What is the Brady Act?

In 1994, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act became effective. This federal law was named in honor of former Press Secretary, James Brady to President Ronald Regan who was shot on March 30, 1981 during an attempted assassination by John Hinckley, Jr. The Act requires background checks on individuals prior to the purchase of a firearm, unless an exception applies. The Act also limits who is allowed to ship or transport any firearm in interstate or foreign commerce. For example, if you are a fugitive from justice you are prohibited from shipping, transporting or possessing a firearm which affects commerce.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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