11/30/99 GOA Accuses Clinton Of Blowing Smoke On Brady Law

GOA Accuses President Of Blowing Smoke On Gun Law’s Anniversary
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Pl., Ste. 102,
Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: (703) 321-8585   Fax: (703) 321-8408

Contact: Crystal Carpenter 703-321-8585
November 30, 1999

(Springfield, VA) — Gun Owners of America today accused the President of completely distorting the facts on the six-year anniversary of the Brady gun law.

“The President claims that background checks have stopped over 470,000 criminals from getting guns,” said GOA spokesman John Velleco. “But when one looks through the smoke and gets behind the mirrors, one sees that their claims simply evaporate into thin air.

“The General Accounting Office has found that almost 50% of denials under the Brady Law were erroneous. The agency found that citizens were being denied for traffic violations or administrative snafus– things like sending paperwork to the wrong department.

“In 1998, the Indianapolis Star and News reported that the U.S. Department of Justice had over-stated the number of people who were denied firearms in Indiana alone by more than 1,300%. Indiana was not an aberration, as the newspaper found that “paperwork errors and duplications inflated the [DOJ’s] numbers” in many states.

“How can the President throw these numbers around with a straight face?” Velleco asked.

“Moreover, the Brady law has resulted in less than ten people being sent to jail. The fact is, even the real criminals who are initially denied at a gun store are not arrested. Obviously, that means they’re still free to get a gun on the streets. How can the President claim they’ve been denied a firearm?

“Benjamin Smith’s shooting spree this past July is indicative of this hole in the President’s numbers. Benjamin Smith is just one of those 470,000 who were supposedly denied a firearm. He was rejected when he tried to buy a firearm from an Illinois gun dealer. His past raised a red flag, and authorities denied him the firearm. But after this initial rejection, he hit the streets and in just three days had two handguns from an illegal source. Three days after getting the guns, Smith went on a rampage that killed two people and wounded nine others.

“The truth of the matter is that all the millions of dollars that have been poured into conducting background checks in this country cannot stop– and have not stopped– the Benjamin Smiths of the world from getting guns,” Velleco said.

“Why should we leave a law on the books that penalizes honest citizens, but rarely punishes criminals?”