On this day November 30, 1993

U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act into law, requiring purchasers of handguns to pass a background check.

Jim Brady

The act was named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.

In 1997 one provision of interim Brady Law was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court in Printz v. United States on 10th amendment grounds. The provision compelled state and local law enforcement officials to perform the background checks mandated by federal law.

The Court determined that this provision violated both the concept of federalism and that of the unitary executive. However, state and local law enforcement officials were free to conduct the check if they so chose and many continued to do so. This issue became moot when NICS came online.



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