Fact Check: Joe Biden Falsely Claims Brady Bill Would Have Prevented Charleston Church Shooting

Democratic presidential hopefuls Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and Former Vice President Joe Biden (R) participate in the tenth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute at the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina, on February 25, 2020. …
JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

CLAIM: Democrat presidential hopeful Joe Biden claimed the nine people shot dead June 17, 2015, in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church would still be alive if the Brady Bill and its 12-hour waiting period had been passed.

VERDICT: False. An instant background check bill was instituted in 1998, and it allows those background checks to be extended to three business days if a deeper review is needed.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) was adopted in 1998, and it applies to every gun sale at retail. When a would-be buyer goes through an NICS check the sale is given a green light or a red light or the retailer sees that an extended time is needed for more review. This review session gives the retailer the option to hold the gun for up to three business days before allowing the buyer to take possession.

In the case of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal attacker, he submitted to a background check at retail—as the law requires—and the gun was sold to him because the FBI made a mistake during the review. Then-FBI Director James Comey told USA Today that the reviewer doing the background check made a “mistake,” looking at criminal records in the wrong police department.

Comey described the reviewer’s error as “a mistake, in a matter of heartbreaking importance to all of us.”

California has as ten-day waiting period on all gun purchases, far beyond the 12-hour waiting period Biden described as associated with the Brady Bill. Yet California witnesses numerous high-profile, firearm-based attacks each year.

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. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.


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