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house Bill H.R. 1446

Should Gun Dealers Have to Wait At Least 10 Days for Completed Background Checks Before Transferring a Gun to the Buyer?

Argument in favor

This bill would close the so-called “Charleston loophole” by requiring gun dealers to wait longer than just three days for a completed background check before turning over a gun to the buyer. A 10 business day waiting period followed by an escalated review of equal length is a long enough time for gun dealers to wait to complete the sale of a firearm.

larubia's Opinion
···
03/11/2021
Yes!!! Yes, I own guns. Yes, my brother owns a gun store. Yes, my husband is former military. You can advocate for common sense gun laws and still maintain your rights. Yes, background checks need to be completed before the gun is transferred by dealers!
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jimK's Opinion
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03/11/2021
The last time I purchased a firearm, the background check was returned in 30 minutes and the store was authorized to release it to me. Commercial subscription data aggravating services can return pretty much all criminal charges and convictions of anyone and their family members in minutes. I would guess that the FBI’s service would be even more comprehensive. If someone has no suspicious charges or convictions and the government is not shut down with no authorized person available to push the ‘authorize’ button this should not change at all. Otherwise it should take longer. … … … Guns currently are not released until a background check is made provided it is made within three days from purchase. All this legislation does is to close the loophole which allows guns to be released without a background check if, for any reason, the FBI cannot respond within three days. It gives the FBI up to ten days to complete the background check instead of just three days. This would be quite significant if a normal quick background check indicated some issues that required a deeper background check to determine if the initial ‘issues’ lead to deeper factors that should effect the purchase. The alternative would be to simply deny purchases if a background check could not be completed in three days. This legislation should benefit everyone: Those that want to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them; and those who may have minor issues that a deeper investigation would show that they should or should not be denied gun purchase. … … … So, this is a good bill for everyone involved. Why would either gun zealots or gun deniers be against this sensible legislation?
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David's Opinion
···
03/11/2021
I am in full support of the second amendment, but that doesn’t mean we can just, give away guns. We shouldn’t be giving people guns who can’t be trusted not to misuse them, we need background checks and other common sense gun legislation to keep this country safe. Besides, if you have an issue where you need a gun the same day, you probably aren’t the type of person we should trust with one. Ten days isnt the end of the world, you can wait to ensure the safety of others.
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Argument opposed

It shouldn’t take more than three business days to complete a background check on an unlicensed prospective gun buyer, and if it does the business owner should be able to transfer the gun at their discretion as is the case under current law. Delaying a sale for up to a potential 20 business days is unfair to the gun buyer and seller.

Ben's Opinion
···
03/03/2021
We NEED education about firearms and firearms safety, that’s the most any of you in congress need to concern yourselves with. You would be inviolation of your oath of office, should you decide to join the group already in violation of theirs by submitting another useless and misinformed bill. A well regulated Militia (ie: the People of the Republic of the United States - not the military - which is topic for another time), being necessary to the security of a free State (ie: The Republic of the United States) the right of the people (Every citizen of the Republic of the United States) to keep and bear (ie: to have in their possession at any given time) Arms (ie: military weapons of any kind), shall not be infringed (<- I’m pretty sure you can guess that definition.) The rights defined in the Constitution are not there given to us from government they are natural rights that all human beings are born with, they not up for debate. If you don’t take your oath seriously and defend the people for this socialist attack of gargantuan proportions ; OATH OF OFFICE FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” The Constitution and Bill of Rights are both very clear on their meaning. They are not rights given to us by congress, they are unalienable rights, that’s rights that we are born with as free men of this world. I’d like to add that this statement is not up for debate, nor is it something that you may interpret to say what you think it should. It states what it states nothing further.
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Peoplewantchange's Opinion
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03/11/2021
All this does is serve to prevent law abiding citizens from utilizing their 2nd amendment right. Criminals don’t buy guns through commercial channels that require background checks. This is just another waste of taxpayer dollars at the hands of left wing liberals. Shameful
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SickofDC's Opinion
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03/10/2021
How ignorant! News flash people Every single gun I have I was required to pass a background check to buy! There is NO gun show loophole, there is NO buying a gun online and it shipping to you without you passing a background check to pick it up from the gun store you are required to have it shipped to! There is no Charleston loophole! OH AND by the way.... 80% of gun deaths are suicides and the remaining are mostly gang related or due to involvement in criminal activity. Leave our rights alone! Especially when you know NOTHING about them!
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What is House Bill H.R. 1446?

This bill would close the so-called “Charleston loophole” by extending the initial background check review for gun purchasers from three to 10 business days. If a background check has not been completed after the initial 10 business day period, purchasers could request expedited reviews to spur the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to complete its investigation. They could petition online or by mail, and would be required to certify that they are not prohibited from purchasing or possessing firearms. After a petition’s submission, the FBI would have 10 additional business days to complete the background check before a sale could proceed under federal law. Individuals who chose not to submit certified petitions would be required to wait until their background checks were complete before transfers could proceed.

Impact

Unlicensed gun buyers and licensed gun dealers; people and entities administering background checks.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1446

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthHouse Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) reintroduced this legislation from the 116th Congress to close the so-called “Charleston loophole” by requiring gun dealers to wait longer than three business days for a completed background check. The loophole allowed a gunman who murdered nine and wounded three others after they received a gun because the FBI background check, which would’ve prevented their gun purchase because of a drug arrest, wasn’t completed within three days. In a March 2, 2021 press release, Rep. Clyburn said:

“Enacting common-sense gun control measures is a priority for President Biden and this Democratic Congress, and this legislation is a good first step. A large majority of Americans, including gun owners, support universal background checks. This legislation is needed to keep weapons out of the hands of those who should not have them and save lives.”

In the 115th Congress, Clyburn said:

“The real tragedy of the Emanuel Massacre is that it could have been prevented. We need to ensure that background checks are completed before weapons are sold. This legislation seeks to provide, with as much certainty as possible, that guns are not sold to those who ought not have them.”

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence supports this legislation and H.R. 8:

“H.R. 8 and H.R. 1446 are common-sense bills to expand and strengthen federal Brady background checks and help to ensure that individuals who should not have access to firearms are unable to purchase one. Particularly following a year of record-breaking gun sales and exacerbated gun violence amidst a global pandemic, the need to ensure that every gun sale is conducted safely and that the potential buyer is responsible and fit to possess a firearm. We need action to help stop the violence that claims over 100 lives every day and disproportionately affects Black and Brown communities. These bills would expand background checks to all gun sales and eliminate loopholes like the Charleston Loophole, that allowed a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina to purchase the firearm used to murder nine parishioners at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. Since the Brady background system came online, it has stopped over 3 million sales to people who should not have weapons, helping to keep our nation safer. The time is right to build upon this fundamental cornerstone of our nation’s gun violence prevention laws and expand the background check system.”

The Biden administration supports this legislation and H.R. 8. In a March 8, 2021 statement of administration policy, the White House said:

“The Federal gun background check system is a proven tool to reduce gun violence and save lives. This system, called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, has kept millions of guns out of potentially dangerous hands. The Administration encourages the House to pass two bills that would help close existing loopholes in this system: H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2021, and H.R. 1446, the Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021.”

The National Shooting Sports Foundation opposes this legislation. Its Senior Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, Larry Keane, says:

“If the bill is the same as what was introduced in the last Congress, we will be opposed to it now as we were then. This bill increases the burden on small business firearm retailer owners and flips the burden of proof on its head. This would make it incumbent upon the law-abiding citizen to prove his or her innocence to the government to exercise their Second Amendment right to purchase a firearm instead of the government being responsible for proving an individual is prohibited. This could potentially deny a law-abiding citizen their rights for up to a month, while they are saddled with the burden of proving their innocence. That’s un-American. Rather than placing further burdens on retailers and law-abiding gun owners, Congress should focus on adequately resourcing NICS. NSSF is the only organization that has successfully advocated for NICS to have the necessary resources to perform its mission in a timely manner.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) also opposes this legislation, as it believes that background checks are ineffective at preventing criminals from procuring firearms:

“NRA opposes expanding firearm background check systems, because background checks don’t stop criminals from getting firearms, because some proposals to do so would deprive individuals of due process of law, and because NRA opposes firearm registration.”

The NRA also contends that making all firearms subject to NICS background checks would make NICS a registry of firearms possession, which the NRA opposes the creation of:

“ICS would become a registry of firearm transfers if all firearms transfers were subject to NICS checks and the FBI retained records of approved checks indefinitely, both of which gun control supporters have proposed, and such records included information currently maintained on federal Form 4473, documenting the identity of the firearm purchaser and the make, model and serial number of the firearm transferred. Over time, as people sell or bequeath their firearms, a registry of firearm transfers would become a registry of firearms possessed.”

Opponents of this legislation have pointed out that under current law even if the unlicensed buyer takes possession of the gun after three days, the Federal Bureau of Investigation continues to resolve the background check for up to 90 days. If it turns out that the buyer should’ve been prohibited by the background check and the gun was transferred, the ATF is notified and steps are taken to confiscate the weapon and potentially prosecute the buyer.

This legislation has 91 Democratic House cosponsors in the current session of Congress. In the previous Congressional session, this legislation passed the House on a 228-198 vote that was mostly along party-lines. It had 15 bipartisan House cosponsors, including one Republican, former Rep. Peter King (R-NY).


Of NoteThe 2015 mass shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina exposed what became known as the “Charleston loophole.” After Charleston mass shooter Dylann Roof killed nine African-American churchgoers in 2015, an internal review at the FBI revealed that he would’ve been blocked from buying the Glock .45-caliber model 41 he used in the shooting had the background check process been more stringent. In Roof’s case, the initial background check revealed a drug arrest, but NICS examiners couldn’t tell whether Roof had admitted guilt or been convicted, so they contacted local records officers to find out. After three days of failed attempts to determine Roof’s status, the dealer sold Roof the Glock. Had the examiner checked the National Data Exchange (D-DEx), a national repository of criminal justice records submitted by agencies across the U.S, they’d have found a record showing that Roof admitted drug possession — which would have led to the denial of his gun purchase. It was legal for the gun purchaser to sell the firearm to Roof after the background check couldn’t be completed within three business days, which led to this scenario becoming known as the “Charleston Loophole.” 

Federal law hasn’t been changed, so although the vast majority of background checks initiated to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) result in an almost instant verdict and 96% of background checks are processed within three business days, hundreds of thousands of background checks for gun purchases enter “default proceed” status each year. Under “default proceed,” a federally licensed firearm dealer can transfer a gun to a customer if the federal background check isn’t completed within three business days of the background check request to NCIS.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence reports that default proceed purchases “can have deadly consequences,” including putting guns in the hands of convicted felons, domestic abusers, fugitives from justice, and other persons who should not have access to guns. According to The Brady Campaign:

  • From 2008 to 2017, over 35,000 guns were transferred to prohibited persons due to default proceed purchases; and
  • Default proceed sales are eight times more likely than other background checks to involve a prohibited purchaser.

According to a 2016 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, although technological and reporting enhancements have improved the NICS system’s efficiency over the years, thousands of prohibited purchasers are still not determined until after the three-day period.

COVID-19-related delays in background check processing have reportedly increased the number of default proceeds. According to Everytown for Gun Safety, nearly 600,000 background checks took longer than three days in 2020; this figure was twice the number in an average year. By mid-November 2020, the FBI had flagged nearly 6,000 gun sales because a purchaser who could not legally possess a firearm was allowed to buy one because of the Charleston loophole.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Marina_Skoropadskaya)

AKA

Enhanced Background Checks Act of 2021

Official Title

To amend chapter 44 of title 18, United States Code, to strengthen the background check procedures to be followed before a Federal firearms licensee may transfer a firearm to a person who is not such a licensee.

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house Passed March 11th, 2021
    Roll Call Vote 219 Yea / 210 Nay
      house Committees
      Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedMarch 1st, 2021

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    Yes!!! Yes, I own guns. Yes, my brother owns a gun store. Yes, my husband is former military. You can advocate for common sense gun laws and still maintain your rights. Yes, background checks need to be completed before the gun is transferred by dealers!
    Like (118)
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    Share
    We NEED education about firearms and firearms safety, that’s the most any of you in congress need to concern yourselves with. You would be inviolation of your oath of office, should you decide to join the group already in violation of theirs by submitting another useless and misinformed bill. A well regulated Militia (ie: the People of the Republic of the United States - not the military - which is topic for another time), being necessary to the security of a free State (ie: The Republic of the United States) the right of the people (Every citizen of the Republic of the United States) to keep and bear (ie: to have in their possession at any given time) Arms (ie: military weapons of any kind), shall not be infringed (<- I’m pretty sure you can guess that definition.) The rights defined in the Constitution are not there given to us from government they are natural rights that all human beings are born with, they not up for debate. If you don’t take your oath seriously and defend the people for this socialist attack of gargantuan proportions ; OATH OF OFFICE FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” The Constitution and Bill of Rights are both very clear on their meaning. They are not rights given to us by congress, they are unalienable rights, that’s rights that we are born with as free men of this world. I’d like to add that this statement is not up for debate, nor is it something that you may interpret to say what you think it should. It states what it states nothing further.
    Like (43)
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    The last time I purchased a firearm, the background check was returned in 30 minutes and the store was authorized to release it to me. Commercial subscription data aggravating services can return pretty much all criminal charges and convictions of anyone and their family members in minutes. I would guess that the FBI’s service would be even more comprehensive. If someone has no suspicious charges or convictions and the government is not shut down with no authorized person available to push the ‘authorize’ button this should not change at all. Otherwise it should take longer. … … … Guns currently are not released until a background check is made provided it is made within three days from purchase. All this legislation does is to close the loophole which allows guns to be released without a background check if, for any reason, the FBI cannot respond within three days. It gives the FBI up to ten days to complete the background check instead of just three days. This would be quite significant if a normal quick background check indicated some issues that required a deeper background check to determine if the initial ‘issues’ lead to deeper factors that should effect the purchase. The alternative would be to simply deny purchases if a background check could not be completed in three days. This legislation should benefit everyone: Those that want to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them; and those who may have minor issues that a deeper investigation would show that they should or should not be denied gun purchase. … … … So, this is a good bill for everyone involved. Why would either gun zealots or gun deniers be against this sensible legislation?
    Like (74)
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    All this does is serve to prevent law abiding citizens from utilizing their 2nd amendment right. Criminals don’t buy guns through commercial channels that require background checks. This is just another waste of taxpayer dollars at the hands of left wing liberals. Shameful
    Like (33)
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    I am in full support of the second amendment, but that doesn’t mean we can just, give away guns. We shouldn’t be giving people guns who can’t be trusted not to misuse them, we need background checks and other common sense gun legislation to keep this country safe. Besides, if you have an issue where you need a gun the same day, you probably aren’t the type of person we should trust with one. Ten days isnt the end of the world, you can wait to ensure the safety of others.
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    How ignorant! News flash people Every single gun I have I was required to pass a background check to buy! There is NO gun show loophole, there is NO buying a gun online and it shipping to you without you passing a background check to pick it up from the gun store you are required to have it shipped to! There is no Charleston loophole! OH AND by the way.... 80% of gun deaths are suicides and the remaining are mostly gang related or due to involvement in criminal activity. Leave our rights alone! Especially when you know NOTHING about them!
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    If you can’t wait to purchase a firearm, you obviously have issues with patience which can be indicative of emotional immaturity.
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    Not letting process finish due to a arbitrary time limit is dumb. The range is always open. Hunting seasons are scheduled. So other than shooting at people why do you absolutely need it RIGHT NOW? A honest answer is the reason we need background checks. You can wait.
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    At the VERY LEAST!
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    Definitely. We are tired of the violent Neanderthal rt wing minority calling the shots with gun laws. We are the most armed western country on the globe and the most violent It’s like America is regressing in intelligence and behavior
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    It's about time we enacted some sensible gun reform. This seems like a good start, and as I recall, Senator Toomey once supported measures like this. Let's act to stop gun violence now.
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    YES! 10 DAYS, that’s literally nothing!!! If someone wants to get a firearm IMMEDIATELY that’s a warning sign, most likely, to either their life or the life of someone else. Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to something that is designed to kill.
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    It’s time to have responsible gun laws in place.
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    You have to wait a couple weeks for your drivers license to come in! Why shouldn't you have to wait for a weapon that can kill people?
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    I have read about the “Charleston and gun show loop hole. Each time you purchase a firearm you are required to fill out the paper work. If a person wants a firearm that bad enough, additional time will NOT stop that person from acquiring a weapon. This bill only hurts the law abiding citizen from acquiring a firearm. This is a step toward outlawing private ownership of firearms. What is the next step? The democrats had no problem in giving incarcerated individuals from receiving a stimulus check-including Dillon Roof who shot and killed 9 African Americans, or the Boston bomber both who are on death row. So now Mr Clyburn is playing on people’s feelings in an attempt to slow down the legal purchase firearms. The hypocrisy displayed by the democrats makes me sick.
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    There are enough gun laws in place already. Stop trying to undermine the second amendment. A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED!
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    Background checks, training at the minimum. All who spout encroachment on 2nd amendment are shallow brained. All the insurgents on jan 6 were ‘law abiding’ attending the chief carnival barkers show? Imagine if they had been allowed to bring guns. America will always have this divide. Mostly innocent people will continue dying.
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    Unconstitutional. Any restriction upon obtaining a gun is an infringement of 2A. Period. The constitution does not say you may or may not have the right to bear arms based on a select criteria that we will determine at a later date and time.... it says the right to bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED. PERIOD. Background checks are an infringement themselves. If a person is a free person then they have the right to bear arms.
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    A perfectly reasonable request that could help make background checks be more through while potentially reducing backlog. Seems reasonable.
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    Background checks should take as long as necessary. Although processing time can vary, and ten business days seems quite reasonable, it can be extended due to COVID, but given the internet, everything should be up to date everyday by end of business Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time. One recommended caveat: First time buyers should be required to wait 90 days in order reduce impulse shootings. Fees and deposits should be imposed as well.
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