June 25, 2020

Harris, Feinstein, Blumenthal Introduce Bill to Close Background Check Loophole for Gun Sales

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-CA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) on Thursday joined Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and a group of their Senate colleagues to introduce the Background Check Completion Act. The legislation would close a loophole that allows gun sales to proceed if a background check is not completed after 72 hours, even if the buyer is not legally allowed to purchase a gun.

The gap in existing law has resulted in thousands of guns being sold to prohibited buyers, including the sale of the firearm used by the shooter in the deadly attack at Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church five years ago.

“This is simple– a person should have to pass a background check before buying a gun,” said Harris. “As American lives continue to be cut short every day by gun violence, I urge my Republican colleagues in the Senate to put aside partisan politics and pass the Background Check Completion Act immediately.”

“No gun sales should occur without a background check. Period,” said Feinstein. “Our commonsense bill would close a loophole that allows guns to fall in the hands of dangerous people simply because a background check took longer than 72 hours to complete. It’s far past time for Republicans to join us in enacting basic gun safety measures that will help save lives.”

“No check, no sale must be the rule,” said Blumenthal, the lead sponsor of the bill. “I first introduced this bill five years ago to close the glaring loophole that allowed the Charleston shooter to walk out of a store with a gun he was already legally ineligible to buy. My Republican colleagues in the Senate have unjustifiably stalled this commonsense legislation. In those five years, thousands more dangerous people with incomplete background checks have been able to purchase weapons. The Senate must pass the Background Check Completion Act now.”

The Background Check Completion Act is also supported by Senators Edward J. Markey (D-MA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Dick Durbin (D-IL), 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-MT), Patty Murray (D-WA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), 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.

A copy of the bill can be found HERE.