House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn (D-SC) and Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-SC) are pushing an extension to allow 10 business days for instant background checks to be completed.
The expansion is being presented as a way to close what the left describes as the “Charleston Loophole,” although such a loophole does not exist.
Rep. Cunningham released a statement explaining that the legislation, H.R. 1112, “extends the initial background check review period from three to 10 days. Next, after that initial 10 business day period, if a background check is not completed, a purchaser may request an escalated review to spur the FBI to complete its investigation.”
The National Instant Background Check System (NICS) is set up so that would-be gun buyers either pass the background quickly, fail–and therefore, cannot buy a gun–or get an extended review of three days. Current law allows a Federal Firearm License holder (FFL), to sell a gun to an individual after three days if a background check does not turn up a criminal record to prevent the sale.
Cunningham and Clyburn are presenting the expansion to 10 business days as a way to stop individuals like the one who, on June 17, 2015, opened fire on the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. They claim that gunman acquired his firearm because the background check system is flawed. However, NPR reported that then-FBI director James Comey explained the errors that allowed the Charleston gunman to get his gun boiled down to mistakes made by FBI background check examiners. The examiners missed the gunman’s criminal conviction because: 1) His “rap sheet” listed the wrong county sheriff as the arresting sheriff and 2) The examiner called authorities in West Columbia, SC, instead of Columbia.
The Democrats immediately began decrying a “Charleston Loophole” and are now pressing more gun control.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.