Tuesday, November 30, 1993 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Clinton Signs Brady Bill


WASHINGTON - With a declaration that it was "step one in taking our streets back," President Clinton today signed into law the long-fought Brady bill to control the sale of handguns.

The law requires a five-day waiting period and background check on handgun buyers and will take effect in 90 days.

"America won this battle," Clinton told 200 people at the White House. "Americans are finally fed up with violence that cuts down another citizen with gunfire every 20 minutes. We know that this bill will make a difference."

Clinton emotionally recounted an incident in Arkansas where a friend of his sold a gun to a man who had escaped from a mental institution. The man shot and killed six people.

"Don't tell me this bill won't make a difference," he said. "It is not true."

In the audience for the signing were Jim and Sarah Brady. Jim Brady was severely wounded 11 years ago during an assassination attempt on former President Ronald Reagan, leading the couple to become chief proponents of the bill that carries their name.

Jim Brady, Reagan's former press secretary, said the bill would bring "the end of unchecked madness."

"Twelve years ago, my life was changed forever by a disturbed young man with a gun," Brady said. "Until that time, I had not thought about gun control or the need for gun control. Maybe if I had done so, I wouldn't be stuck with these damn wheels."

Brady has used a wheelchair since the shooting.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


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