Gun control advocacy group urges government to act “today”

▶ Watch Video: Gun control advocate: President’s reforms don’t violate the Second Amendment

A prominent gun control advocacy group is urging President Joe Biden to act quickly on his proposed firearms legislation, after a week that saw 345 people killed by gun violence in the United States.

“He doesn’t have all the time in the world. He needs to move forward with legislative changes today, now, because what’s at stake is real human life,” Kris Brown, president of gun control advocacy group Brady, said on CBSN Friday. 

Mr. Biden unveiled a set of six executive actions Thursday aimed at reducing gun violence. Those include measures directing the Justice Department to draft model “red flag” laws for states, as well as directing the DOJ to introduce a new, comprehensive report on firearms trafficking. The actions also target “ghost guns,” which come in build-it-yourself kits that do not require a registration number or background check. 

Brown said Brady was “thrilled with this announcement from the White House.”

The organization, formerly known as the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence until 2019, is named after former Reagan administration Press Secretary James Brady who was shot along with two law enforcement officers in 1981 when a gunman attempted to assassinate then-President Ronald Reagan. The head wound he received left Brady partially paralyzed for life.

After the incident, his wife, political operative Sarah Brady, started working with gun control groups and eventually chaired the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. 

The Bradys dedicated their careers to lobbying Congress to pass the Brady Bill, which passed in 1993 and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The law was responsible for mandating background checks on arm sales as well as imposing a waiting period on handgun sales. 

Brown, who represented Brady at the president’s press conference announcing the actions, said there was “no one better in national office” than Mr. Biden to lead today’s gun control effort.

“He understands this issue, he worked with Jim and Sarah Brady to pass the Brady law,” she said. “He talked passionately about what needs to happen, called Congress to act and he understands the pain of far too many individuals who were with me in the audience. “

She echoed Mr. Biden’s calls to the Senate urging the body to pass two proposals already passed by the House aimed at expanding background checks. 

“The bill he’s referencing, which would repeal the immunity Congress gave years ago to the gun industry, that is being sponsored, and has been every year in Congress, by the incredible Representative Adam Schiff. He is moving forward with reintroducing that bill and we want to hear the president continue to echo and push Congress to act,” Brown said.

Brown also challenged criticisms of the bills from gun rights advocates, who say they infringe on the Second Amendment.

“Every court that’s ever looked at the kinds of proposals that President Biden is putting forward has held them constitutional, completely consistent with the Second Amendment,” she argued. “They also reflect what Americans across this country want.”

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