Brady Calls for Congress to Strengthen and Expand Background Check System, Ban Assault Weapons and Enact ERPO “Red Flag” Laws

WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today called upon Congress to immediately pass legislation to make it significantly harder for deadly weapons to be used by dangerous people. One week after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Brady recommends comprehensive gun violence legislation around three critical legislative initiatives:


1)  Brady background checks on all guns sales: Completion of a Brady Background check on every gun sold. Those convicted of gun crimes, assault, or domestic violence should no longer be able to purchase guns without passing a background check in any state, no loopholes and no exceptions. Guns should not be sold if a background check is still pending. While some states have expanded their background checks, approximately half of the population still lives in states without these common-sense laws. Dangerous exceptions to the system that allow private sales to take place without conducting a background check at gun shows or via online sites put all Americans at risk.

2) Pass the assault weapon ban: Shooters in the recent deadly mass shootings like Parkland, Las Vegas, Orlando, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, and Sandy Hook have all used assault weapons and high capacity magazines to massacre people. Today you can buy an AR-15 style rifle in as little as 25 minutes. Weapons of war belong in military and police forces, not in our schools and churches.  

3) Enact “Extreme Risk Laws”: Laws that allow family members and law enforcement to seek court permission to temporarily remove guns from a person in crisis empower families, communities, and law enforcement to help keep guns out of the hands of those at risk of injuring themselves or others. We are taking action to pressure politicians to support these in every state.

Today, Brady Co-President Kris Brown joins with Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at the Florida State Capitol today to call for a ban on assault rifles. The direct appeal to the Legislature follows protests outside schools, social media appeals and national television appearances.

These proposals strongly align with the demands of Americans based on new Quinnipiac Poll research published this week, including:

  • Support for universal background checks is now up to 97 percent, including those living in gun owning households.
  • 67 percent now support a nationwide ban on assault weapons.
  • 66 percent of American voters support stricter gun laws, a 19 percent point increase over two years ago.

“Americans of every age and background are calling ‘BS’ on the lack of action from Congress and the President. Americans aren’t more dangerous or more criminally-inclined than people in other nations, but we have the highest rate of gun deaths in the developed world. That’s because our laws continue to allow easy access to the deadliest weapons, and it is well past the time to change those laws,” said Brady Campaign co-president, Avery Gardiner. “It is no secret which members of Congress pander to the gun lobby. With all 435 seats in the House and 34 seats in the Senate up for reelection in November, it is time for them to act. If not, we’ll vote them out.”

“These straightforward initiatives will help prevent violence and save lives, and are meant to stop the next Parkland, Columbine, Newtown, Charleston, San Bernardino, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, or Orlando,” said Brady Campaign co-president, Kris Brown. “The time for platitudes, spin, fearmongering and regurgitating NRA message points is done. Voters and our children say #ENOUGH, and we have a nation that wonders will it be #MeNext ?”

The mission of the Brady organization and its Million Mom March is to create a safer America by cutting gun deaths in half by 2025. For more insight on gun violence prevention, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @BradyBuzz.

About Us: The Brady Campaign and Center, united with the Million Mom March, is a national network of over 90 grassroots chapter affiliates mobilized to prevent gun violence at the community level. The network has played a vital role in expanding Brady background checks in the six states that have passed legislation since the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut and produced the largest national protest of gun violence in U.S. history – The Million Mom March, Mother’s Day 2000.


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Jen Reidy
Brady Center

Lester Sola Appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department

MIAMI (PRWEB) February 21, 2018

On February 16, Lester Sola was appointed Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department (MDAD) by Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. He will oversee operations at Miami International Airport (MIA) and four general aviation (GA) airports throughout Miami-Dade County, which together generate $33.7 billion in business revenue and support more than 280,000 direct and indirect jobs. MIA leads the way, handling more than 44 million passengers and more than two million tons of cargo annually, placing it among America’s busiest international passenger and cargo airports.

“I am confident that Mr. Sola’s experience in County operations, capital design, construction management contract administration and negotiations will prove invaluable to MDAD and the residents of Miami-Dade County,” said Mayor Gimenez.

Sola has served Miami-Dade County for more than 26 years, most recently as Director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department. As Director of the largest utility in the southeastern United States, Sola was responsible for: providing high-quality drinking water and wastewater disposal services to more than 2.3 million residents, businesses and visitors daily; managing more than 2,700 employees and an annual operating budget of $796 million; and leading the largest capital improvement program in Miami-Dade County’s history. During Sola’s tenure at the department from 2015 to 2017, nearly 1,000 projects worth more than $1.1 billion were completed.

Sola began his career with Miami-Dade County government in 1992 as a member of the County Manager Management Training Program. He has held several high-level positions including: Contract Coordination Officer in the County Executive Manager's Office; Architectural and Engineering Consultant Coordinator for the County Executive Manager's Office; Assistant to the County Manager; Associate Director for the Aviation Department; Deputy Director for the Department of Business Development; Supervisor of Elections; and Director of the Internal Services Department.

During his more than two decades of public service, Sola has been responsible for: the reorganization of several County departments; coordination and refocusing of the capital program at Miami International Airport; the establishment of small and minority-based programs for the procurement of goods and services; establishment of centralized systems for the tracking of County capital expansion programs and professional services; and the provision of management direction to County departments, management agreements and agencies such as Aviation, Seaport, Beacon Council, Performing Arts Center and the American Airlines Arena.

Sola has a master's degree and bachelor's degree in public administration, with a minor in organizational psychology from Florida International University.

Miami International Airport offers more flights to Latin America and the Caribbean than any other U.S. airport, is America’s third-busiest airport for international passengers, boasts a lineup of more than 100 air carriers and is the top U.S. airport for international freight. MIA, along with its general aviation airports, is also the leading economic engine for Miami-Dade County and the state of Florida, generating business revenue of $33.7 billion annually and welcoming 70 percent of all international visitors to Florida. MIA’s vision is to grow from a recognized hemispheric hub to a global airport of choice that offers customers a world-class experience and an expanded route network with direct passenger and cargo access to all world regions. MIA is committed to sustainable practices. Learn more at

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Health Hero: Petplan Sponsors Grant to Provide Pet Insurance Coverage to Police K-9s

NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. (PRWEB) February 21, 2018

Petplan pet insurance announced that 50 working police dogs will receive pet insurance grants from the National Police Dog Foundation (NPDF) in 2018. The endowment, which Petplan sponsors, awarded five police K-9s with one year of Petplan coverage in 2017. The expansion of the program this year comes thanks to joint fundraising efforts between Petplan and the NPDF.

“The inaugural grant period was a success and we’re thrilled to cover even more working dogs this year,” says Natasha Ashton, co-founder and co-CEO of Petplan. “To be able to protect 10 times as many deserving police K-9s in 2018 is beyond our expectation.”

In addition to hereditary health conditions a police K-9 officer’s breed may dictate occupational hazards like gunshot or stab wounds, lacerations, tail injuries and exposure to highly toxic substances like illegal drugs all threaten a police dog’s health (and a local police department’s budget).

Veterinary care can run in the thousands to treat these types of injuries, so protecting four-footed police with pet insurance like Petplan, which reimburses up to 90 percent of the bill, makes good fiscal sense for municipalities. And insuring police K-9s while in active duty ensures that they can stay healthy through retirement; conditions are covered for life, as long as the policy remains active.

“Just like professional athletes, [K-9s] can be subject to injury on a daily basis,” says Officer Quinn Handley of the Upland Police Department in California, who was a recipient of the Petplan/NPDF grant last year. “Having insurance allows us to maximize our budget on other necessary items like training, equipment and dog food. To work with K-9 Rudy is a dream come true. It allows the department to do our jobs more safely and efficiently.”

Funding for the K-9 Health Insurance Grant comes via support from Petplan as well as contributions from the public. In 2017, Petplan and the NPDF raised over $50,000 to make the 2018 grant cycle possible.

Applications are open now through March 31, and all municipalities and other working police K-9 units are encouraged to apply at Grant recipients are chosen by the NPDF and will be announced later this year.

To make a direct donation in support of grant funding, or to learn more about Petplan’s sponsorship of the NPDF, citizens can point their paws to


Petplan has built an industry-leading pet insurance policy for pet parents who demand a higher pedigree of care for their best friends. We’ve leveraged 40 years of global experience to create completely customizable coverage pet parents can feel confident in, and world-class claims service that operates 24 hours a day, every day.

Petplan’s innovative approach to pet insurance has been recognized by Forbes, Financial Times, Bloomberg, Inc. magazine, Smart CEO, the Communicator Awards, Ernst & Young and many others.

Petplan policies are underwritten in the United States by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, a member of the Allianz Group (rated A+ A.M. Best), and XL Specialty Insurance Company; and in Canada by XL Specialty Insurance Company – Canadian Branch. The company is rated A+ by S&P (2018). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions. For more information about Petplan pet insurance, visit or call 1-866-467-3875.


The National Police Dog Foundation is a volunteer organization that promotes education and awareness, and raises funds for the purchase, training and ongoing veterinary care of active and retired police K-9s.

In 1998, the Ventura Police Dog Foundation began as a local group helping to fund the K-9 program for the City of Ventura, CA, and in 2004, the National Police Dog Foundation expanded its support to law enforcement K-9 units throughout the United States.

Most law enforcement agencies simply cannot meet their ever-increasing costs related to their K-9 units. The Foundation has become a unique resource for these agencies, to get the assistance they need. The Foundation’s network of veterinarians includes some of the country’s most valued specialists in many varying areas of healthcare.

The Foundation’s efforts are all done to support America’s selfless and courageous K-9 heroes.

For more information about The National Police Dog Foundation, visit or call 1-888-459-7768.

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