CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Rep. Joe Cunningham and Rep. Jim Clyburn held a press conference inside Emanuel AME church to voice support for their bill to close the so-called Charleston loophole on Thursday.
The official name of the bill the pair is co-sponsoring in the House of Representatives is the “Enhanced Background Check Act of 2019″ which calls for the extension of a federal background check in order to buy a gun from three days to 10 days.
“We’re not saying we want to eliminate it,” Clyburn said. “We’re just saying we want to extend it and provide sufficient time.”
The current three-day background check system is the reason Dylann Roof was able to obtain the gun he used to kill nine people inside the Emanuel AME church in 2015.
“It’s a bill that has garnered bipartisan support,” Cunningham said. "These are Democrats and Republicans coming together seeking something that will make a difference.
Other Lowcountry leaders such as Charleston mayor John Tecklenburg, former mayor Joe Riley and Emanuel AME minister Rev. Eric Manning were also in attendance.
“There is no reason to have a hasty process to determine if someone is eligible to own a gun or that someone is ineligible because of their criminal record,” Riley said. “This is a gun owner’s bill it doesn’t prevent anyone from owning a gun. It just says that we’re not going to be hasty.”