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South Carolina Senators files Senate Bills to close ‘Charleston Loophole’

Pre-filed Background Check Senate Bill

On the fourth day of the federal trail for gunman, Dylan Roof, who shot down nine parishioners during a bible study session inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, two of the state’s senator filed new background check Senate Bills that were aimed at closing the very loophole that allowed Roof to get his hands on the firearm used in the shooting.  The legislations were pre-filed on Tuesday, both of which contained proposals to amend the current three-day waiting period for firearm background checks.

Sen. Gerald Malloy, D-Darlington, submitted Senate Bill 159, which proposed that the standard three-day waiting period be extended to 28 days. Meanwhile, Sen. Mia McLeod, D-Richland, introduced Senate Bill 143, which aimed to fully close the so-called “Charleston Loophole,” by outright denying any firearm sale until a clear background check result is processed and the buyer is deemed legally able to purchase the firearm in question.

Both Senate Bills are directly meant to address the underlying issue that allowed Roof to get his hands on the .45-caliber Glock handgun, which was used during the shooting. The purchase was apparently allowed to proceed despite Roof’s felony drug charges just a few months prior to the incident.


Dylan Roof (C), the suspect in the mass shooting that left nine dead in a Charleston church last month, appears in court July 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Associated Press, WCIV-TV and The Post and Courier of Charleston are challenging a judge's order issued last week that prohibits the release of public records in the June 17 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)
Dylan Roof (C), the suspect in the mass shooting that left nine dead in a Charleston church last month, appears in court July 18, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Associated Press, WCIV-TV and The Post and Courier of Charleston are challenging a judge’s order issued last week that prohibits the release of public records in the June 17 shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal church. (Photo by Grace Beahm-Pool/Getty Images)


The FBI revealed just weeks after the shooting that a clerical error was the main cause of the delayed background check result, wherein the arrest records were filed in the wrong department. Some had argued that if the FBI examiner was given enough time, at least more than the three-days allowed by law, he or she should have been able to get to Roof’s arrest records which would have resulted in an automatic rejection of the firearm purchase.

On the other side of the debate, the state’s Republicans argue that the changing the three-day rule won’t really solve the problem. Several gun advocates claim that whether or not the FBI was given more time, they still wouldn’t have gotten the right answers because they were simply asking the wrong people in the first place.

 

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