Blog Roll: The Brady Bill

Jason Morris

More often than not we write our blog articles about background checks in relation to employment. In my opinion one of the most important laws we have in place today is the Brady Bill. The Brady Bill while still flawed in many ways has brought the concept of background checks to the forefront. Officially called The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993, it was signed into law by President Clinton in November of 1993. 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.

According to bradycampaign.org, a group devoted to prevent gun violence, the US Department of Justice has released some new figures.

The U.S. Department of Justice just released Brady background check figures for 2006, and they show continued success for this life-saving law:

  • Nearly 40% of the denials in 2006 involved individuals with felony records attempting to purchase firearms. (In fact, 6 out of every 1,000 applications in 2006 were made by felons.)
  • From 1999-2006, 183,714 NICS denials were appealed, or 15.5% of total denials during that period (almost 1.2 million), and of those appeals, only 65,695, or about 5.5% of total denials, were reversed.

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Jason Morris

President & Chief Operating Officer at EmployeeScreenIQ
A veteran screening and risk management professional, Jason Morris founded EmployeeScreenIQ in 1999 and acts as the company’s chief operating officer and president. Morris is a frequent speaker delivering captivating, interactive discussions on background checks, global screening, recruitment and staffing. He educates audiences in best practice initiatives as they relate to organizational employment screening programs. Morris has been quoted in numerous business and industry publications including The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC.com, USA Today, New York Times, among others. He is also a licensed private investigator in the states of Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Texas, Arizona and Nevada.
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  • First question:

    How many of the denials were erroneous and were corrected without the need for a formal appeal?

    2. How many of the people who were denied due to felonies had been convicted of non-violent felonies (the number of which is increasing daily…did you know that in some states it’s a felony to sell an orchid without a license?) and didn’t realize that their conviction precluded them from owning firearms?

    3. Assuming that all 1.5 million denials were actually prohibited persons and that all 1.5 million of them were violent criminals knowingly trying to illegally purchase firearms as you imply…why only a .73% arrest rate? Thats some pretty shoddy enforcement there. You are aware that it is a felony to lie on the form 4473 right? You are aware that there is a blank that asks “have you ever been convicted of a felony” right? Therefore, each and every one of those 1.5 million people, according to your assumptions, should have been convicted of a felony and sent to jail. That isn’t even addressing the CONVICTION rate. How many of those 11k+ were acquitted?

    If we can’t even enforce the laws that exist now, what’s the point in passing more restrictions that will be ignored?

    Finally: If felons are so dangerous that they cannot be entrusted among society with the means to self defense, how can they be trusted to walk free in society in the first place? The worst school massacre ever committed in this country was perpetrated with gasoline and matches. If someone is so dangerous that they can’t be entrusted with one dangerous item, why are they not prohibited from owning knives, baseball bats, tire irons, bows and arrows, rocks, slingshots, household chemicals, gasoline, propane, pointy sticks, etc. etc. etc.

    Actually, the real question is: if they are so dangerous that they can’t be trusted with objects that may be misused for harm, why are they walking around free in society at all????

    But hoplophobes FEEL so much safer when someone who feloniously sold a flower can never provide for the defense of themselves and their families again, now doesn’t it?