THE Brady Law's five-day waiting period for handgun purchases takes effect in a week, and confusion abounds among gun dealers and law-enforcement officials preparing for paperwork and background checks.
Even the federal official in charge of implementing the law expects preparations to go down to the wire.
``In a lot of places, it's going to be a photo finish,'' said Robert Creighton of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.
ATF spokesman Jack Killorin said all federally licensed gun dealers should receive in the next few days a package with a copy of the form ATF expects gun dealers to use to report a handgun buyer's name and date of birth.
Mr. Creighton said the biggest issues will be making sure the chief law-enforcement officers (CLEOs) designated to do background checks know they are the designees, letting gun dealers know where to send the Brady forms.
The CLEO has five days after receiving notice of a prospective gun sale to conduct the background check. The purchase can be stopped if the buyer is found to be a felon or charged with a felony, a fugitive, an illegal alien, a drug user or addict, an adjudicated mental incompetent, or someone dishonorably discharged from the armed forces. If no move is made to stop the sale in five days, the dealer can sell the gun. Clintons take on television ads
ACROSS the country - from Las Vegas to Edison, N.J. - the Clinton administration is lashing out at advertisements criticizing its health-care plan, pointing out they involve actors, not real people, who are delivering simplistic, frightening slogans.
Slamming the advertisements - particularly the so-called ``Harry and Louise'' spots paid for by the Health Insurance Association of America - has been a constant theme in the recent health-care campaigns of President Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The message from these ads is simple: The Clinton plan will eliminate choice and create huge government bureaucracies.
The Clinton plan, on the other hand, is complex. Few people fully understand it. In response, the administration aims to keep its own appeals simple.
``We want guaranteed private insurance for every American. We want preventive and primary care in that insurance package to save money over the long run. We want to protect the choices that people have,'' the president said in Edison.
These are the kind of broad principles administration officials now say they will focus on, and in a way, they are the closest thing the administration has to advertising slogans.