THE BRADY CENTER TO PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 6, 2014
BRADY CAMPAIGN TARGETS PHOENIX ‘BAD APPLE’ GUN DEALER AS PART OF NATIONAL CAMPAIGN
Phoenix community rallies against Windy City Pawn Brokers for selling guns to straw purchasers who flood our nation’s streets with guns used in crimes
Phoenix, Az. —Local Phoenix community leaders and activists joined the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence to protest Windy City Pawn Brokers, which sells guns to straw purchasers. Their irresponsible business practices give criminals easy access to guns that often end up being used in crimes committed in Phoenix and elsewhere. Ninety percent of the nation’s guns used in crimes come from just five percent of “bad apple” gun dealers, such as Windy City Pawn Brokers in Phoenix.
“’Bad Apple’ gun dealers such as Windy City have chosen profits over people’s safety and are therefore largely responsible for America’s gun violence,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We are working with our partners in Phoenix and across the nation who are directly impacted by gun violence to demand these ‘bad apples’ change their business practices and sell guns responsibly. We are fed up with the violence in our communities. This is something we can do to make a real difference – to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and to keep our communities and our children safe.”
Joining the Brady Campaign outside Windy City Pawn Brokers were Daniel Ortega, Phoenix attorney and former Chair of the Board of Directors of National Council of La Raza; Rev. Jose Olagues, the former Associate Executive of the Presbytery of Grand Canyon; Chris Kitaeff, a federal firearms licensee, avid outdoorsman, and a board member of Arizonans for Gun Safety; and Jose Guzman and Lupe Sanchez, whose 17-year-old son was working at Subway when he was shot and killed during a robbery attempt.
“Turning a blind eye to straw purchasers, gun traffickers and criminals only contributes to the ongoing and unnecessary violence we see every day in our streets,” said Jose Guzman. “As the father of a gun violence victim, I know firsthand how important it is that we do everything we can to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.”
This fall, in Chicago, the Brady Campaign launched a campaign, “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” which leverages lawsuits to demand change in the gun industry. The initiative mobilizes communities to apply local pressure directly to “bad apple” gun dealers to demand change in their business practices, which would keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. The campaign calls for dealers to videotape all gun sales, perform criminal background checks on all employees as part of a “Code of Conduct” that defines 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 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (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 and other prohibited or dangerous people.
“Most gun dealers are responsible business people, but the ‘bad apple’ gun dealers who choose to profit off the criminal market need to be held accountable for the gun violence they contribute to in our communities,” said Jonathan Lowy, director of the Brady’s Legal Action Project. “We are going to force ‘bad apples’ out of business, and send a resounding message to the gun industry that it must clean up its act.”
“This is about protecting our community,” said Daniel Ortega. “For the Latino community – my community – this is a serious concern for us. These ‘bad apple’ dealers do not care where these guns end up. I am here to take a stand and make it clear that I do not want these guns on our streets.”
To learn more about the “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” initiative, a list of pending lawsuits against gun dealers, and the Code of Conduct for responsible gun sales, visit: BradyCampaign.org/StopBadApples
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.