In a stern defense of his gun-control policy, President Clinton pledged Tuesday that the Brady handgun law and a ban on assault-style firearms “are here to stay,” despite Republican opposition.
The comment came in an Oval Office ceremony commemorating the one-year anniversary of the Brady law, which requires a five-day waiting period and background checks for handgun purchases.
Armed with an administration study showing thousands of felons were denied weapons under the law, Clinton said, “The Brady bill became the Brady law with flying colors.”
Opponents scoffed at the study, saying the law keeps guns away from law-abiding citizens and resulted in just four federal prosecutions of people who illegally sought to buy the weapons. ‘We’re going to stop crime with this law?” National Rifle Association lobbyist Tanya Metaksa said.
The law, named for former presidential press secretary James Brady, who was wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on then-President Reagan, was Clinton’s first major crime initiative. He later persuaded Congress to ban certain assaultstyle weapons and pass a comprehensive crime bill to help put 100,000 police on the streets.
Newly empowered Republicans argue that the crime law, enacted last year, is loaded with pork and they are working aggressively to curtail it.