Until recently, the stated goal of the Brady Campaign and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence had been to cut the number of annual US gun deaths in half by 2025. The Brady website now states that its goal is to reduce the number of annual gun deaths by 25% by 2025. Brady does not support any gun control legislation, though, that does not include a “grandfather clause.” Grandfather clauses in gun control bills allow individuals who already legally own any category of guns being banned in the new legislation, including assault weapons, to keep them. The Brady Center website states that it works to “inspire safer attitudes and behaviors around the 300 million guns already in our homes and communities and new gun purchases taking place every day.” Unlike Americans Against Gun Violence, Brady does not advocate overturning the 2008 Heller decision, banning handguns, or banning all automatic and semi-automatic rifles.
Between 2001, when the Brady Campaign was founded, and 2018, the most recent year for which national data on gun deaths are available, the annual number of gun deaths in the United States has increased from 29,573 to 39,740. Even if Brady were to achieve its previous goal of cutting annual firearm related deaths in half by the year 2025, there would still be nearly 20,000 preventable gun deaths in in the USA in 2025, and the US rate of firearm related deaths would still be 2.5 times higher than in Canada, 6 times higher than in Australia, and 30 times higher than in Great Britain.
Americans Against Gun Violence acknowledges and respects the important work that the Brady Campaign has done and the fact that many Brady activists have lost loved ones to gun violence. We believe, however, that our country’s goal should be to reduce rates of gun violence in the USA to levels at or below the rates in other high income democratic countries, and that in order to achieve this goal, we must adopt the same kinds of stringent gun control regulations that have long been in place in those other countries. The adoption of such regulations will require overturning the Heller decision and substantially reducing the number of privately owned guns in the United States.
Despite our differences, Americans Against Gun Violence will continue to work as closely as possible with Brady to foster and defend gun laws that are likely to reduce the extraordinarily high rates of gun violence in our country and to oppose legislation that will have the opposite effect.