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COLUMBIA, S.C. – There is piece of legislation that is heating up the already hot topic of gun control within the country as it seeks to close the apparent loophole authorities say allowed Dylann Roof to purchase his firearm which he used to gun down several people during a service at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Churn in what is now referred to as the Charleston massacre.
Roof was previously arrested on drug charges earlier in the year which would have prevented him from buying a gun and would have disqualified him from the background check that was run. Unfortunately due to both data entry errors and the three business day limit, he was able to purchase the firearm despite his previous record.
The current Federal law gives the FBI Instant Criminal Background Check System a maximum of three business days to give a response to a query, if it does not respond within the allotted time the licensed gun dealer is allowed to go ahead with the sale at his discretion. The proposal now by one Democratic senator and Republican House member is that they would want to extend the limit to 28 business days.
Rep. Doug Brannon mentioned that when he learned that Roof was allowed to buy the gun because of the loophole, he was “sickened to his stomach”. He further mentioned that if the law had already closed that loophole, Roof wouldn’t have gotten that particular gun and that it should have been a lot harder for him to purchase a firearm given his history.
In this instance, the FBI examiner that was assigned to Roof’s background check couldn’t find the appropriate documents to disqualify him because a Lexington County jail clerk had mistakenly entered the location of Roof’s arrest report. The error was found out and fixed during his arrest, but the records on the database were not, further complicating things for the FBI who could not find the right person to get the details of Roof’s arrest.
The clerical error was the main reason used by most anti gun control advocates including NRA spokeswoman Catherin Mortensen who mentions that his organization does not support the new legislation that wants to extend the default time.
“This is just another example of politicians exploiting a tragedy to push an unpopular gun control agenda. Extending the background check period would not have prevented Dylan Roof from buying a gun.” Mortensen had mentioned.