The United States Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Brady Law was unconstitutional for violating the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Court found that Congress exceeded its powers by forcing local officials to implement a federal law without compensation.

“Gun owners and police officers attacked the Brady proposal from the beginning as costly, ineffective and unconstitutional,” reminded Alan Gottlieb, Founder of the Second Amendment Foundation. “Congress could have avoided this embarrassing ruling if they listened to us in the beginning.”

The Brady Law had required a background check for retail handgun purchasers. The records check results were underwhelming, with less than 2% of buyers initially rejected in the first year. Furthermore, around half of the people denied were later approved to purchase a handgun according to the Congressional General Accounting Office. Many people were wrongfully denied because of poor record keeping and name mix-ups.

Several law enforcement officers brought suits against Brady in federal court, claiming that the law pulled officers off the streets and shackled them behind desks to push federal paperwork. In addition, the added work came without any compensation and was by definition an unfunded mandate.

The Court agreed and found Brady unconstitutional. The costly background check was in violation of the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution regarding states’ rights.

“For too long, several key Amendments to the Constitution have been ignored,” stated Gottlieb. “Now that the court has again recognized the Tenth Amendment, the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms should soon follow.”

This is only the latest of several victories for gun owners in the federal court system. In 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the original “Gun-Free” School Zone Law in U.S. v. Lopez. Now the Court has ruled against Brady in Printz v. U.S. and Mack v. U.S. And now the Clinton gun ban is facing a tough challenge in the federal courts.

“We beat back gun-free school zones, the Brady Law and now we are targeting Clinton’s gun ban,” said Gottlieb. “We need to replace ineffective laws which hurt law-abiding people with effective proposals which only hurt criminals.”

“Gun owners have supported a point-of-purchase checks for years,” said Gottlieb. “Instant checks are cheaper, more resource efficient and don’t inconvenience law-abiding gun owners. The instant check system is already on-line in 17 states and is intended to replace the waiting period for Brady next year.”

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