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Congress takes up gun control: the Brady Bill is back.

Legislation to mandate a five-day waiting period for andgun purchases was reintroduced last week in oth the House and Senate, President Clinton's promiseto sign the bill into .law provided advocates of the waiting peried, which includes NLC, the confidence that a law will be enacted this session,

Rep. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), sponsor of HR 1025 and Chairman of the House Judiciary subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice, kicked off a press conference to reintroduce the bills. 'In his remarks, Schumer called the President'S support for passage of the bill after six years, "a goal within our grasp."

He went on to say, 'We've disarmed the gun-toting criminals on the streets of Mogadishu and Kuwait City...Surely we can disarm gun-toting terrorists on the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Washington." Schumer was joined in sponsoring the bill by Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Ranking Republican on the subcommittee.

Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine) joined the press conference along with Sen. Howard Metzenbaum (D-Ohio) in sponsoring the Senate bill, S. 414. In June of 1991 the Senate passed the identical proposal by a 67-vote margin.

This, said Mitchell, reflected 'the broad bipartisan support of Senaters for sensible and effective ways to meet the public demand for action on gun violence. Americans across the country are frustrated and frightened by the continued high levels of drug-related crime and violence in Our nation."

Under the bill, a five'day waiting/cooling-off period prior to the purchase of any handgun would be required. During this period, local law enforcement would use available resources to determine if a prospective handgun buyer is legally eligible to purchase a firearm. The bill would go into effect 90 days after enactment.

Within six months of enactment, the Attorney General would establish a timetable for each state to provide its criminal records to a National System. The timetables would be geared to the goal of ensuring that by five years from enactment, the states' criminal activity with an 80 percent currency of case dispositions available.

To assist states in meeting that goal, the bill includes $100 million for grants to upgrade and improve accessibility to the national system and for the costs of conducting checks until the national system is on-line.

Law enforcement agencies could computerize their criminal history records and link them with the central FBI system so that within a determined period of time, a telephone check of a prospective customer by the dealer would be possible.

Six years following enactment, if a state fails to meet the standard of a criminal history record covering the prior five years with an 80 percent currency of case disposition, the federally imposed five business day waiting period is reinstituted in that state until such time as the state's records meet the standard.

In a statement in support of the Brady bill NLC Executive Director Don Borut said, "The American people have spoken loudly and clearly that the proliferation of handgun violence in our neighborhoods is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. We are under no illusion that enactment of the Brady Bill will, by itself, end the violence.

It may, however, be the pivotal act to deter one illegal handgun purchase or provide a sobering period of time to let tempers cool and impulsive aggression give way to common sense. That alone is enough to save lives and justify this legislation."
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Author:Quist, Janet
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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