James and Sarah Brady
Sixty days after becoming White House press secretary in 1981, James Brady was shot by John Hinckley Jr. during an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. Since leaving the White House, he has worked to prevent handgun violence with his wife, Sarah, chair of Handgun Control, Inc., the nation’s largest citizens’ gun control lobbying organization. In 1993, President Clinton signed the “Brady Bill” into law, which requires a five-day wait and background check on all handgun purchases through licensed dealers. The law has prevented hundreds of thousands of previously convicted felons and mentally ill people from purchasing guns.