Posted June 28, 1997
RALEIGH — The Supreme Court opened a hole in the Brady gun-control law Friday. However, the ruling will have no effect in North Carolina.
The highest court in the land says that Congress overstepped its bounds when it required the nation's police to do background checks on handgun buyers, as stated in the Brady law.
However, since 1995, North Carolina state law has required criminal history checks for people buying pistols. Police officers, like Sergeant Jeff Winstead of the N.C. Highway Patrol, seem to like the idea.
Kim McCaskill supports the state's background checks. She believes that even though the system may not be perfect, it's better than nothing.
The decision came in a 5-4 vote of the court's nine members. Some people believe the justices have lost touch with the country's problems, and they point to the Brady decision as evidence. What problems? Barbara Barnett of Raleigh says that the justices should just look down the street.
Some folks say that background checks mean little. Many believe that the checks only add up to more paperwork for law-abiding citizens. They say that criminals will find a way to get guns, regardless of the laws that govern them.
State and local officials can still voluntarily do background checks. 26 states besides North Carolina already require them.