H.R. 1025 (103rd): Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act

103rd Congress, 1993–1994. Text as of Nov 20, 1993 (Received by the Senate).

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HR 1025 RDS

103d CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1025

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

November 17 (legislative day, NOVEMBER 2), 1993

Received

November 20 (legislative day, NOVEMBER 2), 1993

Read the first time


AN ACT

To provide for a waiting period before the purchase of a handgun, and for the establishment of a national instant criminal background check system to be contacted by firearms dealers before the transfer of any firearm.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ‘Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act’.

SEC. 2. FEDERAL FIREARMS LICENSEE REQUIRED TO CONDUCT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK BEFORE TRANSFER OF FIREARM TO NONLICENSEE.

    (a) INTERIM PROVISION-

      (1) IN GENERAL- Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(s)(1) Beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this subsection and ending on the day before the date that is 60 months after such date of enactment it shall be unlawful for any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer to sell, deliver, or transfer a handgun to an individual who is not licensed under section 923, unless--

      ‘(A) after the most recent proposal of such transfer by the transferee--

        ‘(i) the transferor has--

          ‘(I) received from the transferee a statement of the transferee containing the information described in paragraph (3);

          ‘(II) verified the identity of the transferee by examining the identification document presented;

          ‘(III) within 1 day after the transferee furnishes the statement, provided notice of the contents of the statement to the chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of the transferee; and

          ‘(IV) within 1 day after the transferee furnishes the statement, transmitted a copy of the statement to the chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of the transferee; and

        ‘(ii)(I) 5 business days (as defined by days in which State offices are open) have elapsed from the date the transferor furnished notice of the contents of the statement to the chief law enforcement officer, during which period the transferor has not received information from the chief law enforcement officer that receipt or possession of the handgun by the transferee would be in violation of Federal, State, or local law; or

        ‘(II) the transferor has received notice from the chief law enforcement officer that the officer has no information indicating that receipt or possession of the handgun by the transferee would violate Federal, State, or local law;

      ‘(B) the transferee has presented to the transferor a written statement, issued by the chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of the transferee during the 10-day period ending on the date of the most recent proposal of such transfer by the transferee, stating that the transferee requires access to a handgun because of a threat to the life of the transferee or of any member of the household of the transferee;

      ‘(C)(i) the transferee has presented to the transferor a permit that--

        ‘(I) allows the transferee to possess a handgun; and

        ‘(II) was issued not more than 5 years earlier by the State in which the transfer is to take place; and

      ‘(ii) the law of the State provides that such a permit is to be issued only after an authorized government official has verified that the information available to such official does not indicate that possession of a handgun by the transferee would be in violation of the law;

      ‘(D) the law of the State requires that, before any licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer completes the transfer of a handgun to an individual who is not licensed under section 923, an authorized government official verify that the information available to such official does not indicate that possession of a handgun by the transferee would be in violation of law;

      ‘(E) the Secretary has approved the transfer under section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

      ‘(F) on application of the transferor, the Secretary has certified that compliance with subparagraph (A)(i)(III) is impracticable because--

        ‘(i) the ratio of the number of law enforcement officers of the State in which the transfer is to occur to the number of square miles of land area of the State does not exceed 0.0025;

        ‘(ii) the business premises of the transferor at which the transfer is to occur are extremely remote in relation to the chief law enforcement officer; and

        ‘(iii) there is an absence of telecommunications facilities in the geographical area in which the business premises are located.

    ‘(2) A chief law enforcement officer to whom a transferor has provided notice pursuant to paragraph (1)(A)(i)(III) shall make a reasonable effort to ascertain within 5 business days whether the transferee has a criminal record or whether there is any other legal impediment to the transferee’s receiving a handgun, including research in whatever State and local recordkeeping systems are available and in a national system designated by the Attorney General.

    ‘(3) The statement referred to in paragraph (1)(A)(i)(I) shall contain only--

      ‘(A) the name, address, and date of birth appearing on a valid identification document (as defined in section 1028(d)(1)) of the transferee containing a photograph of the transferee and a description of the identification used;

      ‘(B) a statement that transferee--

        ‘(i) is not under indictment for, and has not been convicted in any court of, a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding 1 year;

        ‘(ii) is not a fugitive from justice;

        ‘(iii) is not an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act);

        ‘(iv) has not been adjudicated as a mental defective or been committed to a mental institution;

        ‘(v) is not an alien who is illegally or unlawfully in the United States;

        ‘(vi) has not been discharged from the Armed Forces under dishonorable conditions; and

        ‘(vii) is not a person who, having been a citizen of the United States, has renounced such citizenship;

      ‘(C) the date the statement is made; and

      ‘(D) notice that the transferee intends to obtain a handgun from the transferor.

    ‘(4) Any transferor of a handgun who, after such transfer, receives a report from a chief law enforcement officer containing information that receipt or possession of the handgun by the transferee violates Federal, State, or local law shall immediately communicate all information the transferor has about the transfer and the transferee to--

      ‘(A) the chief law enforcement officer of the place of business of the transferor; and

      ‘(B) the chief law enforcement officer of the place of residence of the transferee.

    ‘(5) Any transferor who receives information, not otherwise available to the public, in a report under this subsection shall not disclose such information except to the transferee, to law enforcement authorities, or pursuant to the direction of a court of law.

    ‘(6)(A) Any transferor who sells, delivers, or otherwise transfers a handgun to a transferee shall retain the copy of the statement of the transferee with respect to the handgun transaction, and shall retain evidence that the transferor has complied with subclauses (III) and (IV) of paragraph (1)(A)(i) with respect to the statement.

    ‘(B) Unless the chief law enforcement officer to whom a statement is transmitted under paragraph (1)(A)(i)(IV) determines that a transaction would violate Federal, State, or local law--

      ‘(i) the officer shall, within 20 business days after the date the transferee made the statement on the basis of which the notice was provided, destroy the statement and any record containing information derived from the statement;

      ‘(ii) the information contained in the statement shall not be conveyed to any person except a person who has a need to know in order to carry out this subsection; and

      ‘(iii) the information contained in the statement shall not be used for any purpose other than to carry out this subsection.

    ‘(C) If a chief law enforcement officer determines that an individual is ineligible to receive a handgun and the individual requests the officer to provide the reasons for the determination, the officer shall provide such reasons to the individual within 20 business days after receipt of the request.

    ‘(7) A chief law enforcement officer or other person responsible for providing criminal history background information pursuant to this subsection shall not be liable in an action at law for damages--

      ‘(A) for failure to prevent the sale or transfer of a handgun to a person whose receipt or possession of the handgun is unlawful under this section; or

      ‘(B) for preventing such a sale or transfer to a person who may lawfully receive or possess a handgun.

    ‘(8) For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘chief law enforcement officer’ means the chief of police, the sheriff, or an equivalent officer or the designee of any such individual.

    ‘(9) The Secretary shall take necessary actions to ensure that the provisions of this subsection are published and disseminated to licensed dealers, law enforcement officials, and the public.’.

      (2) HANDGUN DEFINED- Section 921(a) of such title is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(29) The term ‘handgun’ means--

      ‘(A) a firearm which has a short stock and is designed to be held and fired by the use of a single hand; and

      ‘(B) any combination of parts from which a firearm described in subparagraph (A) can be assembled.’.

    (b) PERMANENT PROVISION- Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, as amended by subsection (a)(1) of this section, is amended by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(t)(1) Beginning on the date that is 30 days after the Attorney General notifies licencees under section 3(e) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act that the national instant criminal background check system is established, a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer shall not transfer a firearm to any other person who is not such a licensee, unless--

      ‘(A) before the completion of the transfer, the licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system established under section 3 of such Act;

      ‘(B)(i) the system provides the licensee with a unique identification number; or

      ‘(ii) 1 business day (as defined in subsection (s)(8)(B)) has elapsed since the end of the business day on which the licensee contacted the system, and the system has not notified the licensee that the receipt of the handgun by such other person would violate subsection (g) or (n) of this section or any State or local law; and

      ‘(C) the transferor has verified the identity of the transferee by examining a valid identification document (as defined in section 1028(d)(1) of this title) of the transferee containing a photograph of the transferee.

    ‘(2) Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a firearm transfer between a licensee and another person if--

      ‘(A)(i) such other person has presented to the licensee a permit that--

        ‘(I) allows such other person to possess a firearm; and

        ‘(II) was issued not more than 5 years earlier by the State in which the transfer is to take place; and

      ‘(ii) the law of the State provides that such a permit is to be issued only after an authorized government official has verified that the information available to such official does not indicate that possession of a firearm by such other person would be in violation of law;

      ‘(B) the Secretary has approved the transfer under section 5812 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or

      ‘(C) on application of the transferor, the Secretary has certified that compliance with paragraph (1)(A) is impracticable because--

        ‘(i) the ratio of the number of law enforcement officers of the State in which the transfer is to occur to the number of square miles of land area of the State does not exceed 0.0025;

        ‘(ii) the business premises of the licensee at which the transfer is to occur are extremely remote in relation to the chief law enforcement officer (as defined in subsection (s)(8)); and

        ‘(iii) there is an absence of telecommunications facilities in the geographical area in which the business premises are located.

    ‘(3) If the national instant criminal background check system notifies the licensee that the information available to the system does not demonstrate that the receipt of a firearm by such other person would violate subsection (g) or (n), and the licensee transfers a firearm to such other person, the licensee shall include in the record of the transfer the unique identification number provided by the system with respect to the transfer.

    ‘(4) In addition to the authority provided under section 923(e), if the licensee knowingly transfers a firearm to such other person and knowingly fails to comply with paragraph (1) of this subsection with respect to the transfer and, at the time such other person most recently proposed the transfer, the national instant criminal background check system was operating and information was available to the system demonstrating that receipt of a firearm by such other person would violate subsection (g) or (n) of this section, the Secretary may, after notice and opportunity for a hearing, suspend for not more than 6 months or revoke any license issued to the licensee under section 923, and may impose on the licensee a civil fine of not more than $5,000.

    ‘(5) Neither a local government nor an employee of the Federal Government or of any State or local government, responsible for providing information to the national instant criminal background check system shall be liable in an action at law for damages--

      ‘(A) for failure to prevent the sale or transfer of a handgun to a person whose receipt or possession of the handgun is unlawful under this section; or

      ‘(B) for preventing such a sale or transfer to a person who may lawfully receive or possess a handgun.’.

    (c) PENALTY- Section 924(a) of title 18, United States Code, is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (1), by striking ‘paragraph (2) or (3) of’; and

      (2) by adding at the end the following:

    ‘(5) Whoever knowingly violates subsection (s) or (t) of section 922 shall be fined not more than $1,000, imprisoned for not more than 1 year, or both.’.

SEC. 3. NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF SYSTEM- Not later than 60 months after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General of the United States shall establish a national instant criminal background check system that any licensee may contact for information on whether receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee thereof would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or any State or local law.

    (b) EXPEDITED ACTION BY THE ATTORNEY GENERAL- The Attorney General shall expedite--

      (1) the upgrading and indexing of State criminal history records in the Federal criminal records system maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

      (2) the development of hardware and software systems to link State criminal history check systems into the national instant criminal background check system established by the Attorney General pursuant to this section; and

      (3) the current revitalization initiatives by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for technologically advanced fingerprint and criminal records identification.

    (c) PROVISION OF STATE CRIMINAL RECORDS TO THE NATIONAL INSTANT CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM- Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Attorney General shall--

      (1) determine the type of computer hardware and software that will be used to operate the national instant criminal background check system and the means by which State criminal records systems will communicate with the national system, which shall be based upon the Interstate Identification Index (‘III’) unless the Attorney General finds that the III will not provide a satisfactory basis for the national instant criminal background check system;

      (2) investigate the criminal records system of each State and determine for each State a timetable by which the State should be able to provide criminal records on an on line capacity basis to the national system; and

      (3) notify each State of the determinations made pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2).

    (d) OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM-

      (1) GENERAL RULE- If a licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system with respect to a firearm transfer, the system shall, during the contact or by return contact without delay--

        (A) review available criminal history records to determine whether receipt of a firearm by the prospective transferee would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or any State or local law; and

        (B)(i) if the receipt would not be such a violation--

          (I) assign a unique identification number to the transfer;

          (II) provide the licensee with the identification number; and

          (III) immediately destroy all records of the system with respect to the contact (other than the identification number and the date the number was assigned) and all records of the system relating to the transferee or the transfer or derived therefrom; or

        (ii) if the receipt would be such a violation--

          (I) notify the licensee that the receipt would be such a violation; and

          (II) maintain the records created by the system with respect to the proposed transfer.

      (2) SPECIAL RULE- If a licensee contacts the national instant criminal background check system with respect to a firearms transfer and the system is unable to comply with paragraph (1) during the contact or by return contact without delay, then the system shall comply with paragraph (1) not later than the end of the next business day.

    (e) NOTIFICATION OF LICENSEES- On establishment of the system under this section, the Attorney General shall notify each licensee and the chief law enforcement officer of each State of the existence and purpose of the system and the means to be used to contact the system.

    (f) ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS-

      (1) AUTHORITY TO OBTAIN OFFICIAL INFORMATION- Notwithstanding any other law, the Attorney General may secure directly from any department or agency of the United States such information on persons for whom receipt of a firearm would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or any State or local law, as is necessary to enable the system to operate in accordance with this section. On request of the Attorney General, the head of such department or agency shall furnish such information to the system.

      (2) OTHER AUTHORITY- The Attorney General shall develop such computer software, design and obtain such telecommunications and computer hardware, and employ such personnel, as are necessary to establish and operate the system in accordance with this section.

    (g) CORRECTION OF ERRONEOUS SYSTEM INFORMATION- If the system established under this section informs an individual contacting the system that receipt of a firearm by a prospective transferee would violate subsection (g) or (n) of section 922 of title 18, United States Code, or any State or local law, the prospective transferee may request the Attorney General to provide the prospective transferee with the reasons therefor. Upon receipt of such a request, the Attorney General shall immediately comply with the request. The prospective transferee may submit to the Attorney General information to correct, clarify, or supplement records of the system with respect to the prospective transferee. After receipt of such information, the Attorney General shall immediately consider the information, investigate the matter further, and correct all erroneous Federal records relating to the prospective transferee and give notice of the error to any Federal department or agency or any State that was the source of such erroneous records.

    (h) REGULATIONS- After 90 days notice to the public and an opportunity for hearing by interested parties, the Attorney General shall prescribe regulations to ensure the privacy and security of the information of the system established under this section.

    (i) PROHIBITIONS RELATING TO ESTABLISHMENT OF REGISTRATION SYSTEMS WITH RESPECT TO FIREARMS- No department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States may--

      (1) require that any record or portion thereof maintained by the system established under this section be recorded at or transferred to a facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or political subdivision thereof; or

      (2) use the system established under this section to establish any system for the registration of firearms, firearm owners, or firearm transactions or dispositions, except with respect to persons prohibited by section 922 (g) or (n) of title 18, United States Code, from receiving a firearm.

    (j) DEFINITIONS- As used in this section:

      (1) LICENSEE- The term ‘licensee’ means a licensed importer, licensed manufacturer, or licensed dealer under section 923 of title 18, United States Code.

      (2) OTHER TERMS- The terms ‘firearm’, ‘licensed importer’, ‘licensed manufacturer’, and ‘licensed dealer’ have the meanings stated in section 921(a) (3), (9), (10), and (11), respectively, of title 18, United States Code.

SEC. 4. REMEDY FOR ERRONEOUS DENIAL OF HANDGUN.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, is amended by inserting after section 925 the following:

‘Sec. 925A. Remedy for erroneous denial of handgun

    ‘Any person who is denied a handgun pursuant to section 922(s) of this title due to the provision of erroneous information relating to the person by any State or political subdivision thereof, or by the national instant criminal background check system established under section 3(a) of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, and who has exhausted the administrative remedies available for the correction of such erroneous information, may bring an action against any official of the State or political subdivision responsible for providing the erroneous information, or against the United States, as the case may be, for an order directing that the erroneous information be corrected. In any action under this section, the court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.’.

    (b) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections for such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 925 the following:

      ‘925A. Remedy for erroneous denial of handgun.’.

SEC. 5. FUNDING FOR IMPROVEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS.

    (a) USE OF FORMULA GRANTS- Section 509(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3759(b)) is amended--

      (1) in paragraph (2) by striking ‘and’ after the semicolon;

      (2) in paragraph (3) by striking the period and inserting ‘; and’; and

      (3) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

      ‘(4) the improvement of State record systems and the sharing with the Attorney General of all of the records described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of this subsection and the records required by the Attorney General under section 3 of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, for the purpose of implementing such Act.’.

    (b) ADDITIONAL FUNDING-

      (1) GRANTS FOR THE IMPROVEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORDS- The Attorney General, through the Bureau of Justice Statistics, shall, subject to appropriations and with preference to States that as of the date of enactment of this Act have the lowest percent currency of case dispositions in computerized criminal history files, make a grant to each State to be used--

        (A) for the creation of a computerized criminal history record system or improvement of an existing system;

        (B) to improve accessibility to the national instant criminal background system; and

        (C) upon establishment of the national system, to assist the State in the transmittal of criminal records to the national system.

      (2) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated for grants under paragraph (1) a total of $100,000,000 for fiscal year 1992 and all fiscal years thereafter.

Passed the House of Representatives November 10, 1993.

Attest:

DONNALD K. ANDERSON,

Clerk.