Brady Act and the Lautenberg Amendment is costing lives
By Tim Inwood
On November 15th I was interviewed by Eric Flack of
Channel 5 news in Cincinnati. In the course of preparing for his biased news report, he asked me a tired
“Wouldn’t it be worth
it if it saves one life to extend background checks to
all gun sales ?”
The question was pertaining to
forcing all gun sales to go through a Brady background
check at the gun shows nationwide. I had to roll my
eyes as the question was asked. Fact is that the Brady
Act has gotten many innocent people killed.
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Prior to the Brady Act taking effect it, the disaster
to be was illustrated by Gun Owners of America. They
showed that waiting periods were already getting
people killed. GOA mentioned two specific cases prior
to Brady becoming a national law, one showing a woman
buying a gun a defending herself with in days of the
- Lance Corporal Rayna Ross of Virginia bought a
handgun to protect her child and herself from a
stalker in 1993. Three days later, the predator
entered her home in the middle of the night and
attacked Ms. Ross with a bayonet. She shot and killed
the attacker in what was ruled a justifiable homicide
by the local prosecutor.
Fortunately for Ms. Ross, she did not live in a state
that required a mandatory five day waiting period. The
incident most certainly would have ended differently.
They also spoke of desperate residents of Los Angeles
wanting a gun for defense during the riots of 1992.
Many people died and many homes and business
establishments were burned to the ground as the owners
could do nothing but run from the mob.
- Residents of Los Angeles were forced to wait 15 days
during the 1992 riots before they could legally buy
firearms for protection, in spite of the fact that
police were admitting they could not protect them.”
GOA then told the sad story of Bonnie Elmasri, killed
while waiting for her gun.
- In 1991, Bonnie Elmasri of Wisconsin tried to
purchase a handgun to protect herself from her
estranged husband, but he returned home and killed her
and her two children before the 48 hour waiting period
required by State law had expired.
Yet the media was not interested in talking about
these points. The Brady Act was pushed through the
Democrat run Congress with ease and was signed with
great fanfare by Bill Clinton.
The original waiting period that came with the Brady
Act in 1993 caused many to die as they waited for
their approval to come through. Most of the victims
were women who had restraining orders against
ex-husbands, deranged boyfriends or stalkers. There is
a famous editorial cartoon that shows a dead woman
laying in a disheveled room with a phone in her hand.
The voice on the phone was telling her the approval
for her gun purchase had just come through. Sadly, the
cartoon spoke the truth. Many Americans died while
waiting for approval on their gun purchase. This is a
story the media has no interest in telling.
Since the instant check, this has been less a
problem, but the Brady act itself has still caused
death. The number of people disabled from getting a
gun increased dramatically when the Lautenberg
Amendment passed in 1996. You see, if you were ever
accused of a violent act, even if only a misdemeanor,
then you were considered Brady ineligible. In other
words: no gun. Sadly, many American citizens were
denied their ability to own a gun. If you took a gun
to a gun shop and put it up for consignment sale to
get it back, though you own it, you had to pass a
background check. So imagine you are veteran, and
during your service to the country you were in a bar
in a foreign nation and a fight breaks out. The
Military Police come and arrest everyone who was in
the establishment. You were not a part of the fight
but were caught in the round up afterwards and
processed. Now decades you go to buy a gun and are
told no because of that incident years ago. Sadly,
something like that has happened to thousands who
served their country.
In recent weeks one incident came to the front of
the media - the shooting death of Sean Taylor of the
Washington Redskins. Taylor had a checkered past with
numerous problems with the law off the football field.
Theses incidents made him Brady ineligible.
Eight days prior to his getting shot someone tried
to break into the football player’s home. Taylor took
to keeping a machete next to the bed. The night his
home was broken into, he learned the hard way why one
does not bring a knife to a gunfight. The housebreaker
had a pistol and Taylor, with his machete, was no
match. The thug shot him in the leg and he died a day
later of the wound. Now friends, say what you will of
this 24 year-old's past, but was there a danger that he
would get a gun and rob a bank or some other crime?
Probably not, he was, after all, a multi-millionaire.
However, one thing is certain, his inability to own a
gun to defend his Florida mansion lead to his early
On a note closer to home is the case of a childhood
friend of mine who lives in Guernsey County, Ohio, where
incompetence reigns. The young lady is still alive, but
I fear for her future. Connie grew up across the
street from me and was a good friend. However, her
adult life is now a bit of a mess. Divorced with
children, she met a man whom she thought would be the
man of her dreams. However, he turned out to be a
nightmare. They had a child together and it was after
the birth of her daughter that this man’s dark side
emerged. He beat her and abused the children. She
naturally threw him out and he has made her life a
living hell as best he can. One thing he did was
actually hurt himself, knocking out one of his own
teeth and then telling the police that she struck him
in the face, knocking the tooth out. She told the
police this was a lie, but she was charged with assault
anyways. He has also accused her of trying to kill him
with a can of hairspray… Now she has a CPO “Court
Protective Order” against her. She and I fear he did
this to make sure that she could not buy a gun to
defend herself. Now she has had incidents happen
around her home and she is afraid. However, she can’t
legally buy a gun for defense and no one can legally
procure one for her without breaking the law.
She recently wrote this to me:
months and months I have been trying to get a job.
Having a CPO against me has not only taken away my
defenses, but no one wants an employee that may have
problems at the work place.
Also, the other day my ex-husband accidentally ran
over our cat....it broke her hip, but didn't kill her.
At 9:30 at night I had to call a neighbor to put her
down......because I cannot own a firearm.
Being Brady disqualified because of a crazy accusation
is not American. I
fear for my life and the lives of my kids that will
undoubtedly try to defend me
if he were to break into this house. I mean come
on....he filed for the CPO 2 years after he said this
alleged attempted murder (with hairspray....LOL)
happened. I showed the court the pictures of the
bathroom, with a shower and
windows, yet he won this judgment and has ruined my
I fear this deranged maniac might well kill her, but
what can be done? The law stands in the way of her
If she does what Catherine Latta did, she will go to
jail. Yet, what Latta did saved her life:
September of 1990 Latta went to the police in
Charlotte N.C. to get permission to purchase a handgun.
Her ex-boyfriend had threatened her, and since he had
already beaten and raped her she had no doubt of what
he was capable of. The police informed her it would
take two weeks to a month for the permit to come
through. So Ms. Latta did what she had to do. She
illegally procured a small pistol. Five hours later he
ex-boyfriend attacked her and she shot him. The man
died. Now I don’t condone breaking the law, but when
the law is insane and can get you killed, you do what
you have to do. Had this woman not made this illegal
purchase, she would be dead today. Luckily, the
prosecutor did not go after Ms. Latta.
Sadly, the cases of disarmed citizens I speak of are
not unique. Many good folks are Brady ineligible, and
many of them have been the victim of crimes due to the
fact they are denied the ability to own a gun for
their defense. Sometimes they pay the ultimate price
that such gun laws stand in our country.
So the next time you see Sarah Brady smugly claim the
law named for her husband Jim has stopped a million
criminals from getting a gun, remember this: That is a
lie. Their law has kept guns out of the hands of some
criminals, yes, I concede that. But it has also denied
the right of many good folks the ability to keep a gun
for their self-defense, and may well get my friend
Tim Inwood is the current Legislative Liaison and Past
President of the Clinton County Farmers and Sportsmen
Association, an Endowment Member of the NRA, Life
Member of OGCA, and a volunteer for Buckeye Firearms