Rule for H.R. 7: Gun Control Legislation
May 7, 1991
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The House Rules committee heard testimony on rules concerning the debate of gun control measures in the House of Representatives. Two gun control bills are scheduled to be debated by the House on May 8: H.R. 7, the .. Read More
The House Rules committee heard testimony on rules concerning the debate of gun control measures in the House of Representatives. Two gun control bills are scheduled to be debated by the House on May 8: H.R. 7, the “Brady bill,” and an alternative gun control measure proposed by Rep. Staggers of West Virginia. The “Brady bill” would mandate a seven day waiting period for the purchase of a handgun, during which time the police would be able to conduct a background search on potential purchasers for evidence of criminal behavior or mental instability. The police would be able to block the sale of the weapon during the seven day waiting period. Under the alternative proposal, known as the “Staggers amendment,” a computer network would be established that would provide a point of sale check to see if the purchaser was on a list of people barred by Federal law from purchasing a handgun. Witnesses testified to the advantages and disadvantages of each amendment’s gun control measures. Gun control proponents, including former president Ronald Reagan and his former press secretary for whom the bill is named, James Brady, endorse the “Brady bill” on the grounds that the mandatory delay would prevent many impulsive gun purchases. They also believe the national computer network of the Staggers amendment would be impractical. The National Rifle Association and other opponents of gun control support the Staggers amendment because it requires a background check whereas the Brady bill does not. The committee voted to allow the Staggers amendment to be substituted for the Brady bill for consideration by the House of Representatives on Wednesday. Passage of the Staggers amendment would effectively eliminate the Brady bill from passage by the House during the current congressional session.