Handgun control activist Sarah Brady on Monday urged Florida voters to approve a constitutional amendment requiring a three-day waiting period for the sale of handguns. Voters will decide Nov. 6 whether they want to add the provision to the state Constitution, which would make Florida the first state with a constitutionally mandated waiting period.
Mrs. Brady, the wife of former presidential press secretary James Brady, has campaigned for stricter gun control laws since her husband was critically wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Reagan.
"Since Jim was shot, there have been over 20,000 people murdered here in the United States and millions are wounded like Jim," she said.
Mrs. Brady also announced a television ad for the amendment that features her husband giving a "thumbs up on Proposition Two."
Supporters of Amendment Two said the provision would block the sale of handguns to angry or depressed people. And with the immediate background check on handgun purchases the Florida Department of Law Enforcement should have in place next year, the amendment would also help limit exportation of weapons, they said.
"You can stop the cash-and-carry sale of handguns here in Florida," Mrs. Brady said. "You can help prevent murder and suicides that are committed either in the heat of passion or in the depths of depression. You can make Florida a safer place to live."
About half the states already have waiting periods, she said, and the amendment does nothing "to stop the law-abiding citizen from purchasing or owning a handgun."
Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, who also attended the news conference, said the amendment would send a message to other states where "Florida is known as a gun-happy state."