Posted on February 14, 2023
Thanks to the continued support of CREDO members, Brady is working to keep our communities safe from gun violence
For more than 40 years, our long-time grantee partners at Brady: United Against Gun Violence have united gun owners and non-gun owners alike in the fight against gun violence and worked to ensure that every community is safer.
In July 2022, CREDO members voted to distribute donations to help Brady bolster its on-the-ground programs in areas most impacted by gun violence, hold the gun industry accountable in court, promote safe gun storage, and more. Since 1994, CREDO and our members have donated over $1 million to the organization.
Powered in part by the generosity of CREDO and our members, Brady had some recent victories and launched some great new initiatives. Here’s a quick rundown from the organization:
The Brady Center
The Brady Center seeks to end the public health epidemic of gun violence. To achieve this life-saving goal, our work must address the root causes of the different types of violence fueling gun deaths and injuries in America. As with any epidemic, there are many approaches to eradicating gun violence. The best courses of action differ for each form of gun violence and community impacted. Focused on taking action, not sides, Brady is blazing the trail for an evidence-based, public health approach to preventing gun violence in America.
Our core programs—including End Family Fire, Brady Legal, and our supply-side programming —rely on innovative and proven strategies that don’t require legislative action. Over the past year, thanks to the generous support of partners like Credo, we have continued to expand and strengthen these life-saving efforts. The following paragraphs detail recent organizational achievements and updates since Credo’s investment in our gun violence prevention mission.
End Family Fire (EFF)
End Family Fire is a national public service advertising campaign from Brady and the Ad Council that debuted in August 2018. EFF recognizes that gun owners are an essential part of the gun violence prevention movement—and can prevent tragedies through safe gun storage. EFF initially focused on preventing unintentional shootings. In late 2020, we expanded the campaign to focus on another type of gun violence that is often not talked about: gun suicide. In the U.S., we lose 63 people a day to gun suicide—more than those who are lost to firearm murders and unintentional shootings combined.
In 2022, Brady launched a statewide EFF suicide prevention campaign in partnership with the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH). The launch includes a geo-targeted multimedia PSA campaign, focused on promoting safe storage to prevent gun suicide, that will run for 2 years. This involved the development of localized EFF creative assets for distribution via television, radio, print, out-of-home, and digital display, along with a social media campaign targeting gun owners in Missouri. Through survey data comparing pre-and-post campaign, we’ve found that by September 2022 there were statistically significant increases among Missourian respondents in recognition of End Family Fire suicide prevention PSAs (40% baseline to 48% in Q3 2022) and the percent of those who report talking to friends and family about safe gun storage in the past six months (26% baseline to 35% in Q3 2022). These early results are promising reflections of the individual behavior change model and will continue to be monitored in the coming months.
Our collaboration with MFH underscores the growth and impact of EFF since its 2018 debut and exemplifies our vision for the program’s growth. We seek to replicate this geo-targeted work in other strategically-chosen cities/states/regions, such as those with high rates of gun ownership and/or incidents of family fire. We believe that concentrating EFF messaging—both related to unintentional shootings and gun suicide—in these higher-risk areas will maximize the campaign’s life-saving impact on gun owner attitude, awareness, and behavior.
Brady Legal brings together a strong network of talent to provide pro bono representation to victims of gun violence and counter the gun industry’s well-financed influence and special protections. Our team has secured landmark precedents that hold gun companies and dealers accountable for the deaths and injuries they enable. To date, the program has won over $60 million in settlements and verdicts for gun violence victims and successfully pushed many gun dealers and manufacturers to adopt more responsible, safer business practices. Find more details below one of Brady’s new legal cases.
As part of its work, Brady Legal helps cities in the grips of gun violence hold manufacturers of “ghost guns” accountable. Ghost guns are untraceable guns made without serial numbers that are typically assembled with parts and kits that can be purchased online, without a background check. Credo’s support allowed us to fight, and win, against a motion to dismiss the case in December 2022. In the case, the City of Baltimore, represented by Brady Legal and Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, is suing Polymer80, Inc. — the largest “ghost gun” manufacturer in the U.S. — for fueling gun violence in Baltimore. Polymer80 accounts for 91% of all ghost guns recovered by police in Baltimore from January 2020 to April 2022. Prior to 2018, the Baltimore Police Department (BPD) had never recovered a ghost gun.
Government Transparency for Gun Violence Prevention (GTGVP)
Brady stands out in the gun violence prevention (GVP) field in part because of our ‘supply-side’ approach to reduce gun crime. Instead of solely focusing on the shooter, Brady believes that we must also address the source or supplier of guns used in crime – namely, the gun industry and dealers who are contributing to and profiting from gun violence. Transparency is key to a successful supply-side approach, allowing us to identify and reform the gun businesses responsible for supplying crime guns; hold agencies accountable for failures in firearms industry regulation and enforcement; and expose how the powerful gun lobby influences decisions and policies at all levels of government.
Brady’s Government Transparency for Gun Violence Prevention (GTGVP) initiative was created to further these goals. Our transparency work is core to Brady’s mission, influencing and forwarding many of Brady’s other programs in addition to its important external impact on public awareness. Through public records requests and litigation, GTGVP gathers information and data on the firearms industry and government oversight; uses such data to inform our priorities and programs; and releases it to the public through published reports, data dashboards, and reputable news outlets.
New Project Launch: Firearms Procurement Project
Brady relies on our data from government transparency requests to inform our procurement work with state government and law enforcement agencies. Increasing industry transparency and identifying at-risk dealers is necessary to inform public officials which vendors are complying with the law and engaging in safe business practices. Starting in January 2023, we launched a responsible firearms procurement project, advocating for law enforcement agencies to buy from only law-abiding and otherwise responsible gun vendors. Taxpayers are the number one buyer of firearms in America. Altogether, taxpayers spend more than $5 billion a year to buy guns and ammunition for our nation’s law enforcement agencies. Our most recent analysis shows that California law enforcement agencies spent tens of millions of taxpayer dollars on gun dealers that have been cited for serious violations of the law.