Working to Reduce Gun Violence Through the Courts
For over 25 years, the Brady Center’s Legal Action Project has been the nation’s only law group taking on the corporate gun lobby and fighting in the courts to prevent gun deaths and injuries. We reform the negligent and dangerous practices of the gun industry by representing victims of gun violence in high-impact lawsuits, including law enforcement officers shot in the line of duty, as well as children and families. We have won landmark precedents holding that gun companies can be held legally responsible for the damage caused by their irresponsible business practices. Our victories have forced gun dealers and manufacturers to reform their practices to prevent sales of guns to dangerous people, and sent a message to the bad-apple gun dealers that supply over half of guns traced to crime that they cannot get away with profiting from arming criminals and gun traffickers.
The Legal Action Project also works with public officials to defend gun laws that are under attack, and challenges laws and regulations that worsen the problem of gun violence. We have filed briefs or provided legal advice in hundreds of gun law cases, and won precedent-setting victories in high-level state and federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.
Reforming Gun Industry Practices
Luke v. A Pawn Shop
Joshua Higbee was murdered in a mass shooting at his workplace on February 25, 2016. The shooter, Cedric Ford, killed three people and injured 14 during a shooting spree that began in Newton, Kansas and ended at the Excel Industries factory in Hesston, Kansas, where Joshua was working that day. Ford, a convicted felon who was prohibited from purchasing and possessing firearms, was armed with a Zastava Serbia AK-47 semi-automatic rifle and a Glock Model 22 .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun. He obtained his guns through straw purchases at A Pawn Shop in Newton, Kansas.
Brady Center v. ATF
On October 16, 2017 the Brady Center sued the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The lawsuit was filed to require ATF to comply with two Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by the Brady Center.
Prescott et al v. Slide Fire Solutions
Following the deadliest mass shooting in American history that took place in Las Vegas at the 91 Harvest Festival, the Brady Center and Las Vegas law firm Eglet Prince filed a suit against Slide Fire Solutions, LP and other sellers, manufacturers, and marketers of bump stock devices. The lawsuit is on behalf of festival goers who suffered emotional distress as a result of the shooting and asks the defendants to pay for the costs associated with counseling and other treatment. Punitive damages are also asked for since the bump stock, evading federal law, turned a semi-automatic gun into the functional equivalent of a machine gun.
Fox v. In Site Firearms
The lawsuit alleges that a Pennsylvania dealer sold six guns to a drug-addicted straw-purchaser who was buying the guns on behalf of a felon. One of the straw-purchased guns was used by the felon to shoot and kill a police officer. The Brady Center and the Dechert LLP law firm are representing the officer’s estate and his widow in the case against the dealer.
Runnels v. KS&E Sports
The lawsuit alleges that an Indiana gun dealer supplied a felon with a gun through a straw purchase. Two months after the straw sale, the felon used the gun to shoot and injure an Indianapolis police officer. The Brady Center and the law firm of Arnold & Porter LLP represents the wounded officer in a lawsuit to hold the dealer accountable.
Delana v. CED Sales d/b/a Odessa Gun & Pawn:
The lawsuit alleges that a Missouri gun dealer sold a gun to a mentally disturbed woman after being warned by her mother that they should not sell her a gun because she was severely mentally ill. An hour after the sale, the woman used the gun to kill her father. The Brady Center and the firm of McCollum & Griggs represent the victim's wife in a wrongful death lawsuit against the store.
Defending Sensible Gun Policies
Stopping Extremist Gun Lobby Laws
Challenging gun lobby laws that obstruct sensible gun regulations and policies
Keeping Guns Out of Dangerous Hands
Defending sensible laws that prevent dangerous people from getting guns.
Keeping Our Streets Safe from Gun Violence
Defending sensible regulations on carrying guns in public places.
Restricting Assault Weapons and High Capacity Magazines
Defending reasonable restrictions on ownership of military-style weapons.