On August 17, South Carolina state senator Marlon Kimpson (D-Charleston) introduced an “assault weapon” ban and numerous other gun controls to prevent another attack like that which occurred at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17.
It is interesting to note that Dylann Roof allegedly attacked the church with a .45 caliber handgun, rather than an “assault weapon,” and he underwent a background for the handgun in April.
Nevertheless, The State reports that Kimpson wants an “assault weapon” ban, new requirements for reporting lost and/or stolen guns, a gun registration requirement, a gun permitting system, a requirement that gun purchase background checks be done by the state, and a rule that retailers cannot comply with federal law by handing a gun to purchaser if a 3-day FBI background check turns up nothing.
Kimpson does not pretend that Roof avoided a background check. Instead, he claims that Roof only passed a check because of “errors in the background-checking system” and a “three-day loophole.” These are the very same claims Moms Demand Action is making in their campaigns against retailers like Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, and Sportsman’s Warehouse. But whether the claims come from Kimpson or Moms Demand, they are equally false.
The background check system is not riddled with problems. The FBI admitted that Roof passed a background check because one FBI background check reviewer made a clerical error; a “mistake” which the FBI regrets but which was made nonetheless. It is an isolated mistake that has nothing to do with a fault in the background check design.
And the “three-day loophole” was created out of thin air. Federal law is set up so that a National Instant Criminal Background Check System check is just that–instant. When someone tries to buy a gun the FBI can instantly green light them, fail them, or delay their purchase for up to three business days to give the FBI more time to search records. If no incriminating evidence has been found in three days the retailer is free to hand the gun to the buyer.
To change this–giving the FBI and unlimited amount of time to conduct a check–alters the state of things so that the citizen is proving why he should be able to buy a gun instead of forcing the government to show why he shouldn’t. That is 180 degrees opposite of the way our Founding Fathers thought.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.