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Brady Act Information

The Brady Act is a federal law that regulates firearms purchases nationwide.  Named for Press Secretary Jim Brady, who sustained a gunshot wound to the head during an assassination attempt of President Reagan, the core of the Act is to impose up to a 3-day waiting period for gun purchases while a criminal records check is conducted. Persons with firearms “disabilities” will not be allowed to purchase a handgun at all.  In fact, the Brady Act criminalizes selling, possessing, shipping, receiving, transporting or transferring firearms for persons with firearms disabilities.  The Brady Act firearms disabilities include:

  • felons
  • persons under indictment for, or charged with a felony
  • fugitives from justice
  • unlawful drug users or addicts of controlled substances
  • persons adjudicated mental defectives or involuntarily committed to mental institutions
  • aliens illegally or unlawfully in the U.S.
  • persons who have renounced their U.S. citizenship
  • persons under a domestic victim protective order
  • persons convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence

Other Brady facts:

Oklahoma Self-Defense Act licenses issued between May 16, 1996 and November 30, 1998 qualify as an alternative to conducting a Brady Act check when purchasing a weapon.

Under Oklahoma law, any completed deferred sentence for a domestic violence crime or felony is NOT a conviction.

If an individual is ineligible to possess a firearm under the Brady Act, he or she is also ineligible to obtain an Oklahoma Self-Defense Act license. Anyone who has already obtained a license and becomes ineligible to possess a firearm will be subject to a license suspension or revocation by the OSBI. Remember, the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act regulates only the ability of individuals to carry concealed handguns; the Self-Defense Act is irrelevant to long guns.

In Oklahoma, Federal Firearms Licensees conduct record checks for Brady purposes at the time of the firearms sale by contacting the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Insta-Check System (NICS). This database is not available to the public.

There are federal regulations issued by the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) who, together, implement the Brady Act.

Generally, ATF issued definitions for the act and has the responsibility to regulate the act and investigate reported violations, while the FBI has provided the NICS databases and handles appeals to actions taken by the NICS staff as to the existence of “firearms disabilities”.

As federal crimes, violations of the Brady Act must be prosecuted in federal court by a U. S. Attorney’s Office.

For more information on the Internet, contact The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, The Federal Bureau of Investigation or call the regional office of those agencies in your area.


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