Brady Campaign Originally Fought NICS

One interesting thing about the Brady’s being so happy about improving the NICS system is that at one time, they hated it, and fought it fiercely, because it supplanted their preferred method of gun control, which was to make you wait. Take a look at this press release from 1998, back when they were still called Handgun Control Inc:

The original Brady Law, which mandated a waiting period and background check for all handgun purchasers, was altered in the legislative process to sunset in favor of NICS, which relies on computerized federal data to immediately check prospective firearms purchasers for felony convictions and other barriers to purchase. Without a mandatory waiting period, local police departments will not have time to participate in the background check, and gun purchasers considering crimes of passion or impulse suicides will no longer have a “cooling-off” period to protect themselves or their victims.

Brady’s presumed that police officers were willing to conduct some imaginary, more thorough background check, that would take time. The fact is, the local police had access to what was in the systems, and probably not much more than that. Not to mention the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government couldn’t force the local police to conduct background checks, so most of those folks that ended up on their desks didn’t even get cursory glance.

After a 7-year battle in Congress, President Clinton signed the Brady Law on November 30, 1993, with the support of more than 90 percent of Americans. Unable to block passage of the legislation in the face of this tidal wave of public support, the gun lobby’s allies in Congress amended the legislation to require a mandatory “sunset” of the waiting period in five years, to be replaced by a computerized national instant check system. At the time, the Brady Law affected 32 states which had not developed their own background check system; now, five years later, 24 states will be making the transition from a waiting period to an instant check.

The horror! But now they seem to think NICS is the greatest thing since sliced bread. My how times have changed.

One thought on “Brady Campaign Originally Fought NICS”

  1. I’m not sure if a waiting period will stop impulse suicides. I’ve heard of people offing themselves at gun ranges (with rented guns).

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