Brady Campaign, Members of Congress Call on U.S. Attorney General to Direct ATF to Shut Down “Bad Apple” Gun Dealers | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Brady Campaign, Members of Congress Call on U.S. Attorney General to Direct ATF to Shut Down “Bad Apple” Gun Dealers

Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

For Immediate Release: July 30, 2015

Contact: Chris Henderson, chenderson [at] bradymail [dot] org

Phone: 1-202-370-8121

Federal law enforcement knows who the bad apples are, now they need to shut them down

90% of Crime Guns Sold by 5% of dealers

Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL), and Phoenix gun dealer Chris Kitaeff joined Brady Campaign President Dan Gross in calling on Attorney General Loretta Lynch to take immediate action against “bad apple” gun dealers – the 5% of gun dealers who sell 90% of crime guns in the United States. These are dealers who ignore industry best practices and thumb their noses at the law as they put profit over safety. Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, the speakers called on the Attorney General to direct the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to shut down or reform “bad apple” gun dealers.

“Federal law enforcement knows who the ‘bad apple’ gun dealers are. Yet these dealers remain open and unchanged in their unethical and often illegal practices,” said Gross. “Think about that. We know who the bad guys are and they are still doing business! We wouldn’t stand for it if law enforcement knew someone was selling our kids drugs and did nothing about it. We would be outraged if the police knew the identity of a serial bank robber and waved as he passed by on the way to his next crime. The only difference here is that this is real and people are dying because of it.” The speakers also called on gun dealers to adopt Brady’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct, a set of responsible business practices to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. A key provision of the Code is that gun dealers agree to exercise their discretion to only sell a gun when the buyer completes and is affirmatively cleared by a Brady background check.

Congressman Gallego authored a "Dear Colleague" letter urging other members of Congress to support action by the ATF to shut down “bad apple” gun dealers and calling on gun dealers to adopt responsible business practices.

“I applaud gun retailers that already abide by Brady’s Code of Conduct by not selling a gun until a background check is complete,” said Congressman Gallego. “And I call on ATF to work with local law enforcement to identify, reform, shut down and prosecute “bad apple” gun dealers. Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals should be a priority - it is common sense, and it is critical in order to keep our communities safe.”

“One of the surest ways to reduce gun violence and gun crime is to demand that gun dealers properly follow the law, and deny sales to individuals who should not be allowed to purchase a firearm. It’s a simple, straightforward practice that has the potential to save many American lives,” Congresswoman Kelly said. “All professionals should hold themselves to the highest standards of professional conduct and industry best practices. This is especially true for gun dealers as their product has real and deadly consequences when placed in the wrong hands. I stand with the Brady Campaign in calling on all gun dealers to do the right thing, the responsible thing, and work with us to stop the supply of crime guns that are destroying our communities.”

Brady’s Gun Dealer Code of Conduct defines some simple policies and practices gun dealers should adopt to prevent the diversion of guns into the illegal market. Each element of the proposed Code has either been suggested by the ATF, imposed as a legal requirement in certain states, accepted by dealers as part of litigation settlements, or urged as a standard by major gun industry trade associations.

Implementing the Code, in addition to following all applicable federal, state and local laws regarding gun sales, will dramatically decrease the probability that a dealer will be a source of guns for criminals, gun traffickers, straw purchasers and other prohibited or dangerous people.

“Brady background checks have prevented more than two million gun sales to dangerous people – they are saving lives,” said Kitaeff. “I hope other gun dealers will join me in protecting the integrity of our industry by adopting and enforcing the Brady Code of Conduct in their businesses as well.”

To learn more about the Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers campaign, see a list of pending lawsuits against gun dealers, and read the Code of Conduct for responsible gun sales, visit:


The mission of the Brady organization is to create a safer America for all of us that will lead to a dramatic reduction in gun deaths and injuries. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.