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

“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

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.”