WASHINGTON -- Tuesday, February 28, will be a banner day for the Brady Campaign and Brady Center as its new president, Dan Gross, begins his tenure and the organization celebrates the 18th anniversary of the Brady Law taking effect.
Gross is one of the foremost leaders in the gun violence prevention movement, having co-founded and directed the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (formerly PAX). Gross brings to the Brady organizations a legacy of trailblazing, innovative work, and a passion for reducing gun deaths and injuries. Gross’ creative thinking and partnership-building have resulted in the nationwide adoption of life-saving programs by schools, parents, youths, the medical community, police departments and hundreds of community-based organizations.
Gross takes over the helm at Brady on the 18th anniversary of the Brady Law. Eighteen years ago on February 28, Jim and Sarah Brady’s leadership resulted in the first Brady background check, ending the system of “lie-and-buy” at gun dealers in the U.S.
Since that first check, the Brady law has made Americans safer by blocking gun sales almost 2 million times to dangerous people at gun dealers. Imagine the force of that change. Felons: blocked. Domestic violence offenders: blocked. The dangerously mentally ill and fugitives from justice: all blocked from buying a gun.
“It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Sarah and Jim Brady’s life-saving work, “said Gross, “Like them, I know firsthand the tragedy of gun violence in America. Like them, I firmly believe that everyday Americans can bring about powerful change. As I begin my tenure today, a Brady lawyer is in Alaska, arguing for justice on behalf of the family of Juneau murder victim Simone Kim. Had a Brady background check blocked the gun sale to Simone’s murderer, Simone might be alive today.”
Homicide rates dropped dramatically after the Brady law was adopted. The Brady organizations celebrate the life-saving rewards brought by the law and look forward to Gross’s administration as he leads our efforts to rally the American public around solutions that reduce gun violence.
Gross replaces Paul Helmke, a lawyer and former mayor, who stepped down July 10, 2011.