation, including the lead sponsors. We have a Governor-Elect in Virginia, home of the largest corporate gun lobby, openly touting his 'F' NRA-rating, and we had eight states strengthen their gun violence prevention laws in the past year," said Gross.
"Momentum is on our side. The will of the American people will not go away. The original Brady law took six votes over seven years to pass. We hope to achieve change even sooner this time, but whatever it takes, if it does something real to prevent more people from getting shot and killed, it's worth it," exclaimed Gross.
The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to the dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries that we all seek.