Ronald Reagan, The New York Times:
Named for Jim Brady, this legislation would establish a national
seven-day waiting period before a handgun purchaser could take delivery.
It would allow local law enforcement officials to do background checks
for criminal records or known histories of mental disturbances. Those
with such records would be prohibited from buying the handguns.
there has been a Federal law on the books for more than 20 years that
prohibits the sale of firearms to felons, fugitives, drug addicts and
the mentally ill, it has no enforcement mechanism and basically works on
the honor system, with the purchaser filling out a statement that the
gun dealer sticks in a drawer.
The Brady bill would require the
handgun dealer to provide a copy of the prospective purchaser's sworn
statement to local law enforcement authorities so that background checks
could be made. Based upon the evidence in states that already have
handgun purchase waiting periods, this bill -- on a nationwide scale --
can't help but stop thousands of illegal handgun purchases.
since many handguns are acquired in the heat of passion (to settle a
quarrel, for example) or at times of depression brought on by potential
suicide, the Brady bill would provide a cooling-off period that would
certainly have the effect of reducing the number of handgun deaths.
claim that "waiting period" legislation in the states that have it
doesn't work, that criminals just go to nearby states that lack such
laws to buy their weapons. True enough, and all the more reason to have a
Federal law that fills the gaps. While the Brady bill would not apply
to states that already have waiting periods of at least seven days or
that already require background checks, it would automatically cover the
states that don't. The effect would be a uniform standard across the
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