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Tuesday, December 7th, 2021

Sen. Blumenthal, colleagues call for end to gun background check loophole

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With the introduction of the Background Check Completion Act last week, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and more than 20 of his colleagues took a stand against a legal loophole that has allowed gun sales to move forward if a background check is not finished in 72 hours.

“No check, no sale must be the rule,” Blumenthal said. “I first introduced this bill five years ago to close the glaring loophole that allowed the Charleston shooter to walk out of a store with a gun he was already legally ineligible to buy. My Republican colleagues in the Senate have unjustifiably stalled this commonsense legislation. In those five years, thousands more dangerous people with incomplete background checks have been able to purchase weapons.”

The senators pointed to the case of Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white supremacist who used a gun so-acquired to kill nine people at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2015, as an example. Under existing law, gun sales are allowed to continue if a background check takes too long, even if the purchaser cannot legally purchase guns.

“This is a dangerous loophole in our gun laws, and we’ve seen that it leads to people acquiring firearms and killing others when they are legally prohibited from buying a gun,” U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), one of the bill’s supporters, said. “This bill is about basic common sense – anyone who wants to buy a gun should be required to complete and pass a background check, period.”

The bill has also been endorsed by groups like Everytown for Gun Safety, Newtown Action Alliance, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence.

“In the five years since nine Black Americans were murdered by a white supremacist at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, an estimated 1.4 million potential gun sales have fallen through the exact same loophole that allowed the shooter to buy a firearm without a completed background check,” John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety, said. “We applaud Senators Blumenthal, Murphy, Markey, and Feinstein for their tireless efforts to close the Charleston loophole, and urge the Senate to pass this long-overdue bill.”