The Brady Rankings – In Context

The Brady Campaign has officially declared itself to be a radical gun banning organization. There’s no other way to view them after reviewing their latest state rankings of gun laws released this morning.

The rankings are conducted on a 100-point scale. Their “best” state is California which comes in at 79 points – a C+. The second spot is secured by New Jersey with 73 points – a C-. However, I consider the most telling grade to be Massachusetts. Brady said they only scored a 54 out of 100 – or have an F in the gun control grade book.

Massachusetts is a state with discretionary license to own. If you walk into a police station and offend the police chief by wearing his least favorite color, he has the authority to deny you a license to even own a rifle or handgun in your home. Massachusetts is a state where the gun laws go so far that pepper spray requires its own firearms permit. If a new shooter wants to take empty shell casing home after a successful day at the range, they risk criminal charges for inert cases if they do not have a gun license.

This is what the Brady Campaign considers to be a failing grade?

There is no right to own arms in Massachusetts. That is still not good enough for the Paul Helmke. What is good enough? Confiscation? Would that get them up to maybe a B? What is an A for the Brady Campaign?

19 thoughts on “The Brady Rankings – In Context”

  1. The Brady Campaign is using an old management tool, specifically “low review scores,” to help them accomplish two things.

    First, Brady can trumpet the sorry state of “reasonable, common sense gun legislation” based on the very low scores they have assigned. We are ALL FAILING and therefore must try harder!

    Second, if ANY change that they approve occurs ANYWHERE, they have plenty of room to assign, and to publicize, an improved score for any state without invalidating or contradicting the first point.

    I first saw this management tool used in High School, where about midway through a semester our English teacher suddenly gave our entire Advanced Placement class D & F grades on our weekly assigned essays. Her stated goal was to encourage us to work harder so we would keep our previous A & B grade averages despite this one bad grade. We thought she was an idiot, and when the next week we all got A & B grades again, we realized we were correct.

    I have also seen this technique used in industry, where a group of workers are ranked by management not on an absolute scale against a standard, but rather against each other, so that half the group is always reviewed as “underperforming.” The idea is to be able to fire anyone in the underperforming category based on the review, without legal repercussions, for any reason (such as budget cuts or sales declines). Oddly enough, it seemed those with seniority at the company always got the higher rankings.

  2. Just a small correction; MA has *discretionary* licensing for handguns and for some long-arms, but not for all long-arms. Licensing for some “low capacity” long-arms is not discretionary.

    But I have no idea why the state would run an F. We’ve got the ‘assault weapons’ ban, we’ve got ridiculous ‘consumer protection’ regulations that ban the sale of most inexpensive handguns, we’ve got some magazine-capacity limits, licenses can generally be revoked for any reason or no reason, and the list goes on. An F?

    1. Considering that Heller was about handguns, I don’t think that excuse for their gun laws counts anymore. And for some folks, there is no option for the mandatory FID.

      I choose my wording on Massachusetts laws for a reason. I know the laws.

      And Jennifer, it’s really easy to get rid of those 2 points. Make them pass a law that forces the state universities to honor carry permits for the licensed carry holders on campus. That will knock off those pesky last points.

  3. I am interested in seeing how they compare to previous rankings. I am sure Nemerov will look at it.

  4. AZ got two points because “[c]olleges are not forced to allow firearms on campus.” We’re working to change that. A zero score from the Brady Campaign is within reach!

  5. 6 of Georgia’s 8 points come from licensing, record retention, and police inspections for dealers. Only remaining points are for campuses, and that’s being worked on (Brady must have overlooked certain exemptions to the “not on campus” prohibition, which should knock off at least half a point).

    Good showing GA – go for the win!

  6. Yep, the gun-banners state that we need “Reasonable” laws. I dunno if they consider “B” or “C” to be “Reasonable”, but obviously that I managed to find a town to move to that actually ALLOWED me to get a carry permit (my two previous MA residencies the Chief was more than willing to allow me a “Target and Hunting” license so I might not shoot my eye out, or something)

    So banning conceal carry, removing the rights to own the guns you want, requiring gun companies to be taxed for “Safety Regulations” that don’t actually regulate safety, forcing you to keep your guns locked, forcing all sales through FFLs, banning long arms with “Scary” cosmetic features, rationing the number of guns that can be owned, rationing the type of ammo that can be owned, and maybe throwing in an anual Police inspection of your guns and storage devices I think would fall under their books as “Reasonable”.

    At least on their planet.

    And if questioned gun banners will neither confirm nor deny, nor state what good such laws would do…just that they’re “Reasonable”

  7. It would be interesting to compare these scores to last year, to see if there is an across-the-board downscaling of the scores. Clearly, by the logic behind this scheme, low scores comport with their message and agenda.

    Moreover, it would be interesting to gauge how much folks are paying attention to this. It’s my own observation (not quantified) that people are closing their ears and eyes to this kind of information. It would be interesting to scale the coverage of the Brady scores over time, and control for the volume of news coverage in general.

  8. I agree with Jennifer — I find the rankings to be a very useful tool when thinking about where I’d like to live, honestly. Isn’t it like golf where a low score is better?

  9. I clicked through to the Brady site, and the only thing they list for MA’s score, in addition to the number score, is a 3-star rating. On their zero to four-star rankings, that seems more like a B.

  10. I am shocked and appalled that Virginia got a 17/100. That is unacceptable.

    Looking at their criteria I think some of the dealer requirements can be disputed. I know only one dealer who submits records to the state police, for example.

  11. Alaska is in the same boat as OK.

    It seems like the pro-gun press releases write themselves:

    As the Brady gun scores go down, so do crime and accident rates.

  12. Utah has a licensing system (for concealment and whatever other thing) which requires training and fingerprint. As I try to mentally converge this nuance with Brady-style rating, that gives Utah at least 10 or 20 points.

    Utah has no 0.

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