Connecticut’s two U.S. senators seek to close a loophole that allows citizens to buy firearms from federally-licensed vendors without completing a background check.
U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, both D-Conn., joined with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in introducing the Background Check Completion Act in the Senate Wednesday.
The “No Check, No Sale” bill addresses that buyers can purchase firearms from a federally-licensed retailer when the FBI takes longer than 72 hours to complete a check to determine whether the buyer can legally purchase a weapon.
“If it takes an extra day or two to make sure we’re not arming violent offenders, it’s worth the wait,” Murphy said in a news release Wednesday. “No Check, No Sale will inject reason back into the law and give law enforcement the time they need to do their jobs.”
Connecticut senators have been pushing for more stringent gun regulation since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in 2012. Earlier this month, a U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals upheld state legislation passed in 2013 that no longer allows the sale of certain semiautomatic weapons and large scale magazines without a permit.
The senators noted recent shootings that have occurred all over the country as reasons for pushing this legislation through, in particular, the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina in June.
“Over the past five years, 15,700 ineligible buyers have acquired guns simply because a background check could not be completed within 72 hours. One of them was Dylann Roof, who killed nine innocent churchgoers in Charleston with a gun he was ineligible to buy,” Blumenthal said. “Waiting for a background check, even if longer than 72 hours, is a minor inconvenience far outweighed by the benefit of keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.”
According to the release from Blumenthal’s office, the FBI estimates more than 10 sales are made every day to people who would be prohibited from purchasing them if background checks were completed.
The Connecticut Citizen’s Defense League worries that the proposed legislation may down the line be used to help keep more people from owning firearms who are legally allowed to do so, said president Scott Wilson.
“Our concerns are that laws are often abused,” Wilson said.
Wilson also noted that Connecticut gun laws, as put forward in 2013, already restrict firearm sales in the state and the group would not want more regulations passed at the federal level.
I would hate to see the rest of the country dragged in our direction,” he said.