The Brady Act

Topics: Bill Clinton, Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, Gun Control Act of 1968 Pages: 3 (878 words) Published: February 21, 2013
Peter Barone
Written Assignment 5
Timothy Ostin

Written Assignment 5

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act is an Act of the United States Congress that instituted federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 30, 1993, and went into effect on February 28, 1994. The Act was named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. (Federal Register)

While the idea and implementation of the act had all the best intentions it has not been a factor in reducing gun-related homicides nationwide.
At the time of the Brady Bill's passage, 32 states, including North Carolina, did not already have the background checks and five-day waiting periods that the bill required. The law did have one positive effect. The number of gun-related suicides decreased 7 percent more in the experimental group than in the control. Studies showed the waiting period may have helped reduce the number of suicides nationwide by giving people "a chance to reconsider." However, this part of the act no longer exists-when the bill was passed, it included a provision to remove the waiting period requirement by 1998 to mollify Republicans who might have voted against its passage. The act did not put any restrictions on private transactions or gun shows-hence its ineffectiveness. It did keep more than 40,000 people with prior felony convictions from buying guns from licensed dealers, but unregulated secondary markets such as gun shows and private transactions did not necessarily turn away these consumers. An earlier study found that 30 to 40 percent of guns are bought in these markets. Criminals who use guns typically do not buy them from a gun store or a gun dealer. They get them on the black market.

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