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Hypocrite In Action
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune Information Services. Published in the Arizona Republic.

Sarah Brady skirted gun laws in buying son's rifle

New York Daily News
March 22, 2002 08:15:00


WASHINGTON - Gun-control advocate Sarah Brady bought her son a powerful rifle for Christmas in 2000 - and may have skirted Delaware state background-check requirements, the New York Daily News has learned.

Brady reveals in a new memoir that she bought James Brady Jr. a Remington .30-06, complete with scope and safety lock, at a Lewes, Del., gun shop.

"I can't describe how I felt when I picked up that rifle, loaded it into my little car and drove home," she writes. "It seemed so incredibly strange: Sarah Brady, of all people, packing heat."

Brady became a household name as a crusader for stricter gun-control laws after her husband, James, then the White House press secretary, was seriously wounded in a 1981 assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan.

Brady writes in "A Good Fight" that the unnamed gun shop ran federal Brady Law and Delaware state background checks with great fanfare.

The book suggests that she did not have her son checked, as required by Delaware state law.

"(W)hen the owner called in the checks, it seemed to me he spoke unnecessarily loudly, repeating and spelling my name over and over on the phone," Brady writes.

Amy Stillwell, a spokeswoman for The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said the federal Brady Law does not require background checks for intrafamily gun gifts.

Stillwell said she did not know whether her son was checked under the state law. The Delaware Department of Justice says the state does not have an exemption for family gifts.

"Scott is not a convicted felon, and he is not prohibited from owning a gun," Stillwell said. "Scott Brady could walk into a store and buy a - he is not a prohibited purchaser."

Delaware Justice Department spokeswoman Lori Sitler said the purchase could be illegal under state law if Brady did not also say who she was buying the gun for and submit his "name, rank and serial number" for a full check.

"You can't purchase a gun for someone else," Sitler said yesterday. "That would be a 'straw purchase.' You've got a problem right there."

Anti-gun control advocates were surprised to hear of Brady's foray into their world.

"We hope that it's innocuous and there's been no laws violated," said James Jay Baker, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association. "It's obviously interesting that Sarah would be purchasing firearms of any kind for anybody, given her championing of restrictive guns laws for everyone."


(c) 2002, New York Daily News.

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