Close the Charleston Loophole
What is the problem?
Under federal law, gun purchases may move forward by default after three business days—even if a background check has not been completed. While 90% of federal background checks are completed in minutes, those that take longer than three business days are four times as likely to be denied.
In 2015, the shooter of nine worshipers at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina was able to purchase a gun because of a dangerous loophole in the background check system. He was legally prohibited from having a firearm, but was able to complete the purchase because his background check was not completed within three business days.
Firearm sales should not be permitted to move forward until a background check on the prospective purchaser has been completed.
Myth & Fact
The loophole is insignificant because 97% of all background checks are completed within three business days.
Background checks delayed more than three business days are 4x more likely to be denied. This means that the loophole results in prohibited persons obtaining firearms. Between January and mid-November, 2020, the FBI had flagged nearly 6,000 gun sales because a purchaser who could not legally possess a firearm was able to buy one because of the Charleston loophole—more than in any other entire calendar year.
Undeniable: How Long-Standing Loopholes in the Background Check System Have Been Exacerbated by COVID-19
Loopholes must be addressed to ensure that guns are not sold without a completed background check.
Update Background Check Laws
Updating federal and state laws to require background checks on all gun sales is a common-sense way to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
How COVID-19 Has Made a Federal Background Check Loophole Even Deadlier
More background checks were run in March 2020 than at any other time since the creation of the background check system.