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Archive for Friday, April 8, 1994

BRADY BILL

April 8, 1994

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A Hoyt man was arrested and charged Thursday in federal court after he allegedly falsified information while trying to purchase a handgun at a Lawrence pawn shop.

A recently enacted federal gun-control law made its first major mark on Lawrence Thursday.

Michael F. Moorhead, a 46-year-old Hoyt man, was arrested and charged Thursday after he allegedly falsified a purchase form while attempting to buy a handgun March 28 at Jayhawk Pawn and Jewelry, 1804 W. Sixth.

Moorhead allegedly violated provisions of the Brady Bill, a federal law requiring a five-day waiting period and a record check before any person can purchase and obtain a handgun.

The bill is designed to keep handguns out of the hands of convicted felons and anyone under indictment in any court for a crime punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

Chris Watney, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Wichita, said Moorhead stated on a purchase form that he was not under indictment for a serious crime.

The purchase form was sent to the sheriff's office in Moorhead's home county, Jackson County, for verification. Watney said sheriff's officers checked Moorhead's background and discovered that he had been indicted by a federal grand jury on Jan. 5 and was awaiting trial for possessing more than 1,000 marijuana plants with the intent to distribute them.

Watney said Moorhead was charged with making false statements while attempting to purchase the handgun and purchasing a rifle and possessing a firearm while under indictment in a federal drug case.

If convicted, she said, Moorhead faces a maximum of 10 years in federal prison, without parole, and a $250,000 fine on each of the three counts he faces. A detention hearing for Moorhead, who is in the custody of the U.S. Marshals service, is scheduled to be held this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Topeka.

Local authorities said Moorhead's arrest was the first locally on a Brady Bill violation. Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson said deputies here have checked 95 purchase forms since the Brady Bill went into effect. Five purchases were denied, Anderson said, after local authorities discovered the prospective buyer had a criminal background.

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