Enacted November 30, 1993), often referred to as the Brady Act or the Brady Bill, is an Act of the United States Congress that mandated federal background checks on firearm purchasers in the United States, and imposed a five-day waiting period on purchases, until the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was implemented in 1998. The act was appended to the end of Section 922 of title 18, United States Code.
The original legislation was introduced into the House of Representatives by Representative Charles E. Schumer in March 1991, but was never brought to a vote. The bill was reintroduced by Rep. Schumer on February 22, 1993 and the final version was passed on November 11, 1993. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on November 30, 1993, and the law went into effect on February 28, 1994. The Act was named after James Brady, who was shot and wounded by John Hinckley Jr. during an attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981.
The law, which amends the GCA, requires that background checks be completed before a gun is purchased from a licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer. It established the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), which is maintained by the FBI.