Informative Essay: Has the Brady Act been Successful?


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The Brady act was created with the intention of interrupting firearm sales to individuals who are legally prohibited from owing guns, such as minors, convicted felons and the mentally ill. The 5 day waiting period provides the chance for the firearms dealer to perform a national criminal background check before transferring any firearm to a customer.

Originally 32 states were required to implement the Brady act. However, in 1997 during Printz V United States, the law was temporarily on hold due to a challenge based on the grounds of the 10th amendment which ensured states to retain power over their own territory. In July of that year, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the federal government to require states to perform Brady Bill background checks. At that point, 27 states had laws requiring similar background checks and 23 states did not.
The issue furthermore prompted the debate on whether states can dictate their own local laws, more legislation in this field will result in states having less control over their own independence; straightforwardly these laws would increase the power of the federal government, such an occurrence was one of the founding principles the originators of the American government sought to prevent.

The creation of more legislation is not necessarily going to cause homicide crime to decline as our opponents would hope you to believe. The Brady act throughout all its intentions and safeguards is not flawless. The Brady act catches individuals convicted of felonies; however violent offenders who may not have officially been labeled felons are excluded during background checks due to their lack of conviction. For instance, a person may be formally charged and going through legal proceeding, but still potentially capable of passing a criminal background check. This is also the case for individuals released on bail awaiting trial unless specifically ordered by the judge to not posses firearms.

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More so, an unintended consequence of the Brady act is the existence of the secondary gun market. Trafficking of guns allows individuals whom normally would be prohibited legally from obtaining permits to simply buy the guns off the street. This legislation provides the government a format to regulate and monitor gun sales but by increasing gun laws, we indirectly influence the sales of illegitimate gun sales.



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