POLI: Hooray for the 10th Amendment

Michael Lorrey (retroman@tpk.net)
Mon, 30 Jun 1997 15:07:59 -0400

Concluding their 1997 term, the Supreme Court Justices ruled 5-4 in
favor of states rights proponents and against the Federal Brady Law.
They ruled that federal law cannot commandeer the resources and time of
state officials without compensation to administer the requirements of
federal regulation. It is a usurpation of states 10th Amendment rights.

The next legal challenge to the Brady Law will be on its effectiveness.
There is a class action lawsuit brewing based on the findings of the
GAO's report on the effectiveness of the Brady Law in deterring
criminals from purchasing guns. Given the the government's own report
found that tens of thousands of citizens legally entitled to purchase
guns have been denied their rights due to faulty administration of the
Brady requirements, and only 7 criminals have actually been prosecuted
under the law, the suit seeks to have the court declare that the social
benefits of the law are vastly outwieghed by the violations of citizens
constitutional rights under the law. They have specific instances of
citizens being denied the right to purchase handguns based on false or
incorrectly applied information, who then went on to become victims of
violent crime that they had been seeking to protect themselves from
(typically battered women seeking to protect themselves from boyfreinds
or husbands who have violated restraining orders).

Given that state and local officials will no longer be administrating
the law, the feds are now forced to move forward with the InstaCheck
program, which is a nationwide database of criminals who are barred from
purchasing guns. Up to now, the Clinton administration has been stalling
the implementation of this program for political reasons, even though
they had committed themselves to full implementation of it by 1998 under
amendments to the Brady Bill that the NRA had pushed and the White House
agreed to.

What remains is that a watchdog organization be given oversight to the
Instacheck program to ensure that this system is not used to collect
information on the gun buying habits of law abiding citizens. Right now
the instpector general and the GAO both share in this responsibility.
Lets hope that this is not abused.

			Michael Lorrey
mailto:retroman@tpk.net		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
Agent Lorrey@ThePentagon.com
Silo_1013@ThePentagon.com	http://www.tpk.net/~retroman/

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