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Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington
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Secret Service agent Timothy J. McCarthy, foreground, Washington police officer, Thomas K. Delahanty, center, and presidential press secretary James Brady, background, lie wounded on a street outside a Washington hotel after shots were fired at President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. (Credit: AP / Ron Edmonds)

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James Brady through the years

James Brady undertook a personal crusade for gun control after being shot during the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. A federal law requiring a background check on handgun buyers bears Brady's name. Although Brady returned to the White House only briefly, he was allowed to keep the title of presidential press secretary and his White House salary until Reagan left office in January 1989.

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