LA2050

Brady Center Combats Gun Violence in Los Angeles

Posted February 6, 2020 by Brady Center

This is an update on the winning proposal from the PLAY category in the 2018 LA2050 challenge.

Brady is now 18 months into our Combating Crime Guns Initiative: Los Angeles (CCGI:LA) program, a multi-pronged approach to Los Angeles gun violence prevention that focuses on stemming the flow of guns into the city. The program is centered around the knowledge that 90% of crime guns (firearms that are illegally possessed, used in a crime, or suspected to have been used in a crime) are sold by just 5% of gun dealers. Through CCGI:LA, we work to target these irresponsible dealers and shift the burden of gun violence from disproportionately impacted communities to the industry that is flooding these communities with guns.

With the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation, we are fighting to ensure that in 2050, Los Angelenos of all ages will have access to safe homes, safe neighborhoods, and safe places to play. Under LA2050's 'PLAY' goal, our program will impact two metrics: per capita crime rate and perceived safety.

Program Updates

Over the past months, we've continued to build out our presence and impact in Los Angeles, and we are so excited to share our progress with the LA2050 community.

CalVIP

One of the most significant recent developments is the establishment of the California Violence Intervention and Prevention (CalVIP) Grant Program, which appropriated $30 million in funding for competitive awards to cities and community-based organizations to support evidence-based violence reduction initiatives--a marked $21 million increase from last year's violence reduction funding. This decision is a huge win for the gun violence prevention movement and sets an example for other states to follow about the importance of funding violence reduction initiatives.

Brady had a substantial role in the passage of this budget legislation. In fact, our Los Angeles Program Manager, Steve Lindley, was selected to be a member of the CalVIP Executive Steering Committee--the party that develops the grant program's Requests for Proposals and makes funding recommendations to the Board. We are honored and excited to be a part of this life-saving grant program.

Prioritizing Gun Dealer Inspections

Brady also recently created a tool to improve the efficiency and efficacy of gun dealer inspections. When conducted regularly and effectively, dealer inspections are a proven way to flag dangerous crime gun dealers and promote responsible business practices. However, due to insufficient resources, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) only inspects roughly 8% of licensed firearm dealers every year. Further, the ATF cited 75% of inspected FFLs for violations in 2016, yet only revoked the licenses of less than 1% of cited dealers. The key takeaway: the federal government is unable or unwilling to conduct meaningful oversight on the country gun dealers.

One solution to this lack of federal oversight is conducting independent inspections. Many states and municipalities have the authority to conduct inspections independent of the ATF. Using data on thousands of pages of ATF inspection reports, Brady--with the pro bono assistance of a blue chip consulting firm--has analyzed the characteristics of gun dealers that most highly correlate with the irresponsible business practices contributing to urban gun violence and developed a predictive tool that can be used by local authorities to target gun dealer inspections. We look forward to incorporating this tool into our current Los Angeles gun violence prevention strategies.

Louder Than Guns

Brady remains deeply involved with the Louder Than Guns campaign, a project led by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti's Youth Leadership Council to End Gun Violence. Louder Than Guns is a rallying cry for all Angelenos, with the goal of inspiring local activism and ensuring that citizens know the impact that their individual actions can have on reducing gun violence. The campaign has relied on extensive involvement and consulting from Brady's Los Angeles Program Manager and has been extremely impactful since its launch, provoking important discussions regarding the plague of firearm violence in Los Angeles and across the nation.

The Mayor's Office has requested Brady's support and guidance in bringing the campaign to the national level. We are currently working with the L.A. Mayor's Office, the Mayor's Youth Leadership Council to End Gun Violence, and ad agency Omelet to build off of our success in Los Angeles and launch the campaign to other cities disproportionately impacted by firearm violence.

Challenges

The lack of oversight and transparency around gun industry policies and practices are an ongoing hindrance to this work. Although Brady works diligently to address these issues on the legislative side, we know that this approach takes time. Acknowledging this, Brady's Combating Crime Guns Initiative largely focuses on more immediate goals, such as raising public awareness of the role of the gun industry in gun violence and finding innovative ways to identify and reform irresponsible gun dealers in the absence of government oversight (such as our gun dealer inspection tool).

What's to Come

In the coming months, we look forward to leveraging local partnerships to execute multiple collaborative gun violence prevention projects.

Upcoming plans include:

  • Partnering with the Los Angeles Unified School District to distribute firearm safety information to thousands of students and their parents.
  • Continuing to build out our work with the LA Mayor's office Youth Council to End Gun Violence. Activities include:
    • Working closely with Brady's youth-led gun violence prevention program, Team Enough as well as the Youth Council to coordinate a youth advocacy and lobbying education training in Sacramento. We believe this partnership will lead to the activation of diverse youth presence in the gun violence prevention movement throughout California.
    • Assisting in the development of a national iteration of the Louder Than Guns campaign.
  • Leveraging our partnerships with the Los Angeles Police Department to begin building our gun dealer inspection tool into existing local independent gun dealer inspection protocols.

We are so grateful for the support of the Goldhirsh Foundation. Together, we are making Los Angeles a safer place to live, learn, and play.