On this day, in 1993, U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, requiring purchasers of handguns to pass a background check. From Wikipedia…
The Brady Bill Act initially required purchasers to wait up to five days for a background check to occur before being allowed to purchase a handgun. If the background check was returned before the five days had elapsed, then the transfer could occur at that time, and if the check had not been completed in five days, then the transfer was not allowed to occur. In some states, proof of a previous background check could be used to bypass the wait. For example, a state-issued concealed carry permit usually included a background check equivalent to the one required by the Act and could be used in place of the Act’s check. Many states passed shall issue concealed carry laws in the wake of the Act’s passing. The Act applied only to transfers from a dealer licensed to sell guns by the Treasury Department to a private individual. Sales between private parties could not be covered under the Act because the federal government had no jurisdiction to restrict intrastate commerce. The provision in the Act that mandated local law enforcement officials to carry out background checks was struck down by the Supreme Court in 1997 because, the court ruled, it violated the Federalism provisions of the Constitution (see below). In many jurisdictions, no attempt was made to process the background checks, and the Act became a simple five day waiting period.
The waiting period provision of the Act expired in 1998 when the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) came online. NICS is managed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The system runs database checks on criminal records. A handgun purchaser may still have to wait for up to three business days if the NICS system fails to positively approve or deny his or her application to purchase a firearm; if the denial is not issued within those three days, the transfer may be completed at that time. State alternatives to the background check, such as state-issued handgun permits or mandatory state or local checks, may still bypass the NICS check.
As usual with Gun Control schemes, this act did little to curb handgun crime. Instead it just placed additional hindrances in the path of law-abiding citizens who wished to exercise their Second Amendment rights. The one positive result of this act was to hasten the spread of Shall-Issue Concealed Carry throughout most of the United States. As of today, only two states do not allow some form of concealed carry for personal defense. With the election earlier this month, many fear a return of more gun control schemes whose sole intent is the negate the Second Amendment. If any such attempts do occur, the blacklash from those efforts may well turn around to a further expansion of concealed carry and wider adherence to the spirit as well as the letter of the Second Amendment.
A number of years ago, Missouri, in the first attempt to pass concealed carry, attempted to pass the Vermont Option. In Vermont and Alaska, there is no state prohibition from concealed or open carry. That attempt lost in Missouri. The second and successful attempt to pass concealed carry in Missouri won conclusively and now Missouri has one of the most liberal Concealed Carry provisions in the nation.