The anti-gun Brady Campaign has new leadership with the resignation of longtime President Dan Gross, who had been on the job since early 2012, according to the group’s website.
The Brady Campaign announced Wednesday that Kristin Brown and Avery Gardiner have been named “co-presidents” of the organization that is known as one of the most active gun control lobbying groups in the nation.
Gross, according to a short Wikipedia biography, campaigned for Hillary Rodham Clinton during the 2016 presidential race. He was a co-founder of the Center to Prevent Youth Violence and became the Brady president after the two groups merged.
The Brady Campaign was named for the late Jim and Sarah Brady. Jim Brady was seriously wounded and permanently disabled during the 1981 attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan. After that event, Sarah Brady became an outspoken advocate for restrictive gun control.
According to an announcement from the Brady Campaign, Gross will “remain with the organization to assist with the transition.” He was described as “an important and influential leader in the gun violence prevention movement for many years.”
In recent years, the Brady Campaign has been eclipsed by another gun prohibition lobbying organization, Everytown for Gun Safety, a so-called “astroturf” group financially supported by anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg. Another anti-gun lobbying group – Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America – is something of an Everytown subsidiary.
The Brady Campaign also has lost some traction simply because it doesn’t have a friend in the White House as it did during the Obama administration. With Republican control on Capitol Hill and in a majority of governor’s offices, the Brady bunch is less of a threat politically. However, political dynamics can change over the course of a single night in November, as Clinton and her supporters – including Gross – learned the hard way ten months ago. Clinton had made gun control and her war on gun rights groups a central issue in her campaign, and it backfired as millions of gun owners went to the polls, denying her key states including Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin.
According to the Brady announcement, Brown and Gardiner will lead the group in Washington, D.C.
Brown previously was chief strategy officer for the Brady group and before that its national policy director. Gardiner was the Brady Center’s chief legal officer, “responsible for shaping and driving the organization’s legal strategy.”
In a separate announcement from Kevin Quinn, chairman of the Brady Campaign’s board, he said the organization wants to “cut gun deaths in half by 2025.” That might be a challenge, since about two-thirds of firearm fatalities in any given year are suicides, and on that front, it is the gun rights organizations that have taken the lead.
As reported earlier, the Second Amendment Foundation is involved in a suicide prevention project that officially launches this Saturday in Aberdeen, Wash. The National Rifle Association has also been involved in that effort. The National Shooting Sports Foundation has also gotten involved in suicide prevention with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.