Three senators, including two from Connecticut, announced bill to close a loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours.
Sens. Richard Blumenthal, Chris Murphy and Dianne Feinstein of California introduced "The Background Check Completion Act" on Thursday.
They said during a background check, the FBI determines whether or not a person can legally buy a gun. If the check is not completed in 72 hours, a gun dealer can still complete the sale.
The senators said the gap in the existing law has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited buyers, including the sale of a firearm to Dylan Roof, the man who killed nine people at a church in South Carolina last year.
“'No check, no sale' must be the rule," Blumenthal said. "When Dylann Roof walked into a gun store two years ago, he shouldn’t have been able to walk out with a weapon. But a loophole in current law allowed Dylann Roof – and thousands of others like him every year – to access weapons they are already legally ineligible to buy. Waiting for a background check, even if longer than 72 hours, is a minor inconvenience far outweighed by the benefit of keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of dangerous people."
Murphy said if customers can't pass a background check, they shouldn't be able to walk out of a store with a gun.
"As we saw in Charleston, this loophole allows dangerous people to get their hands on deadly weapons – it has literally cost innocent lives," Murphy said. "This is a commonsense bill to give law enforcement the time it needs before a gun leaves the store."
Feinstein said the current law allows gun sales to go through after 72 hours, even if a background check is not approved.
"This is dangerous loophole that could allow criminals and those with mental illness to complete their purchase of firearms even though it would be unlawful for them to possess them,” Feinstein said. “The shooter in Charleston who killed nine parishioners of Emmanuel AME Church would have failed his background check if the law had allowed it to be completed. Our commonsense proposal will ensure all background checks are completed before sales can move forward.”
Blumenthal, Feinstein and Sen. Bernie Sanders held a news conference on Wednesday to call for a ban on bump stocks, a device used to essentially turn a semi-automatic rifle into an automatic one. Investigators said that's what the Las Vegas shooter used when he killed more than 50 country music fans from a hotel window on the Las Vegas Strip.
The Connecticut Citizens Defense League, a pro-2nd Amendment group, released a statement to Channel 3 on Wednesday and said it continues to believe that inanimate objects can't be blamed for mass shootings. It said people will find other ways to commit mass murder. It continues to say that 2nd Amendment rights need to be protected.
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