Ninth Circuit upholds tenets of Brady Act.
The Ninth Circuit has shot down Arizona and Montana sheriffs,
arguments against gun-buyer background checks required under the federal
handgun control law. Federal appellate rulings are pending in the Second
and Fifth circuits. Before the Ninth Circuit ruling--the first at the
federal appellate level on this issue--sheriffs in Arizona, Louisiana,
Mississippi, Montana, and Vermont had won lawsuits against the federal
government. They claimed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act violates the Tenth Amendment. District judges in New Mexico and Texas
have upheld the constitutionality of the February 1994 law. (Lee v.
United States, No. 94-1132 (D.N.M. Nov. 1, 1995); Koog v. United States,
No. DR-94-CA-8 (W.D. Tex. May 31, 1994).) The Ninth Circuit, voting 2-
1, reversed the lower court decisions in Mack . United States. (Nos.
94-16940, 9417002,94-36193,95-35037, 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 25263 (9th
Cir. Sept. 8, 1995).) Opponents of the act say the U.S. government is
trampling states, rights by making local law enforcement officers
administer a federal program. The Ninth Circuit said the required
background checks and five-day waiting period for gun buyers is no more
burdensome to law enforcers than federal laws requiring state officers
to report missing children or traffic fatalities.