WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – Representative James Clyburn (D-SC) on Thursday reintroduced the Enhanced Background Checks Act as Democrats push for stronger gun laws across the country following a school shooting in Nashville, Tennessee.
The legislation was introduced in response to the 2015 Charleston Church shooting, during which a racist gunman shot nine members of Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME Church during bible study. It would close what became known as the “Charleston Loophole,” which permits sales of firearms without a background check if the FBI does not complete the background check within three business days.
Despite being prohibited from buying a gun due to a history of drug abuse, the Charleston Church shooter was able to legally purchase a firearm because the FBI did not complete the background check in time.
“In 2021 alone, more than 5,200 guns were sold to individuals with disqualifying circumstances such as felony and domestic violence convictions” due to the loophole, according to Rep. Clyburn.
The Enhanced Background Checks Act would give the FBI 10 days to complete the background check. If the background check is not completed in 10 days, the purchaser would be able to request an escalated review, which triggers another 10-day waiting period. If the check is still not completed after 20 business days, the dealer would be allowed to sell the gun to the purchaser.
“Americans should be able to worship, attend school, and thrive in their communities without fear of gun violence. This legislation presents a significant step forward in our efforts to address the ongoing epidemic by helping to ensure these dangerous weapons do not fall into the wrong hands. I urge my Republican colleagues to join us in advancing this effort and urge Speaker McCarthy to bring this bill to the House Floor for a vote,” Rep. Clyburn said.
Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the Senate’s version of the bill.