CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- President Joe Biden says the nation is taking a step forward in ending gun violence.
The state of South Carolina plays a unique role when it comes to this issue. Nearly 6 years ago, on April 11th, Dylann Roof was able to purchase the gun he used to murder 9 people at Mother Emanuel Church.
“My people here, I’ve spent time down in that church in Charleston,” says President Biden, “what happened is, someone was allowed to get the gun used to kill those innocent people.”
‘The Charleston Loophole is a term coined after the Mother Emanuel tragedy. It refers to the flaw in the current background check system that allows someone to purchase a firearm if the FBI doesn’t complete their background check in 3 days.
Chris Singleton lost his mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton in that tragedy.
“The worst of the worst had happened to me and my family,” he says. “I thought there was no way I could forgive my mother’s killer. I didn’t even know why she was murdered…and I said I forgive him.”
Lawmakers believe her life could have been saved if this loophole didn’t exist. Congressman Jim Clyburn has been fighting to close this gap for years and just recently filed another piece of legislation that passed in the House.
“We are stepping out from the shadows of the past and beginning to lay the groundwork for a more just future,” says Clyburn.
President Biden says he is cracking down on gun violence in other areas including:
- Stopping the proliferation of ghost guns
- Regulating pistols modified with a stabilizing brace
- Helping states adopt red flag laws
- Supporting community violence interventions
“Enough prayers. It’s time for some action,” says Biden. “I’ve said before, my job and the job of any president is keep the American people safe from gun violence.”
The legislation to close the Charleston Loophole would extend the deadline for the FBI to conduct background checks from 3 days to 10 days. It will next face a Senate vote.