WASHINGTON – Ahead of the five-year anniversary of the funeral service for the victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) joined Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to introduce legislation with 18 of their Senate colleagues to close a current loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the gun buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun. The gap in existing law has allowed thousands of gun sales to prohibited buyers, including the sale of the firearm used by the shooter in the deadly attack at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church.

“If someone has not completed and passed a background check, they shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun, period” said Durbin. “Closing this loophole has overwhelming public support and will help keep guns out of the hands of those who are dangerous.”

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“It’s just common sense that if you can’t pass a background check, you shouldn’t be able to purchase a firearm—and the vast majority of Americans know it,” said Duckworth. “How many lives must be taken before Congress finally says, ‘enough is enough?’ In the wake of so many tragedies, it’s past time Congress acted to close this loophole and help keep weapons out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them.”

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When a criminal background check indicates that a firearm purchaser may have a criminal record, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) tries to determine whether the purchaser can legally buy a gun. If this process takes longer than 72 hours, gun dealers can complete the sale even though there is a heightened risk that the purchaser is legally disqualified from purchasing a gun.

The Background Check Completion Act would require a completed background check for every gun buyer who purchases a gun from a federally-licensed gun dealer. The full text of the legislation is available here.

The Background Check Completion Act is also cosponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Kamala Harris (D-CA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and Ben Cardin (D-MD).

The legislation has been endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Newtown Action Alliance, and Brady: United Against Gun Violence.

Read More:

Oct 6, 2017 | Durbin and Duckworth help introduce "No check, No sale" bill to close loophole in gun sales Oct 6, 2017

Jun 24, 2020 | Duckworth Joins Van Hollen, Colleagues in Call for Robust Funding for Background Checks, Gun Safety in Next COVID-19 Relief Package Jun 24, 2020

Nov 8, 2017 | Duckworth helps introduce legislation to ban assault weapons Nov 8, 2017

Oct 25, 2017 | Durbin, Duckworth introduce Background Check Expansion Act to reduce gun violence Oct 25, 2017

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