CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - The U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2019” on Thursday morning otherwise known as the “Charleston loophole” legislation.
“Today, members of the House of Representatives addressed those who have lost loved ones due to gun violence not just with thoughts and prayers, but with action,” said Rep. Joe Cunningham. “It is long past time we closed the Charleston loophole and gave law enforcement the time necessary to make sure dangerous people don’t end up with deadly weapons they are prohibited from obtaining. I am incredibly proud we passed this common sense, bipartisan legislation and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to do the same.”
Rep. Joe Cunningham and Rep. Jim Clyburn had been pushing the bill hard both here in the Lowcountry and in Washington. The bill calls for the extension of a federal background check in order to buy a gun from three days to 10 days.
The bill received its name because the lack of time to properly run a background check is why Emanuel AME shooter Dylann Roof was able to buy his gun despite a February 2015 arrest which would have prevented him from doing so.
On Wednesday, the House passed H.R. 8, which requires a background check on every gun sale or transfer with careful exceptions for gifts to family members, hunting, target shooting, and self-defense.
Opponents of the gun said the bill places an unnecessary burden on buyers and could prevent law-abiding citizens from getting a firearm.
“It shouldn’t be a controversial bill, what we’re doing is telling law enforcement to add time to do their job,” said Cunningham.
The bill passed Thursday now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate.