Brady Bill Law & Legal Definition


The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act is informally known as Brady bill. It is a federal statute signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 30, 1993. It went into effect on February 28, 1994. The Act establishes a national system for quickly checking the background of a prospective handgun purchaser. The law's interim provision requiring chief state law-enforcement officers like sheriffs to conduct background checks until the national system was in place was held unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional. The Act is named after James Brady, who was shot by John Hinckley, Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. Brady bill is also referred to as Brady Act.