Panel discussion on gun laws to close the Charleston Loophole

Local News

Charleston, SC (WCBD)- On Saturday, a conversation on efforts to strengthen America’s gun laws, made its way to the Lowcountry with a focus on closing the Charleston loophole.

It’s the loophole in the process of gun sale that is at the forefront of congressional gun law discussion.

U.S. Representative Joe Cunningham (D-SC 1st District) says “Right now you are allowed 3 days to complete a background check, if a store is selling a firearm. If that background check is not complete in three days (by the NCIS), then the gun is sold by default”

Representative Joe Cunningham says that the H.R. 1112 bill would close the Charleston loophole by allowing more time for federal background checks to be processed.

He says, “This bill simply just allows law enforcement adequate time to do their job. We just don’t want to arm criminals or arm people who are mentally ill. We want to keep firearms out of the arms of felons and those who are mentally ill.”

The panel, made up of national organizations like Gifford’s gun violence prevention and March for our Lives and local representatives, answered questions from attendees and shared personal stories of the effects of gun violence.

J.A. Moore, SC District 15 Representative spoke about losing his sister in the Charleston shooting at Mother Emanuel AME church in 2015.

Rep. Joe Cunningham says that the bill to close the Charleston loophole has bipartisan support in the House.

He says, “It’s a bipartisan bill, Democrats & Republicans. It’s a common-sense bill. It’s a pragmatic solution to close the Charleston loophole.”

Locally, not all are in favor of strengthening gun legislation. I spoke to an NRA member & owner of ATP Gun Shop & Range in Summerville & he says to strengthen gun laws is to infringe on 2nd amendment rights.

Arlyn Pendergast, Owner of ATP Gun Shop says, “It says it shall not be infringed, this is beginning to definitely get on infringe. The second amendment was for personal protection to guard the nation and to keep our government in line. Governments that have removed or prevented the population from having guns have become dictators.”

Rep. Joe Cunningham says that the H.R. 1112 bill to close the Charleston Loophole will be passed next week in the House and then move on to the Senate.

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