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Another overlooked legacy of Reagan: Gun control

Michael Collins, in his Feb. 7 op-ed "The overlooked Reagan legacy: decency," overlooked the fact that the late president was a supporter of gun control laws.

As governor of California, Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act, which prohibited the carrying of firearms on your person, in your vehicle, and in any public place or on the street, and he also signed off on a 15-day waiting period for firearm purchases. After leaving the presidency, he supported the passage of the Brady bill that established by federal law a nationwide, uniform standard of a 7-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns to enable background checks on prospective buyers. He urged then President Bush to drop his opposition to the bill.

As reported in the media, after mentioning he was a member of the NRA, President Reagan stated the following at a George Washington University ceremony on March 28, 1991, marking the 10th anniversary of his near assassination: "With the right to bear arms comes a great responsibility to use caution and common sense on handgun purchases. And it's just plain common sense that there be a waiting period to allow local law-enforcement officials to conduct background checks on those who wish to purchase handguns." Enough said.

So when politicians wrap themselves in the Reagan mantle, which President Reagan are they hugging, the lifelong NRA member, or the common sense statesman?

Jim Giza, Baltimore

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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