The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
For Immediate Release: June 6, 2015
Contact: Jonathan Hutson, jhutson [at] bradymail [dot] org
Over 1,500 Crime Guns Sold in Four Years, Company Remains in Business
Chicago – The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, community leaders, and advocates including Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. united on June 6 to protest Chuck’s Gun Shop & Pistol Range in Riverdale, IL, for contributing to the high gun violence rate in Chicago. Chuck’s is one of Chicago’s “bad apple” gun dealers – part of the 5 percent of gun dealers in America who supply 90 percent of guns used in crimes. From 2009 to 2013, 1,516 guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were traced back to Chuck’s. The protesters called on Chuck’s to adopt sensible business practices that would keep guns out of the hands of criminals.
The Brady Campaign protested Chuck’s for the first time last September, as the kick-off event for the “Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers” campaign. These “bad apples” turn a blind eye to gun traffickers, straw purchasers and other dangerous people, and flood our nation’s streets with guns used in crimes.
“We are putting ‘bad apple’ gun dealers on notice for their reckless and irresponsible business practices that put guns in the hands of criminals and on our streets. These ‘bad apple’ dealers choose profits over people, contributing to the daily, tragic toll of gun violence in Chicago and communities across the country,” said Dan Gross, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. “We are fed up with the violence on our streets and we’re mobilizing the communities most affected by these reckless gun dealers to demand change. This is something we can all do to make a real difference to keep crime guns off the streets and keep our families and communities safe.”
After Chuck’s refused to adopt responsible business practices, the Brady Campaign decided to return and protest Chuck’s in June, as part of National Gun Violence Prevention Awareness Month. For this protest, they were joined by hundreds of advocates from community organizations including Rainbow/PUSH, Chicago Citizens for Change, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), Hadiya’s Promise, Kids Off the Block, People for a Safer Society, and Purpose Over Pain.
Brady president Dan Gross and Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. of Rainbow/PUSH spoke at the event about the need to hold Chuck’s and other gun dealers accountable for choosing to not do all they can to keep guns from falling into the wrong hands. Also speaking at the protest were Father Pfleger of Saint Sabina Church, Pam Bosley of Purpose Over Pain, Colleen Daley of the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV), Joy McCormack of Chicago Citizens for Change, and State Senator Jacqueline Collins.
“According to Chicago Police Commissioner Garry McCarthy, Chuck’s has provided one crime gun a day for the past ten years,” said Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr. of Rainbow/PUSH. “We’ll let the facts speak for themselves. It’s a health issue, and a security issue driven by a for-profit industry. I appeal to all police officers to stand with us; they’re getting killed, too.”
Chuck’s Gun Shop has been the source of thousands of guns recovered in crimes in Chicago. Chuck’s alone accounts for nearly one out of every twelve guns traced to crime in Chicago. According to the Chicago Police Department, the average number of guns traced to the other gun stores in the immediate vicinity of Chuck’s was three. Chicago has experienced an increase in the number of shootings despite an overall drop in crime, including homicides. City officials and law enforcement have attributed the uptick in gun violence to the volume of illegal guns available.
“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 Gross. “Brady Center lawsuits have gotten justice for innocent victims of gun violence, forced bad actors out of business, and sent a resounding message to the gun industry that it must clean up its act or face the consequences.”
A key component of this campaign to reform bad apple gun dealer practices is the Gun Dealer Code of Conduct, which Brady advocates are encouraging gun dealers across the nation to sign and adhere to. The 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 U.S. 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, gun traffickers, straw purchasers and other prohibited or dangerous people.
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: 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.