Putting a Stop to ‘Bad Apple’ Gun Dealers | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Putting a Stop to ‘Bad Apple’ Gun Dealers

By Jon Lowy
Legal Action Project

Every day the people of Chicago lose another brother or sister, another son or daughter, to gun violence. But a disturbing aspect of their stories goes untold -- until now: It is the same few gun dealers, acting illegally and irresponsibly, who are supplying most of the guns used by their killers and turning a profit on crime and murder.

The people of Chicago – like Americans from Newtown to Columbine – have had enough. More than enough.

Today, we’re stepping up our fight.

On Saturday, September 6th, people from throughout Chicagoland joined our stand against the “bad apple” gun dealers who supply the criminal gun market. They came to help launch the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence’s national campaign to Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers. 

Guns don’t grow on trees and criminals aren’t making them in their basements. Somehow, even though there are no gun shops in the city of Chicago, criminals still get guns.

The overwhelming majority of gun dealers are responsible business people who take care to keep guns out of dangerous hands. More than 80% can honestly say not a single gun they’ve sold is traced to crime.

It’s a very small number of dealers supplying almost all crime guns; about 1% of dealers sell about 60% of crime guns. These “bad apple” gun dealers choose to ignore the law, selling to obvious straw purchasers, gun traffickers, and other dangerous people.  

There’s a thriving criminal gun market, by which guns are sold without Brady background checks, no records kept, and no questions asked. The criminal gun market is almost entirely supplied by these few “bad apples,” putting guns on our streets and into the hands of violent criminals.

That message is sweeping across the country. Brady is working to hold bad apple gun dealers accountable in court, to take the profit out of supplying the criminal gun market. Brady is leading protests to pressure them to employ responsible business practices, or stop selling guns. Brady activists will encourage good dealers – the vast majority of dealers - to agree to a simple Code of responsible business practices – and pressure the bad apples to change their ways. 

These proven, effective tactics have already reduced the flow of criminal guns in Detroit and New York, preventing countless tragedies. 

Sign the petition. Join the Stop Bad Apple Gun Dealers campaign. Together, we will keep guns off our streets – and make Chicago the safe hometown our children and grandchildren deserve.