Georgia Passes NRA-Backed Gun Bill

STATE legislators in Georgia passed a gun control bill backed by the National Rifle Association that replaces the more stringent federal Brady law.

The bill, which passed the Senate 34 to 21 Tuesday, eliminates the five-day waiting period required by the Brady law and imposes an instant background check on all handgun purchases.

Gov. Zell Miller (D) has pledged to sign the bill into law.

The Brady law, which went into effect in 1993, requires the five-day waiting period to allow background checks by law enforcement agencies. The federal law is named after former presidential press secretary James Brady, who was wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.

The Brady law doesn't apply in states and communities that have local laws requiring at least background checks.

''We wanted to get Georgians out from under the provisions of the Brady Bill and that's what this does,'' said Bill Davis of the Georgia Sport Shooting Association, the NRA's affiliate in Georgia.

State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver (D) of Decatur, called the Senate's vote ''tragic.''

''This is just an example of a political body that's simply not in tune with how individual citizens feel and react to issues of gun violence,'' she said.

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